Michael MurphyThe Libertarian War on Ignorance

Most Americans believe, want to believe or pretend to believe in some form of Santa Claus. Are we Libertarians so different?


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Michael Patrick Murphy, Placer County LP Vice Chair, Candidate for the CA Assembly District 4
12th of August, 2006

If I were to talk to most devout Libertarians, I would not be surprised to hear bitter rhetoric regarding the ignorance of non-Libertarians. Our path is so well designed and thought out that one would have to be ignorant not to see the world the way that we do. We do share something in common with many other Americans in that we believe ignorance itself is what plagues American culture and government. We are saddened by the fact that the United States, like most other countries, is more reactive than proactive. September 11th strikes and then we decide to fix things. Katrina strikes, and then we decide to fortify the levees. Not much has changed in this regard throughout man's existence. Perhaps the fact that some folks are proactive is the miracle that separates us from the beasts that share the planet.

Those of us involved in the political processes are keenly aware that the seeds of future Congressman and Presidents are often planted locally via City Councils and County Supervisors. If not running themselves, they comprise the political machine that does the promotion.

In my case, as I watch the "John Doolittle and Friends" political machinations grooming my opponent, Placer County Supervisor Ted Gaines, a man that I consider to be a practicing communist, for his rise from his current position as County Supervisor to that of State Assemblyman, the fact becomes obvious to me that few voters realize who he really is. Many are not aware that he is a current supervisor. Few know what money backed his past and present campaigns. Few know what his voting record is as he, along with his peers, prefer not to show it in a logical spreadsheet format. One must dig through badly kept minutes to discover the truth and very few residents do that. If they did, I think many would see his communist tendencies for what they are.

In other words, Placer County voters are "ignorant" with a capital "I." Yet these "unknowns" will be promoted to higher office by the money that sustains their campaigns. Once, there, more may be written about them in an almost worthless media until they actually run for President when it will seem that enough can't ever be written about them, still by a misguided and slanted media also primed to sustain the status quo.

This begs the question, "Do Libertarians know any more than their fellow voters about who's in office, where exactly their money came from and what they voted for after arriving in local office?" Of course the answer is that they don't know much.

What can you do about it?

The problem of ignorance is a big one. That's why, on my campaign website and on this website, I setup links to inform voters of that which the media has failed to inform them about. Here and when applicable to my campaign, you can find spread sheets and links to sources for their local elected officials contributions and voting history. Albeit its a big project and I can't always keep it as up to date as I like on my own. Help would be appreciated.

The next thing about my own campaign that baffles some Libertarians, is that I have committed myself to all the voters in my district. I have promised to vote in the Assembly based upon the consensus of those that live in the district regardless of Party which means that I do not necessarily vote Libertarian even though coincidence has it that most folks in District 4 are at least part way Libertarian in their thinking processes. Many are absolute closet Libertarians that are either unaware of the fact or simply continuing their support of the Republican Party because they don't believe there will ever be an alternative and they deeply resent the Democratic possibilities.

In other words, I promise, to the best of my abilities to represent the majority of those that live in District 4 rather than developers, special interests, party interests or any other group or organization, especially those that come from outside the District.

The reason for this is two-fold. The first being that it takes the monkeys off my back and makes the voter more responsible for everything that happens in the Assembly. In return for voter responsibility, they get a say in what goes on in the state, disenfranchising the lobbyists and PAC's that waste billions of dollars on trying to buy our system of government out from underneath the voters. Responsibility breeds more responsibility and responsibility is the biggest enemy of socialism that I can think of.

The second reason is to develop a connection between government and the people that is trustworthy. I promise to represent them–—something few if any have done since the state was founded! First, the railroads ran our state government and then it was the special interest progressive lobbyists. Even the ideas of recall, referendum and initiative were not enough to staunch the flow of special interest money that now plagues local government down to the City Council levels.

Once trust is established, then we can talk about ideas and improvements. I don't care what party you come from as a candidate, if the public can't trust you, what difference does it make what you tell them, they're not going to believe it anyway. Even local Christians can pray all they want about looking for guidance from God as to who's honest and who's not, but they will find a God assisting responsible voters over those that fail to know where campaign money comes from, who the candidates are and what they did while in office. The old saying that the Lord helps those that help themselves holds special credence here.

When people feel honestly represented by their office holders, then they are more likely to listen to advice given by them. Trust is the foundation lost to Placer County's local politics. Placer County does not have the advantage that Alpine County has of actually bumping into their representatives more frequently and knowing them personally. Here, only the ignorant trust most of those in local government in the County today. They are the ones that blindly assume that because someone is registered as a Republican, they necessarily do Republican things. They do not. I have one caveat to this statement and that those that contribute most heavily do so because they will get some grand financial reward for their support in the form of a huge return on their investment. They are aware that they can buy the system or most wouldn't put their money forward in the first place. Those folks are not necessarily ignorant, but in this man's opinion, simply evil. That is unless you consider evil itself as a form of ignorance, in which case I am correct with no caveat. Of course to the man, not one supervisor or council member would admit that money influences their vote. That, of course, would be illegal.

In fact, if I were a true communist and all my life dreamed of becoming a County Supervisor, the first thing I would do is join the biggest church in town and then register as a Republican. Once in office, no one will discover that I am actually a communist because they simply won't be paying attention. That's why Placer County government and redistribution of wealth programs keep on growing, growing and growing. Were voters to do a little more research, they would discover that Placer County Government thrives on socialism even though most Supervisors are admitted Republicans with the last Democrat, Mr. Bill Santucci, suffering his last term in office. Ironically, Mr. Santucci is actually less of a big spender than some of his more "Republican in name only" peers.

If voters were more aware of the developer/builder and real estate money that is pumped into local campaigns, they would be far less likely to vote in the incumbents who really are not conservative Republicans in the first place. This is why today, we Placer County residents actually live in a developer owned communist county. The irony doesn't stop when one also considers that we are in the most Republican County in California making this an example to the rest of California of what can go wrong with one party dominant districts.

So get with the program as a responsible Libertarian. Discover the links I placed here if that's where you'd like to start. Know who your representatives are, starting with your City Councilman and County Supervisor for your district. Know where their money comes from and what they do when they are in office. Then we can lead by example in a real war on ignorance. With a smarter population, I believe we will find growth in the Libertarian Party and in the growing numbers of Decline to State voters that have vowed to never again vote Republican or Democrat as long as they live. That should at least be common sense by this century.

As a result, I think we can agree that America could again become the beacon of light that it once was thought to be. If we are successful, the model will be copied and the rich and powerful will no longer dominate our system of government, something the people of the planet have been dreaming about since long before Marx and Engels wrote the Communist Manifesto and Tut became King. I think this is something that we can all aspire to—that is a more informed and responsible America.

Volunteers are needed to Run Against Rocklin City Council and Placer County Supervisor Incumbents. Let's bring social and economic freedom back to Placer County!
Call (916) 435-9090 for more info.

Mike's views do not necessarily represent the views of the Placer County Libertarian Party Mike can be reached at mmurphy@americanliberty.org
Michael Patrick Murphy is the author of The Government, ISBN 0-595-30863-5 He is also running for the State Assembly in District 4. His campaign site is www.murphyforassembly.com