Friday, May 23, 2008

Keynote Address

The Keynote for the Lib Nat Conv was split between me, at 2 pm, and Richard Viguerie, at 2:30 pm.

We got a little bit of a late start. Here is the first three minutes' worth of my talk, as a teaser:

Friends, it’s great to be here, today. I know a lot of you already, and I hope to get a chance to talk with the rest of you soon. I look around this room, and I see a lot of friendly faces, a real sense of shared purpose. It’s exciting.

Unfortunately, the reason that so many of us feel that spark of purpose is that we’re having hard times. This administration in Washington is a really great recruiter for our party. Everywhere I go, people are disgusted.

They glance around, to make sure no one is listening, and then tell me, “You know, I never considered voting Libertarian before. But when I see the Patriot Act, when I see the casualties in the war in Iraq and the war on drugs, then I start to think Libertarian.”

The government is not providing the basic services that our more optimistic fellow citizens have come to expect. When I talk to people in the cities, Latinos and African-Americans, people who send their children to schools that look like war zones, schools that may be the single most disastrous examples of the failure of statist social engineering, I hear it: “I’m starting to think Libertarian.”
Of course, some folks also ask me, “Why don’t Libertarians care about real people? The Democrats and Republicans are interested in real people.”

I answer, yes, Democrats and Republicans are interested in real people. And fleas are interested in real dogs. We don’t elect them dog-catcher, though.

Why would you think that if I care about you, I should want to run your life? Or, if I don’t want to run you life, why would you think I don’t care?

As I said, this year is a great opportunity for Libertarians, for an alternative. The humorist PJ O’Rourke was researching farm subsidies, a remarkably expensive program with essentially no real benefits. While O’Rourke was doing research, he visited a farmer, who was going to artificially inseminate a cow. While the farmer was doing what he needed to do to inseminate the cow, at the cow’s hind end, he asked PJ to hold the cow’s head. The farmer, of course, was manipulating a two-foot-long plastic turkey baster, in the part of the cow where it needed to go. PJ, holding the head, said that he would never forget the look on that cow’s face.

But that look was familiar. And then PJ recognized it, and you recognize it, too. Millions of taxpayers have the same expression that cow had, every April 15th. And for the SAME REASON!

That same reason, for taxes, for f]ailures in foreign policy, and for disastrous corruption at every level of government, is the reason that people are starting to think Libertarian.


Some notes:
1. It appears CSPAN is not going to televise my speech. It is going to televise my wooden introduction of Richard Viguerie's speech, and Richard Viguerie's very fine speech, at 2:30 a.m. (that's **AM*) on Saturday.
2. My speech was well-received. A good audience. It was an honor to be asked to do this.
3. I think that I will be able to get a copy of my speech, and will find a way to make it available, either on YouTube or somehow. Since CSPAN didn't televise it, that simplifies things.
4. Richard V did a very fine job. A real pro, and made some good points. A real crowd pleaser. You might want to DVR the speech on CSPAN. Again, 2:30 am (or so) early Saturday. That's 2:30 am EDT, of course.
5. No protests. It all went smoothly. Goodonya, Bill Redpath!

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