By R. Lee Wrights
“Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.” (Benjamin Franklin)
BURNET, Texas (Dec. 31) – Harry Browne was one of the most gifted writers the libertarian movement has ever known. He had a special ability to communicate libertarian ideas and ideals in a clear, direct and concise way so that anyone could understand what libertarianism is all about. One of the finest examples of this is his essay A Libertarian’s New Year’s Resolutions. That’s why I always re-read and reflect on it at this time of year, and urge all libertarians to do the same.
What Harry wrote in 1998 is even more relevant today, and especially relevant to me as I seek the 2012 Libertarian presidential nomination. That’s why last year I was inspired by Harry’s thoughts and words to write my own version, as a tribute to him. Here again are the Wrights’ Resolutions which I offer as the standard by which I will conduct may campaign and live my life in 2012:
First and foremost, I resolve to remain focused on the paramount issue facing the Libertarian Party and our nation — to stop all war. No matter what other issues are raised, I intend to keep returning to the central point that unless we stop all war, whether foreign or domestic, individuals can never truly be free.
I resolve to remain committed to ensuring that whoever is the presidential nominee of the Libertarian Party in 2012 is committed to proclaiming a loud, clear and unequivocal call to stop all war; and that they be equally dedicated to carrying a solid, uncompromised, unfiltered, unequivocal, and unapologetic libertarian message to all 50 states.
I resolve to cleanse myself of hate, resentment, and bitterness, and focus on using the tools of peace, love, mercy and forgiveness against the weapons of war, hate, vengeance, and cruelty.
I resolve to keep from being drawn into arguments or debates on inconsequential issues, and to always remember that my purpose is to increase people’s appetite for liberty — not to prove that they’re wrong.
I resolve to always acknowledge my good fortune in having been born an American, to refrain from dwelling on America’s defects and past mistakes, and to focus instead on how we together can realize America’s potential and promise.
I resolve not to adopt the political campaign tactics of Republicans and Democrats, who use coercion, character assassination, evasions, fear, and intimidation in their unbridled quest for power. Rather, I resolve to remain civil in my political discourse and treat all people I encounter with the dignity and respect that is their due as human beings.
Lastly, I resolve never to cease working to ensure that the Libertarian Party and our presidential candidate in 2012 is committed to proclaiming loudly, clearly and unequivocally — stop all war.