LP Monday Message: FreedomFest report

July 18, 2011

Dear Friend of Liberty,

I just returned from FreedomFest, a conference which bills itself as "The Greatest Libertarian Show on Earth!"

FreedomFest is not affiliated with the Libertarian Party, but lots of Libertarian Party members attended. There were over 2,000 people, and many organizations that support libertarian principles participated.

The Libertarian Party had a strong presence, with three of us listed in the program guide as speakers, including an opening by LNC member Wayne Allyn Root, a presentation on "The Case for the Libertarian Party" by LNC Chair Mark Hinkle and me, and exhibitor booths by the California Libertarian Party and the national LP.

The program guide contained tributes to eleven freedom advocates including LP co-founder David F. Nolan (1943-2010), and the first LP presidential nominee, John Hospers (1918-2011).

Our Vice Chair, Mark Rutherford, and elected Libertarian Indianapolis Councilor Ed Coleman attended, as well as the LP California Chair, Kevin Takenaga (along with many other California Libertarians), LP Pennsylvania Chair Lou Jasikoff, and many others, including some of the top donors to the LP.

My goals were to promote the Libertarian Party, network with other organizations, and learn from some of the top speakers in the movement.

Rob Kampia, Executive Director of the Marijuana Policy Project, gave a presentation entitled "Is marijuana policy the only issue heading in a libertarian direction?"

I was unable to attend Rob’s presentation, but unfortunately, the answer to his question may be yes, because there aren’t too many areas where freedom has advanced lately under either Republican or Democratic control. Certainly the topics at FreedomFest seemed more oriented towards pointing out encroachments on freedom and protecting your investments in a failing economy, rather than celebrating the advancement of freedom and prosperity.

My favorite speaker was Judge Andrew Napolitano, host of Freedom Watch on Fox Business Network. He gave a great speech focused on defending our freedoms against abuses by the government. He ripped the Patriot Act and many other recent and long past abuses of the constitution. In response to the question "What can individuals do to fight back?" Judge Napolitano said something along the lines of, "Point out in public when your congressmen are violating the freedoms protected by the Constitution."

That’s something Libertarian Party candidates are excellent at.

We’ll have videos from the event to share in the coming days.


Wes Benedict
Executive Director
Libertarian National Committee

P.S. If you have not already done so, please join the Libertarian Party. We are the only political party dedicated to free markets, civil liberties, and peace. You can also renew your membership. Or, you can make a contribution separate from membership.

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