More Replies Concerning Mark Brophy's LPCO Nomination

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More Replies Concerning Mark Brophy's LPCO Nomination

by Steve Gresh, Rand Fanshier, Ari Armstrong, Milt Borchert, Anthony Bubb, Clark R. Marley, and Russ Shaw, May 27, 2004

[For more material about Mark Brophy's Libertarian nomination for the Colorado legislature, along with commentary about the Liberatrian Party of Colorado, please see Mark Brophy Updates.]

Steve Gresh

Mark Brophy wrote:

"If the Libertarian Party decides to nominate me for the United States Senate rather than the State Senate, who will get your vote? Steve Gresh will vote for the Republican nominee, so I ask for your support in canceling out his influence."

My reply:

I plan to vote for John Berntson, the Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate. Although Pete Coors answered my question about which federal gun control laws he would vote to repeal -- I identified four significant laws plus an "all of the above" option at the Pikes Peak Firearms Coalition debate between Bob Schaffer and him on May 13, 2004 -- by saying "all of the above," I am not convinced that Mr. Coors would vote against President Bush on many other issues, such as federal funding of education and Medicare prescription drug benefits. I am confident that Mr. Berntson would uphold the libertarian principles of government as well as U.S. Representative Ron Paul, the Republican from Texas who was the Libertarian Party's presidential candidate in 1988.

Brophy's assertion that I will vote for the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate is libelous. Not only is he less libertarian on the Second Amendment than Pete Coors, who would vote to repeal Brady background checks and the assault weapons ban, but he is also an incorrigible fabricator in the ilk of many statist Republican and Democratic politicians.

If Brophy is representative of what the Libertarian Party has become in its desperation to field a full slate of candidates, that makes me even more confident that my decision to join the Republican Liberty Caucus to help libertarian Republicans win elections is correct.

Very truly yours,
Steve Gresh

Rand Fanshier

Ari,

Well, I for one would not have voted for someone who supported any kind of gun control. Neither would have the body assembled at convention to nominate candidates last weekend. He would have been voted down. But Mark Brophy went up to the microphone to address the body's concern about his position on the Second Amendment, since he was close to being tarred and feathered. He said he would not support control on arms save for courtrooms and another government venue, I think it was the state assembly but if not it was something similar (Mark is very big on protecting officers and the mechanism that supports rule of law and all that, that's a more subtle topic for another day). He specifically stated no regulation on any guns whatsoever except for the two key government locations. So we all shrugged, decided that someone had blown up the issue on rumor, hearsay, and misunderstanding. Although he jumbled words in his response to your RIP editorial, and thought he answered some questions on the questionnaire differently than he actually did, in person he is a very credible candidate, of the sort we have so long worked hard to attract. Maybe he's got dyslexia or something. I would encourage those who have doubts about Mark Brophy to simply pick up the phone and have a little chat, instead of getting your information second-hand. I really got he was not lying when he said no gun control, and clearly the rest of the membership in attendance did as well. I wish you could have been there. You too, Sandra. The question was asked; the man answered.

Regards,
Rand Fanshier
Outreach Director, LPCO

Ari Armstrong

Rand, read his survey. This is is not "second-hand" information -- it is a document signed by Mark Brophy.

Go ahead -- read it.

On this survey, Brophy supports Brady registration checks at gun shows, the so-called "assault-weapons" ban, and local disarmament ordinances.

Then read Brophy's follow-up comments. He expands his comments about gun shows by adding, "If government needs a couple of days to check all 50 states, that's fine with me." This is a clear endorsement not only of Brady registration checks, but of waiting periods.

Read if for yourself, Rand; Brophy's comments are reproduced [here.]

Again, this is not second-hand information, it is Brophy's own words.

And in response you say perhaps he has dyslexia. Well, that's bullshit. I know it, you know it, and so does everybody else. But you go ahead and keep your head buried in the sand, while the state LP collapses around you.

-Ari

Rand Fanshier

Ari,

I just wish you'd post my letter along with the others. If you don't you are not properly reflecting reality as it is for the membership in attendance at the convention. And you are saying that all those three dozen or so committed libertarians are unable to make qualitative judgements about our candidate nominees.

I do happen to believe Mark Brophy doesn't do so well on paper. He obviously needs a campaign manager. In front of a group he does just fine. And lots of committed libertarians heard him who would have voted him down if he was in favor of gun controls.

Now I'd like to bring up what happened during the Stanley campaign, and my sometimes overzealous support of Stanley's statements in the public domain. I took away from that a strong belief that not everything about our candidates needs support. Sometimes they say and do stuff that's stupid, or wrong. In the end it's perfectly acceptable to say you support a libertarian candidate for reasons over here, but you don't support them for these reasons over there. So instead of saying you whole-heartedly endorse a libertarian candidate, you can endorse him with caveats.

In the end for me as I suspect for you, the only person we can fully endorse is our own person, as everyone else falls somewhat short. But to win this political game we must enable those who are available who can be doing our work even if they are not 100%. If they say something not libertarian in the public domain, and this will forever be happening, the LP just disavows it and says the guy's on his own about that.

Keep up the work, and question the process. But don't throw away meaningful data. And please let your readers see the side of it from those in their seats in convention. Otherwise it makes your work more polemic than report.

Rand

Ari Armstrong

Rand, I publish the Colorado Freedom Report once a week (as you'd know if you'd bother to subscribe to the e-mail list), so I will collect the next batch of letters, including yours, for next week [see below for an expanation of the changed release date]. Unlike the current LPCO leadership, I want to make all the relevant information available.

Your claim that Brophy "doesn't do so well on [paper]" but "[i]n front of a group he does just fine" is extraordinary. You make it sound as if he merely lacked eloquence on paper. But, on paper, he said that, if elected to the state legislature, he will violate the rights of gun owners in numerous ways. If he says something different "in front of a group," then that merely makes him a liar.

You improperly conflate definite libertarian beliefs, arguable libertarian positions, and points of strategy. Libertarians do NOT support registering gun owners with the state. This is one of the defining libertarian positions. As I've said, some points are debatable, and both sides can properly be said to be libertarian so long as they are building their cases from libertarian principles. Strategy is much more debatable. However, here's one point of strategy you can take to the bank: running candidates who sign a survey promising to violate the rights of gun owners is a stupid, self-destructive move that will damage the party for years, if not decades, to come.

-Ari

Rand Fanshier

Well, obviously if you wait a week to post my letter then it will be too late, and not a single person who was not at the convention will have a balanced understanding why Mark Brophy got to be our party's nominee. They will all be outraged, as I would be if I only have your information to go on.

It's fine with me if you don't endorse Brophy, but obviously you were not at the convention to grill him yourself. As you know, he has a problem with exposing law enforcement to known felons with guns. You and I may take a different view; that the laws are wrong, and anyone who enforces them is complicit and should not be helping, and deserves no special protection. But the ladder of understanding is a thing made of molasses and it takes time for the general public to understand and grapple with this idea of freedom.

Hang in there.

Rand

Ari Armstrong

Rand, There's no reason to believe that waiting an extra week would make any difference, even if you offered new, relevant information. But, in fact, you haven't offered such information. All you've done is further embarrass yourself and the state party.

You suggest that, because Brophy claims to be motivated by a concern for police officers, that somehow explains his signed statements that he will vote to violate the rights of gun owners if elected to office. But, in fact, the anti-gun laws Brophy supports do nothing to protect police officers and merely put more innocent people at risk of criminal attack. Other people who are motivated by a concern for police officers want complete civilian disarmament. Others want the police to be able to search whomever they want, whenever they want, and for whatever they want. Others want mandatory, national identification cards. Should we run these sorts of people as Libertarian candidates, too? The whole point is that Brophy's positions are wrong, and they contradict libertarian principles.

However, even though I got only two hours of sleep last night because I was working on libertarian projects, I will put off my other projects, not to mention sleep, in order to put your letters on the web page right away. Your request is unreasonable, but I want to remove yet another lame excuse the board may use to ignore the substantive issues at hand.

-Ari

Milt Borchert

Ari,

"I told you so..." Many people, especially LP members, have angrily criticized my position that the LP should stick to being the "Party of Principle." They use the expression, "litmus test," as if that implied some great evil. Many have held the position that "We don't need no stinkin' principles." So, here we are: the [Colorado] LP has nominated a non-libertarian to represent it in the public forum. As I have maintained for some time now, we would be living in a freer society today if the LP had stuck to its guns instead of making sure they always had a candidate for dog-catcher. One truly does reap what one sows -- in this case, we've wasted a couple of decades and nearly destroyed a fine idea (using the political process to educate that minority of the public actually capable of thought and therefore able to influence the course of history). I fear that we have, by this grossly irresponsible behavior, allowed things to degenerate to the point where violent resistance to the growing evil that has seized control of the machinery of government is rapidly becoming our only option. Or, do the "violence never solved anything" crowd want us to meekly get aboard the cattle cars, saying, "It can't happen here."

I can only hope that it really is not too late; that something can be salvaged and that we will learn from this -- for the hour truly grows late and tyranny's shadow lengthens over the "Land of the Free." The "two Toms" (Jefferson and Paine) would curse us for what we've done with the legacy of liberty given us by their ideas and the inspired violence of the first American Revolution. When the Man knocks on your door (or, most likely, just kicks it in), you will indeed have only yourselves to blame...

In Liberty,
Milt Borchert

Ari Armstrong

This country has faced dark times before, and, while current trends are troubling, I continue to believe that enough trends are positive that we'll continue to be able to work within the political system to advance human liberty for a long time to come.

Anthony Bubb

Maybe I'm not a libertarian. I don't think you need to carry a firearm into the courts either. Too much going on there to explain breifly. In some states you can't take a firearm into a saloon or other drinking establishment. Without saying if that is right or wrong, I can see where that idea came from. If you can't drive drunk, who thinks you can shoot drunk? GRanted, not all people in a bar are drinking, but lets face it, if you're at the barbershop, odds are you are getting a haircut. If all people not convicted of a felony are free to carry concealed into court, what about the ones on trial for a felony who are still presumed innocent? It's a complex issue.

I'm afraid that makeing this more black and white than it is will nullify the reasonableness of the base arguements.

-Tony Bubb

Ari Armstrong

You didn't seem to read my reply. THE MATTER OF COURTS IS IRRELEVANT TO THE SURVEY! I didn't address the matter of courts, because it's not relevant. The issue is local ordinances! Brophy just brought up the issue of courts as a diversionary tactic. Maybe someday I'll describe my position on courts, but I have not yet done so, because it has NOTHING to do with Brophy's survey results. It's simply not what we're talking about. We're talking about Brophy's support of Brady checks, Amendment 22, local disarmamant ordinances, and the "assault weapons" ban.

Anthony Bubb

*I* was making a statement regarding the rigidity that you believe is required to be a Libertarian. That's what I was talking about, not Brophy at all. *You* were talking about specifics, yes... As for what 'we' were talking about, I am not exactly sure at present.

Political beliefs are generally an idealistic thing, almost as much and sometimes even more-so than religion. I hear so many Christians bickering about who is and who isn't a Christian, whereas I laugh at them and say "I thought it was anyone who believes in christ as god.

For my own part, I don't see particular individual beliefs as being core to Liberatarianism, other than the credo of individual liberty, personal responsibility. Though I am against the assault weapons ban, anti-conceiled or anti-open-carry laws, and most versions of the background checks. I only support a "5 minute" background check. I'd still prefer to see Brophy in the house seat than his counter parts.

-T.

Ari Armstrong

You're making a claim about my alleged "rigidity" based on the matter of guns in courts and police stations. But that's ridiculous, because I have never stated my views on guns in courts and police stations.

But, beyond that, you are suffering from a very serious philosophical error.

You write, "I don't see particular individual beliefs as being core to Liberatarianism, other than the credo of individual liberty, personal responsibility."

I suggest you also read my essay [about Peter Schwartz.]

By your standards, *any beliefs* whatsoever could be said to be libertarian, which is absurd. The Marxists, and leftists generally, argue that "individual liberty" entails "liberty from want," or the "liberty to have an equal share of the resources." Furthermore, they argue, it is your "personal responsibility" to see to it -- by paying taxes -- that people have food, clothing, housing, health care, etc. Similarly, all sorts of victim disarmament laws have been advanced with arguments about "personal responsibility."

Libertarianism is rooted in a specific set of philosophical beliefs which, when combined with specific economic and social theories, render a specific set of political beliefs. If libertarianism doesn't entail "specific beliefs," then what, precisely, in the hell is it? The only possible answer is, whatever you want it to be.

You claim that "[p]olitical beliefs are generally an idealistic thing." Here you commit the error of creating a false dichotomy between the moral and the practical, as Ayn Rand would put the matter. By your analogy to Christianity, you suggest that what is or is not a libertarian belief is as arbitrary as who is or is not to be considered a Christian. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Imagine going to a medical doctor with the sort of philosophy you describe. "Well, son, I think you have cancer, but science is generally an idealistic thing. I hear so many Christians bickering about who is and who isn't a Christian, and I hear so many others argue about what is and is not evidence of cancer. So here you go, take this pill. I don't know if it will work, but at least it's better than taking cyanide."

So, when you say, "I'd still prefer to see Brophy in the house seat than his counter parts," you're entirely missing the point. The purpose of the Libertarian Party is to promote libertarianism, not to just run any candidate who comes along who may, or may not, happen to be "better" than competing candidates -- based on arbitrary standards.

There are two strategic points here. First, if the point is just to run marginally better candidates, then forget the Libertarian Party and join the Rs or Ds. The Libertarian Party has a self-imposed responsibility to run libertarian candidates. (However, it's possible to run consistent, "rigid" libertarian candidates as Rs or Ds.) Second, gun owners are one of the largest groups of potential Libertarian supporters. But now, because the LPCO made a short-sighted nomination to fill a slot in a race that's impossible to win anyway, Colorado gun owners will never trust the Libertarian Party again. I guarantee that for at least the next decade, when Libertarians try to get gun owners to switch their vote from R to L, the response will be, "Why should I? Libertarians run candidates worse on the gun issue than any Republican I know."

If, then, by "rigid," you mean a rigid adherence to reality, then, yes, I'm rigid. If the theories of libertarianism are true, then the political policies libertarians advocate are the best possible policies, and any deviation from those policies is harmful to people and immoral. There is no split between the moral and the practical: if a policy is moral, it is therefore practical, and if a policy is practical, it is therefore moral. The difference is one of theoretical depth. If you take your own principles seriously, then you have integrity. If you don't, you don't. If you accept the excuse that we can do whatever we want, because the right ideas are only "ideal," then you open the door to any and all immoral behavior and false belief.

On the specific issue of Brady registration checks, it makes little difference whether you support a "5 minute" check or a two-day check. The end result is the same: the registration of gun owners with the state. This is a violation of privacy rights and the right of self-defense, it is useless in hindering crime, and it opens the door to the confiscation of guns. So, I say again, if you support Brady registration checks, then you are no libertarian, and you should not run for office as a Libertarian candidate.

-Ari

Anthony Bubb

Ari, I think you've gone off the deep end in this debate. That's my opinion and I'm entitled to it. You don't have to agree. Your positions are detailed and suported by the philosophies that you define. Philosophy is not distant concept to me. As a person with extensive study of human psychology and motivation, I think I have a good grasp on the philosophical as well.

I said that it was my opinion that you were being rigid about individual positions. I made the point that I have a position that may be considered by some to be "unlibertarian" as well, and pointed out that if you fine-tooth-comb the libertarians vs the rigid platform, that there are not really any libs around by definition. So what's the point of asking anyone to vote for one?

By my reconing, anyone who believes and adheres to the general libertarian principals and believes in a majority of the planks is a libertarian. This is fundimentally backed up by things like the Nolan Chart. To fall into the libertarian sector on the Nolan chart, you need not be at the furthest corner, only in the quadrant.

From my point of view, Religeon and Politics involve a moral sense of right and wrong based on ideals and the pragmatic view of likely outcome, which of course can also be individual.

Science involves the most commonly accepted theory, tested as much as possible. Although there can be individual interpretations of data, it ceases to be science as soon as the 'morality' aspect enters the scene (IE 'Christian Science').

Now, you claim that "By your standards, *any beliefs* whatsoever could be said to be libertarian, which is absurd."

You put that on me though, not I myself. What I said is that a libertarian might deviate from a single or several party planks without becomming unlibertarian. While you suggest that I change the common and accepted definition of a libertarian ideal, I have only stated that my definition of a libertarian does not mean that any single plank can disallow a person from being a libertarian. Again, if you think that my view is unacceptable, please toss out the Nolan chart and 99% of the people you call libertarian and start over.

As well, your statement about "best possible policies" is a loaded statement. Ari, you outright IGNORE here that some people will beleive that the real result (outcome) of an individual rule or action is different than others (this is what most of the libertarianisms I know of are based on -- that the ideals of governement can be nice, but just don't work) and therefore, what is 'best' depends upon what you believe the outcome will be. The Gov believes that banning guns will reduce crime, we beleive it will encourage it. Yes, I've read the books, and this is not the debate at hand anyway.

I am fine with a 5 minute check. I am totally NOT FINE with a database of owners, which need not be an integral part of a background check. So yes, the Brady Bill might be unlibertarian, but a background check may not be so if it is more or less instant. Forcing that into individual owners is also not OK and I'm not a big fan of the gun show definitions or requirements either.

So here is another question. If the lib ideals are moral and important, then would it be moral to assume a certerist position for the purpose of being elected and then vote your conscience later anyway?

I think that the RMGO should see that the libs took what they had this time and if not liking it, vote for someone else. Next time the libs have a candidate that is more "pro gun" then they can vote for that lib. Libs are people too.

I think you're a smart guy Ari, but in this general case, your view is, in my estimation, as damaging to the party as Brophy's position is. And we're getting both, not just one or the other.

Ari Armstrong

You think I've "gone off the deep end" -- well, if so, it is to rescue those who, without first acquiring an ability to swim, jumped in before me.

You allege that I am using a "fine-tooth-comb" -- when a Libertarian candidate signed his support to registering gun owners with the state! The appropriate tool to remove such garbage is not a "fine-tooth-comb," but rather a bulldozer.

Your claim that a libertarian can be defined as one who agrees with a majority of pre-established planks in a platform is untenable. Who establishes the planks? How many are there? What is their content? What's important is the philosophy and the structure of the argument. I've already argued that libertarians can reasonably disagree on some issues, so long as they make a good, libertarian case. But if you reject even one of the major, clear-cut libertarian positions, then you are not a libertarian. One of those positions is that gun owners should not be registered with the state. Brophy believes gun owners should be registered with the state, as his written, signed support of Brady registration checks demonstrates. Therefore, Brophy is not a libertarian.

Remember, what we're talking about is a candidate for legislative office, not some newbie member off the street. I've already said candidates must be held to higher standards. All the Nolan chart does is give some sort of vague indication of a person's views. There's plenty of room, as I have often argued, for forming alliances and coalitions with people who agree with us only on some matters. For instance, I have worked with Democrats, Greens, Republicans, and progressives on specific pieces of legislation. But I don't recognize these people as libertarians, and certainly I don't want them running as Libertarian candidates.

Again, you commit a grave philosophical error when you claim something "ceases to be science as soon as the 'morality' aspect enters the scene." This is a recipe for moral subjectivism, which makes libertarianism, at best, an arbitrarily held whim. I again agree with Rand that values are objectively verifiable and part of the natural (specifically human) world.

You claim that, with my comments about "best possible policies," I ignore the fact that people disagree about which policies are the best. I don't ignore this: it's a central part of my case. Libertarians believe libertarian policies are the best policies. People who don't believe libertarian policies are the best ones aren't libertarians. People who aren't libertarians should not run as Libertarian candidates.

You ask, "would it be moral to assume a centrist position for the purpose of being elected and then vote your conscience later anyway?" No, it would not be moral. It would be dishonest and it would fail the test of integrity. It would also be strategically stupid. If you sell out during the election, either you will also sell out once elected, or you will face such opposition that you won't be able to accomplish anything. What's important is whether you state your positions eloquently or ineptly. In other words, there's nothing about smart campaigning that's incompatible with principled campaigning.

Finally, about those alleged "five-minute checks." I was assuming that you meant the checks would take place within today's Brady system, which indeed automatically entails registering gun owners with the federal government. No, there's no permanent, central database (at least there's not supposed to be), but the Brady records are kept on file and may be viewed by the authorities at any time. What you seem to have in mind is a totally different sort of system in which no records are kept.

But how would such a system operate? The only way I've thought of is that the government would have to maintain a database on every citizen in the country, and mark whether there's a criminal record. Then, a gun seller would check the buyer's identification (without taking any notes), then run through the alphabetized database (without entering any notes).

What's wrong with such a system? First, it wouldn't reduce crime. Criminals buy their guns on the black market. Criminals also buy and sell fake identification documents. Second, how would you enforce such a system? If no records are kept, how will you know whether the law has been broken? Third, such a system would require a national government database of every person in the country, one that's available through public lines (at least to gun sellers). Think of all the problems this would entail: the possibility of incorrect records, the problem of hackers, and simply the global problem of the invasion of everyone's privacy. So, if you support a national database and identification system, then you can support your "five-minute checks." I suspect that, once you think through the implications of your position, you will realize that it is anti-libertarian and unworkable.

Here's what I expect at this point. Either you will come back with a powerful argument as to why my analysis of the "five-minute check" is wrong, or you will accept my conclusions and reject your original idea. That's the way rational debate works. (No, I still won't support you as a Libertarian candidate if you continue to promote the "five-minute check.")

Brophy has failed to engage in rational debate. On March 25, Brophy signed his RMGO survey indicating he supports several anti-gun measures, including Brady checks at gun shows. Strike one. On April 18, Brophy again endorsed the Brady registration check system, this time with waiting periods. Strike two. On May 11, Brophy again endorsed the Brady registration check system, again with waiting periods. At no point has he offered a substantive justification for his position (much less a libertarian one). Strike Three. So we'll move beyond the baseball metaphor. On May 26, Brophy again explained his views, in writing, without even addressing the matter of Brady registration checks (or the other troublesome items on the survey). Strike four. So Brophy has, on three occasions, in writing, endorsed registering gun owners with the federal government. On two occasions he has, in writing, endorsed waiting periods for gun purchases. Brophy is not a libertarian, and he should not be a Libertarian candidate.

Needless to say, I don't think you've sustained a case that my views are "damaging." I have sustained a strong case that the positions Brophy endorses are damaging, as is his candidacy to the Libertarian Party of Colorado.

Clark R. Marley

Dear Mr. Armstrong,

As an ethically-active Libertarian, I am both saddened and enlightened by reading of the Brophy Debacle at the State Convention. But hardly surprised.

After reading all of the commentary, all I can say is "I told you so" regarding the downward slide of the State LP. All the signs have been pointing in this direction for at least decade. My first clue came, after accepting the office of Jeffo LP Chairman shortly after my return to Colorado, after 6 years of successful activism in Southern California (Region 65 Chair, and anti-helmet law gadfly for the Cal-LP). Getting folks to show up to monthly Party meetings worked for a little while, but trying to get support from members at public meetings for great candidates like Earl Allen was like pulling teeth. And all I asked of them was to show up, and applaud Earl's comments. I got some personal recognition and respect from then-Congressman David Scaggs, including three invitations to his office in Westminster. Seems strange to me, that I got more out of my respectfully-worded criticism of a liberal Democrat, than from those whom I was supposed to be representing.

I resigned the post after about a year, because I was a failure. A leader who can't inspire activists to stop discussing, and start to "walk like you talk" simply can't do the job. Sandra Johnson was there at the time, and may remember it... Shortly thereafter, the Libertarian Party of Jefferson County became the Libertarian Community of Jefferson County. I got out just in time.

Another glaring failure was managing only a one-third vote for our LP Candidate, in a two-way race against Tracy Baker in Arapahoe County. Such a shame that the powers that be couldn't have pulled together enough to save the citizens of Arapahoe County all that misery and money, by ballot box victory instead of a recall. Seems pretty lame to me, and it must make Libertarians look like real morons to the professionals with Rs and Ds.

I've been urged to run for public office many times, but I never will. Why not? Because I can't stand the hypocrisy of the Democrats and Republicans. And if running as a Libertarian, where my principles stand, I'll get no more support than a pat on the back and a "Go get 'em!" from any LP organization. I have time to spend on worthwhile causes - win or lose, but no time to waste on issues of  ethical concern, while LP 'activists' sit on the sidelines -- saying "Watch him go!"

Having been a successful activist for the LP in the past, makes it a lot easier for me to rest on my laurels now. Even after a decade, my name will be recognized by some good folks with the Cal-LP, FIJA, ABATE, MMA, and American Motorcyclist Association in Washington, DC. I'm proud of that, and don't wish to be remembered as a failure within the Colorado LP again. Until things change for the better, I'll continue to choose my fights carefully... and as always, go for the knockout punch... as an unofficial Libertarian.

Mr. Armstrong, you have my respect as an unflinching Libertarian activist, and as a gentleman. And just in case nobody else has told you lately, thanks for the e-mails and the forum at FreeColorado. You are doing a fine job, and I pray that God gives you the stamina to keep going at it for a long while yet.

Best regards,
Clark R. Marley

Russ Shaw

[Editorial note: This letter doesn't fit with the matter of Brophy's nomination, but I'm including it here anyway as a general letter to the editor.]

In his seminal Meditation on Humting, the great Spanish Philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset wrote "the eagle does not hunt flies," indicating the spirit of the human beings who do not want to be a part of the "masses" but extraordinary human beings.

Thus what we hear referred to as "democrats" are mostly people who believe that government should take care of them...

While Republicans, who know how to play the economics game, don't want anyone to interfere with their "free enterprise"....

And the Libertarians, of which I declare myself one, believe that it is the individual human beings who move the world, not the "masses" or the "predators" who want to live off of the lives of others.

Any self-respecting Libertarian has to read the entire works of Ortega y Gasset, who was one of the founders of the Spanish Republic and who wrote The Revolt of The Masses, predicting the worst possiblility of democracy in our time, the idea that whatever is popular is also good.

So it goes...

Russ Shaw

The Colorado Freedom Report--www.FreeColorado.com