To the Editor:
I would like to respond to the article in the Oct. 30 issue of The Smoky Mountain News discussing the “internal debate” which “divides Haywood GOP.”
In this article, some members of the Republican party of Haywood County were told that they were better suited for the Libertarian party because the Libertarian party is for “conservative purists” who are “so far right they’ve fallen off.”
Let me point out that this is a misguided notion. Libertarians are not far right conservatives. In fact, to be Libertarian is to be neither left nor right.
Rather, Libertarians consider themselves fiscally responsible and socially liberal and advocate both a smaller government and less restriction on individual rights. I can understand how someone unfamiliar with the philosophy could find themselves confused and misuse the terminology, as Libertarian philosophy defies the simple left-right paradigm that American culture has been saddled with over the last century, and which is advocated throughout the mainstream. Put simply, Libertarians advocate the freedom and responsibility given to the people in the Constitution: we all have unalienable rights that exist without restriction, until their use violates the rights of another. Not only does this mean freedom from burdensome taxation, but also less restriction on the individual and therefore less government.
As you can see, our philosophy is not that of a “far right” Republican, but something different altogether.
That being said, I would also like to reach out to the “conspiracy group” mentioned in the piece who are being accused of dividing the Republican party, and whose contribution to the party appears to be unappreciated. Those conspirators would be more than welcome to join me and my fellow Libertarians at our meetings, at 7 p.m. every second and fourth Tuesdays, at the future site of the Cross Country School of Real Estate, 176 Waynesville Plaza. Our meetings are open to all political persuasions, and we do not expect everyone who attends to be a registered Libertarian.
The Libertarian Party of Haywood County is interested in hearing what local citizens have to say, and are open to all opinions and perspectives. We only require that participants respect one another and listen to all opinions without censure. We would never limit your freedom of speech, and we encourage the “robust dialogue” that Tracy Coward advocated for the GOP.
I would also like to respond to the fact that in the article Mitchell Powell is quoted claiming that renegade Republicans are part of the GOP because they find it “impossible” to run as Libertarians. This again is a flippant use of terminology and is incorrect. Not only is it possible to run for office in North Carolina as a Libertarian, the Libertarian party of Haywood County is planning to run a candidate for Haywood County commissioner in 2014. I invite any rebellious Republican who is interested in leaving an unappreciative GOP with all its name-calling and petty brawling to join us in this endeavor. Our party could use your enthusiasm to shake up Haywood County government and break the cycle of politics as usual with all its bickering and squabbling.
We are seeking to move our county forward, and there are many in Haywood County who see through the two-party paradigm to what the founding fathers intended for us. For example, Lynda Bennet from Maggie Valley wrote an opinion piece in the Nov. 27 issue of The Smoky Mountain News where she pointed out that: “Freedom is not free; it must be fought for everyday. Limiting government insures freedom. I will even protect your freedom to disagree with me.”
This is a Libertarian perspective, and I appreciate her taking the time to demonstrate that not everyone has been taken in by the present government’s need to parent us — to control our speech, to protect us from ourselves, to tell us how to think.
Surely, the infighting between the Republicans is only part of that party’s problem in winning over this largely Democratic controlled county. Not only are they so frivolous as to fail to recognize the value of the supporters within their own party, in whatever guise they may appear, they have also shown blatant disregard for real Libertarians and their values. The people of Haywood County expect more maturity from their elected officials, and deserve better.