Bill of Rights Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 382, August 27, 2006

"Government is not the way to get things done."


Go To Your Room, Take a Pill
by L. Neil Smith

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

How interesting! It would appear somehow that a Libertarian Party candidate should be above criticism, at least that's what some people think.

No, make that one people, somebody who calls himself Kevin Tunstall, Vice Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Texas, and connected, in some unspecified way, with a Bob Smither, running for Congress in District 22, which happens to be Tom Delay's stomping grounds. The only other candidate on the ballot is a Democrat by the name of Lampson, who is whispered to be highy concerned over Smither's candidacy.

Now all of this would be great news, if it weren't for the fact that Smither is taking some positions that aren't libertarian at all, desperately avoiding mention of the illegal war that's going on in the Middle East—as well as back home—and advocating a national sales tax.

Okay, I pretend to hear you saying, so what? Haven't there always been half-hearted, cowardly Nerf libertarians, afraid to stand up in public for what decency and honesty demand? You're right, of course—or at least I'm pretending that you are—and the situation was bound to get worse, much worse, following the recent "Portland Purge", which has extinguished the light of Principle in the LP and encouraged the movement's cockroaches to crawl out from behind their baseboards and prance around misrepresenting everything that real libertarians stand for.

Disgusting, but nothing new.

Nothing new, but disgusting.

What makes this story different is that, when Joseph Knight, a former chairman of the New Mexico Libertarian Party, decided—quite correctly—to take Smither publicly to task over his flagrantly unlibertarian positions, instead of being heaped with praise, as he ought to have been, Joseph instead recieved threatening e-mail from Tunstall, who has apparently appointed himself Enforcer of the Party Line.

"Beware Mr. Knight ... I take names and will remember yours ... If you continue your attempts to disparage our candidate, you will regret your activities."

You can read more in our letters column for yourself. Joseph and I have had our differences in the past—mostly on electoral technique. As I told him in a reply to his original message, I also oppose his corporate tax proposal on the same grounds that I oppose a national sales tax. It's time for a completely new model, and only libertarians are in a position to provide it. All taxation is wrong, and that's a fact that libertarians interested in politics will have to deal with properly.

Personally, I don't care if it means that there can't be any government at all. And if someone else thinks that there ought to be a government, then he'd better make sure not to get it all over anybody else.

Especially me.

Joseph replied to me, quite amiably, "I don't disagree—when you talk about tax 'reform' you are talking the lesser of evils by definition. I prefer shoplifting to armed robbery but it's all theft. As I said, it's no substitute for reducing scope and expense of government.

Aside from all that, I'm with him on this one, and will go a step further.

Tunstall needs to go to his room, take a pill, and lie down for a while until he's figured out that this is a political movement in which individuals are free to disagree with one another in public or otherwise. If libertarians fail to practice what they advocate, it's all for nothing. Unless he immediately admits his error, retracts his threats, and apologizes to Mr. Knight, The Libertarian Enterprise will demand that he resign his position and leave the party. He has just one week, until the publication of our next issue, September 3, 2006.

Similarly, if Smither continues to call for a national sales tax, and fails to take a principled position on George Bush's war, The Libertarian Enterprise will write about him specifically and copy every media address we can in the 22nd District, denouncing him as a fraud.

Exactly as we said we could in "A Portland Proimise".

One week.

The clock is ticking.

By the way, thanks, Mike Blessing for your help preparing this article.

Four-time Prometheus Award-winner L. Neil Smith has been called one of the world's foremost authorities on the ethics of self-defense. He is the author of 25 books, including The American Zone, Forge of the Elders, Pallas, The Probability Broach, Hope (with Aaron Zelman), and his collected articles and speeches, Lever Action, all of which may be purchased through his website "The Webley Page" at

Ceres, an exciting sequel to Neil's 1993 Ngu family novel Pallas was recently completed and is presently looking for a literary home.

A decensored, e-published version of Neil's 1984 novel, TOM PAINE MARU is available at: Neil is presently working on Ares, the middle volume of the epic Ngu Family Cycle, and on Roswell, Texas, with Rex F. "Baloo" May.

The stunning 185-page full-color graphic-novelized version of The Probability Broach, which features the art of Scott Bieser and was published by BigHead Press has recently won a Special Prometheus Award. It may be had through the publisher, at, or at

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