Travis Hallman 12/22/17
Many of our most vocal activists within the Libertarian Party are current and former members of the military. Veterans and active duty service members were one of our largest groups of voters in the 2016 election. The official Libertarian Platform states:
Libertarian Platform 3.3: International Affairs
“American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world. Our foreign policy should emphasize defense against attack from abroad and enhance the likelihood of peace by avoiding foreign entanglements. We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid. We recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny and defend themselves and their rights. We condemn the use of force, and especially the use of terrorism, against the innocent, regardless of whether such acts are committed by governments or by political or revolutionary groups.”
Please click this link if you’re interested in understanding the reasoning behind our support of a non-interventionist foreign policy.
Libertarians with experience in the Armed Services
“Ron Paul is America’s leading voice for liberty, prosperity and peace. As a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and three-time presidential candidate, Ron Paul tirelessly works for limited, constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, and a return to sound monetary policies. Ron Paul never voted for legislation unless the proposed measure was expressly authorized by the Constitution.”
“Leading libertarian politician Ron Paul started out in medicine. After graduating from Duke University’s medical school in 1961, Ron Paul soon went on to become a military doctor. He served with the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. National Guard during the 1960s. Paul branched out into politics in the 1970s.”
“I never thought I was a libertarian until I picked up Reason magazine and realized I agree with everything they had printed..”
–Drew Carey in Time (August 9, 2007)
“Drew Carey served 6 years in the United States Marine Corps Reserve. When Time Magazine asked him what events in life made him who he is, Carey replied “the Marine Corps. It instilled a great sense of discipline that I can call on when I need to.” Obviously he enjoyed being a jarhead because he has kept his Marine crew cut through most of his stage and TV career.”
“[Adam Kokesh is] running for not-president in 2020 to dissolve the entire federal government.”
“[Adam Kokesh was] an Iraq war veteran [that was] kicked out of the Marines days early with a general discharge after he wore his uniform during an anti-war demonstration.”
“Jesse Ventura is a Progressive Libertarian.”
“Ventura enlisted into the United States Navy and joined the Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) after graduating from Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) school. Ventura frequently references his military service in public, and a lawyer from San Diego criticized him for faking his claims of being a SEAL. Although Ventura never completed the extra 26 weeks of training to become a SEAL, the UDTs were broken apart and combined with the SEAL teams after Vietnam. Ventura claims that UDTs simply refer to themselves as SEALs due to the restructuring. Despite his membership with Underwater Demolition Team 12, Ventura never saw combat during Vietnam although he did receive the Vietnam Service Medal.”
“Harry Browne was an American free-market Libertarian writer and the Libertarian Party’s 1996 & 2000 candidate for President of the United States.”
“He was inducted into the U.S. Army on May 5, 1953. He went to the Southwestern Signal Corps Training Center at Camp San Luis Obispo, California to study cryptography. On October 4, 1953, he was sent to Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, where the 1954 Operation Castle hydrogen bomb tests were conducted.
In 1955 Browne was sent to Eniwetok to finish his tour of duty and afterwards was transferred to the Army Reserves at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. He was released from active military service on July 17, 1956. He was honorably discharged from the Armed Forces on February 28, 1961 and discharged from the Army Reserves on July 1, 1961.”
Carl E. Person
“He [Carl E. Person] was a candidate for the 2012 presidential nomination of the Libertarian Party, was the Reform Party nominee for Mayor of New York City in 2013, was the Libertarian nominee for New York State Attorney General in 2010 and was the Libertarian nominee for New York State Attorney General again in 2014.
Person was born in Manhattan and has lived in New York State most of his life with the exception of 2 years when his family lived in Nebraska and his 3 years of service in the U.S. Army. Person dropped out of Northport (New York) High School after his sophomore year, and joined the U.S. Army for a 3-year enlistment. His service included two years on Okinawa as a ship to shore high speed radio operator, to send and receive Morse code. Despite his lack of a high school diploma, Person is a graduate of Long Island University and Harvard Law School.”
James P. Gray
“James Polin ‘Jim’ Gray (born February 14, 1945) is an American jurist and writer. He was the presiding judge of the Superior Court of Orange County, California. Gray was the 2012 Libertarian Party vice presidential nominee, as well as the party’s 2004 candidate for the United States Senate in California. He is the author of multiple books and a play, and is critical of current American drug laws.
Gray has been a member of the California Judicial Council, as well as the California Judicial Council’s Advisory Committee on Juvenile Law, the Alcohol Advisory Board to the Orange County Board of Supervisors, the Advisory Board of the California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs, and the Orange County Law Library. He has also been a member of the Board of Councilors of the USC Law School. Gray also introduced Orange County to the Peer Court system, where juvenile defendants travel to a school outside their district to have their actual cases tried by other teenagers. In 2012, Gray was nominated by Libertarian Party convention delegates as the running mate of former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson.”
“US Army Vietnam Veteran
29+ Years Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
2 Years Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, DC
A total of 34 years 10 months Federal Service”
R. Lee Wrights
“Roger Lee Wrights (June 8, 1958—May 4, 2017) was the Vice Chair of the National Libertarian Party from 2012 to 2014. He was also a frontrunning contender for the nomination for US President for the 2012 election season.”
“Wrights was born on June 8, 1958 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He graduated from West Forsyth High School in Clemmons, North Carolina in 1976. Afterwards he enlisted in the United States Air Force, and served as a medical services technician at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Goldsboro, North Carolina. He was honorably discharged in 1981 with the rank of sergeant.”
“Mike Gravel was born on May 13, 1930, in Springfield, Massachusetts. He graduated from Columbia University and was elected to the Alaska House of Representatives in 1963. In 1968, he was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he became known for his attempts to end the draft during the Vietnam War and for releasing the Pentagon Papers. Gravel ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008. In March of that year, he left the Democrats and switched to the Libertarian Party. With little success in the elections, Gravel ultimately left elected office but remained politically active and championing his ideas through the years.”
“In 1951, Mike Gravel enlisted in the United States Army (1951–54) serving as Adjutant in the Communications Intelligence Service in Germany and as a Special Agent in the Counter Intelligence Corps in France.”
“Larry Sharpe (born July 12, 1968) is an American business consultant and political activist. He was a Libertarian candidate for Vice President in 2016. On July 12, 2017, he made the official announcement that he will be running for Governor of New York in 2018.”
“As a Marine Corps veteran and father, Larry values duty, service, honesty, and loyalty. His experience imparted crucial skills like flexibility, resilience, discipline, and focus. With nearly seven years of active duty and an honorable discharge, teamwork and strategic thinking are at Larry’s core. He is attuned to the needs of veterans, as well as to the value of human life and liberty.”
Kevin Enilc is an author for Liberty Viral that wrote 6 Reasons Why It Blows To Be A Libertarian In The Military along with many other articles related to foreign policy.
Kristopher Morgan is an author and publisher for the Ask A Libertarian Facebook page. Kristopher was a sergeant in the Army.
“The enforcement arm of the government gets thanked while the other branches get blamed, even though the executive is in charge of administering what the legislative decides. We complain about bad laws and then go around thanking policeman… or we strongly disagree with our foreign policy and then get yellow ribbons that say ‘support our troops’ and buy vets beers and all this other nonsense… I’m sorry, I’m a veteran myself, and I’m not gonna go around thanking people for being part of the military and fighting political battles for the military-industrial complex…”
Andrew Deemer an author for the Ask A Libertarian Facebook page. Andrew Deemer served six years and was deployed to Iraq twice as an Army mechanic specialist.
“War is damaging in so many ways, the people being invaded more so. Men in uniforms breaking down doors, shouting, yelling in the middle of the night waking them up. The father doing what a father does, protecting his family. They shoot him in front of the rest of the family and then just leave. Leaving this family broken, and making new enemies. Now that soldier that pulled the trigger because he was acting on instinct will have to live with that the rest of his life. We do not want to kill anyone. We do not want PTSD. We don’t want to be messed up.
Why do I support non intervention? How many more fathers, mothers, daughters, and sons have to suffer? How many other countries have to stay behind because we won’t let them advance, knowing dang well it is our interventions that make them hate us?
I support non-intervention because every 65 minutes another veteran dies by his/her own hand. Because I want to stop 22 veterans a day from killing themselves. #nomore22 #nomoreintervention”
Trent Somes III
Trent Somes, III (Theodore Arthur Somes, III, born 24 April 1998) is a current USMC reservist. He is one of the youngest Libertarian Party leaders in the US. Somes started Westmoreland County Libertarians in 2015 under the direction of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania at age 17, and the Libertarian Youth Caucus.
At the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania convention in 2016, Somes, along with other youth, founded the Libertarian Youth Caucus, which quickly rose to be a well – known organization.
“I believe in a foreign policy that emphasizes nonintervention and global cooperation. I believe open borders and free trade are essential to having a world of liberal democracy.” -Trent Somes III
Admiral Michael C. Colley
“He [Michael C. Colley] graduated with distinction from the United States Naval Academy. He had sea duty assignments on several nuclear-powered submarines and was Commanding Officer of the attack submarine Narwhal. Other operational assignments included command of the submarine tender Proteusin Guam and the Navy’s largest submarine squadron in Groton, Connecticut. During the Gulf War, he was commander of the Pacific Fleet submarine force of over 40 boats from his headquarters at Pearl Harbor. Later onshore he was Commander for Navy Recruiting. He was also Director, Division of Mathematics and Science (including the departments of math, physics, chemistry, oceanography and computer science) at the Naval Academy for three academic years.
Colley has been active in the National Security Policy and Analysis fields.”
“Colley became involved in the Libertarian Party after more than 30 years of service in the U.S. Navy. A year after he joined the Alabama Libertarian Party in 2003, he started serving the first of his three terms as at-large representative on the Libertarian National Committee.”
“A 2014 Military Times survey showed that the number of troops who identified themselves as Republican was dropping, while those identifying themselves as libertarian or independent was rising.”
Dismissing libertarian foreign policy by assuming libertarians haven’t served in war is inaccurate because many libertarians have served in the United States armed forces. It is a flawed paradigm because one does not have to experience war to understand it, just as one does not have to have experience designing doorknobs to know how one should be used.
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The author’s views and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the entire Ask A Libertarian Team or its followers.