How The Libertarian Party Saved My Life

Today I had the pleasure of addressing the Libertarian Party convention for Suffolk & Nassau counties. See the video below, and I have pasted the text of my prepared speech below it.

The libertarian party of Suffolk and Nassau counties… Would ya look at this…

I hate to start off by insulting you, but you’re not much to look at. I mean how many people do we have here? 1,2,3, not many. And you’re a political party. You know the whole point of elections is to have more people on your side than the other guy, right? This doesn’t seem to be working out particularly well.

I’ll get positive in a little while, I promise, but I really want this to sink in for a minute. With the possible exception of some of your cross endorsed candidates, which, in and of itself is an abomination, the people in this room are going to come about as close to winning an election, as I’m going to get to Angelina Jolie’s panties.

Now, some of you take that as an insult, and I can understand why, but these Republican gentlemen who actually have their hearts set on gaining political power, they know that what I’m about to say is true.

When you seek political power, you cannot be entirely forthcoming. You have to speak in vague terms, you have to appeal to the desires and prejudices of people who are not very smart or well informed. You have to make alliances with unscrupulous people. You have to do a lot of really terrible things, that a libertarian should not feel comfortable doing.

So when I tell you that you cannot and will not win elections, I’m not insulting you, because I don’t think that you should be trying to. I’m actually paying you a very high compliment, because I think that you are very decent people, I think you are moral actors, and I don’t believe you should allow yourselves to be corrupted by the political process. Your failure to succeed in State politics is evidence that you have not allowed yourselves to be so corrupted, and for this, and other things, I applaud you. You’re good people, and with very few exceptions, you haven’t compromised your principles for power or money or popularity, and I know that the temptation to do that can be really strong.

You are fighting for freedom, and not bumper sticker, catch phrase, political campaign slogan freedom. Not George Orwell, Aldus Huxley, 1984, Brave New World freedom, but real freedom. The right to be left alone. I think it really says something terrible about the human race, that this concept is so unpopular. I think it’s a really sick society that we live in, that people call us crazy just because we don’t want to assist in the murder of innocent human beings half way around the world, or threaten our fellow Americans with imprisonment and death if they don’t pay for our medical care. I think that’s absolutely terrible, that is a profoundly sick society. We’re all very uncomfortable with that, and we should be. But of course, people think we’re crazy just because we don’t get on board with all of this. To them, and to you, I say that it is no measure of mental health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

If you pick up your newspaper or turn on your television and what you see makes you sick, you’re the healthy one. It should repulse you, when the better part of 315 million Americans jump for joy as politicians threaten violence against their fellow man. That’s wrong, that’s immoral, and in more cases than not, it completely goes against the principles on which this country was purported to be founded upon.

So understand, that you’re not crazy, they are, and that’s why you’re not going to win any elections. If you’re sane and honest, then insane dishonest people are not going to vote for you, and that’s fine because that’s not the purpose of this organization.

When you get home, search Google for David Nolan’s case for a libertarian political party. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, David Nolan started the Libertarian Party in 1971. David is dead now, and if you’re somebody who thinks good people get rewarded when they die, rest assured that David has all the best coming to him.

The paper I told you to search for is not terribly long. David talked about a number of reasons to start the Libertarian Party, reasons like educating people, spreading the message, serving as sort of a libertarian census, getting an idea as to how many libertarians there were in the world by counting the number of people voting for candidates. Winning elections was practically a footnote. Literally, it was the last thing he mentioned, he said quote “An finally, there is always the possibility that we might actually get some libertarians elected.”

If libertarianism is the cure for erectile dysfunction, then winning elections is “Contact your doctor if you have an erection lasting more than 4 hours”. Winning elections, was a possible side effect of the Libertarian Party, it’s fine print, it’s the terms and conditions of a radio contest. It’s an afterthought, and I really think it’s important for you to understand that, because if you don’t, then this all becomes very frustrating, and the feelings of hopelessness can really weigh on you.

David started the libertarian party in 1971, the exploits of the State since then are too numerous and abhorrent for me to list here in the time I have available to speak. I joined in 2009, and some highlights of the last 5 years include hundreds of thousands of murders, Obamacare, the SAFE Act, indefinite detention without trial, PRISM, tens of millions of kidnappings, even this list gets far longer than I could possibly elaborate on in the time available.

If you measure your success by how many libertarian candidates you get elected, how many laws you get repealed, or really anything pertaining to the State, then you are going to find yourselves feeling like complete failures, you will toil and struggle for your entire lives wondering why your strategy isn’t working, and you will die feeling like you have accomplished nothing.

I would hate for that to happen to any of you, because as I said earlier, you’re good people. You’re doing very important work. You’re fighting for a noble cause. You don’t deserve to feel like failures because that’s not what you are.

And I want to tell you about one of your many successes.

In the year 2,000, I went to a party, and I got very drunk. The party was over, I got in my car and I left. I realized I was too drunk to drive, so I parked my car, and went to sleep. When I woke up, I was in jail. I had been arrested for drunk driving, and I thought that was really messed up because in all reality I probably could have driven home without being arrested or hurting anybody, but I decided to do the right thing and sleep it off, and for this I was thrown into a cage with some very dangerous people.

Nine years and two days later, I’m out on a date with a young lady, I’m being very careful about my alcohol consumption because I don’t want to be a sloppy drunken mess with this girl I’m trying to seduce. I get pulled over for speeding in East Hampton, a machine says I am .01 over the legal blood alcohol limit, and even though I passed all the field sobriety tests, I get charged with drunk driving again, and since I had been arrested for sleeping in my car 9 years ago, it’s a felony.

I was facing four and a half years in a State prison, and I had done nothing to harm anyone.

Before any trial, my vehicle was seized, my drivers license was suspended, I had to pay thousands of dollars in bail and attorney fees, I lost my job, I lost my apartment, my life, as I had known it, was destroyed, and that was after I spent the last 9 years picking up the pieces from the last time the system had ruined me.

Anybody want to take a guess as to how much that did to help with my drinking problem?

So in between blackouts, I began to study for my defense in that case. For the first time, I studied government objectively, and in the course of that study, I began to realize what most of us in this room now know or are starting to figure out, that government is a violent, evil monster, portraying itself as a peacemaker and savior. That far from being that which brings order to society, it is responsible for more carnage and misery than any other institution in the history of mankind.

And that’s kinda saying something, because mankind is capable of some really evil shit, but if you look at it, government is responsible for more deaths than all the private sector serial killers, and mass murderers combined. Governments have murdered over 260 million of their own citizens in the last century, not including war. We’re just talking democide at this point, and most of those governments were democratically elected.

Now, for me, as all this information came rushing in, my mind went to very dark places. I decided that I had to stop this institution from doing this to people. But of course, I was just one alcoholic, on the verge of homelessness, facing trial for a felony. I was hardly capable of starting a revolution.

I had decided that I was going to be one of those guys, like Jerad Miller. I was just going to go out blasting and take as many of them with me as I could. But on some level I kind of knew that even this wouldn’t start the revolution. I was ready to die, I still am today, but I wanted it to be sort of meaningful, right?

So I began looking for groups to get involved with, in the hopes that my death would not be completely pointless. It was right around this time that the Tea Party was getting started, and the first libertarian event I ever attended was a Tea Party in Huntington organized by Gigi Bowman. We really hit it off, and from there I got involved in the Libertarian Party. Later, Gigi had encouraged me to run for office, and I did that, I ran for Congress as a libertarian in New York’s first district.

Now, if we measured the success of that campaign by how many votes I got, we’d be in pretty sad shape, because I didn’t even make the ballot. If we measured its success by how many laws I repealed, no luck there.

But I did talk to thousands of people about liberty. I told thousands of people that government could not solve their problems. Those people would never have listened to a word I had to say, if I wasn’t running for office. It’s a psychological thing, when you run for office, people see you as an authority figure, as somebody wiser than them, and they listen to what you have to say. It’s an opportunity to reach people, that you would not get in any other way. So by that measure, my campaign was very successful.

But more importantly than even that, what I never told any of you then, what I’m really just admitting out loud for the first time today, is that while all of this was going on, I was thinking about the news coverage of my death. I had not dropped the idea of dying for freedom. I was actively pursuing it, and in large part I still am.

But what happened in the course of all of this, was that I kept seeing opportunities to make that death more meaningful. I studied politics, and history, and economics, and philosophy and found that I was very good at articulating all of these ideas, and communicating them to audiences. I became very effective, at spreading this message, and while I had come to you looking for something to die for, what I had found was something to live for.

And I, ah, I can’t thank you enough for it.

Today I have one of the most popular libertarian blogs on planet Earth. I have reached literally millions of people with a consistent message of non-aggression. It is rapidly approaching a point where I won’t have to work a regular job anymore, and I will be a full time professional libertarian propagandist.

What a terrible waste it would have been if I had opened fire on some cops in 2009, and gotten myself killed. You folks prevented that, you saved my god damn life, and in return I have become one of the most effective communicators of our ideas, that has ever existed. And I’m going to keep on doing it.

Pretty soon I will be leaving this state. I am going to New Hampshire, and I would encourage all of you to join me. New York is a hopeless cesspool of government violence and corruption. You will not fix this place. But if you choose to stay here and fight, don’t worry about winning elections or repealing laws, because you won’t succeed. What you can do, is find the next Christopher Cantwell, before he becomes the next Jerad Miller, and if you ask me, that’s a lot more important than political power.

Thank you for having me, and thank you for saving my life.

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Chris

Christopher Cantwell comedian, writer, voice artist, and Patriot.

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