My weekend was spent as a delegate to the 2012 Texas State Libertarian Convention as well as acting as a host to the gentleman who would be, if voters were bright and attentive and the media were truly not biased, the next president of our nation.
The Convention had its contentious moments. Hell, we are Libertarians. It also offered hope for unity and renewed energy going forward, so I will avoid an unnecessary autopsy of said conflicts and simply report that our party is strong and poised to be a factor in many state and local contests this election cycle.
Beyond the politics, and the pistol-sucking minutia (hat-tip to friend William Sparkman) of rules and platform debates, I would instead point to what for me were the three highlights of the weekend:
- The luncheon speaker on Saturday was Tom Woods, who offered a talk in two parts; 1) What Libertarians should be saying to non-libertarians to win them over, and 2) What Libertarians should be saying to each other. Dr. Woods is the author of many books on history and economics, and a powerful and persuasive speaker who offered up more gems of wisdom per minute than anyone whose name is not Christopher Hitchens I have ever heard. Google him and try to read a few of his books. It will be time well-spent.
- Perhaps an unanticipated highlight was my favorite moment of the weekend. As mentioned above, I served as host to Governor Gary Johnson, former two-term governor of NM, the Libertarian candidate for president in 2012. On Saturday morning we learned Andre Marrou, who was the 1992 LP candidate for the same position, would welcome the opportunity to meet with Governor Johnson. The arrangements were made and on Sunday morning I had both the honor and pleasure to participate in a breakfast meeting of the two. That was not my favorite moment, however. Mr. Marrou had not attended a Libertarian event since the year he ran for president, but was persuaded to stay for our Sunday luncheon where the governor was to be the keynote speaker. Most in attendance had no idea what had happened to Mr. Marrou in the years following 1992, nor even where he lived, so the announcement that he was our special guest brought a standing ovation from the audience and a warm smile to Andre’s face. I cannot say for sure, but I would not be surprised to see Mr. Marrou appear at a few more LP functions going forward, and that can only be a very good thing for all concerned.
- The third thing that stood out was Governor Johnson’s speech at the aforementioned luncheon. It offered a strong and bold preview of his coming campaign against the Democratic president and Republican challenger. I like the governor personally, and also strongly support his effort to slay the duopoly that has our nation in a clear and frightening downward spiral. His Saturday talk seemed to me to rank with his emphatic debate speech to the delegates at the LP National Convention prior to being chosen as our nominee, and this video which seems to have gone viral on the internet and attracted the attention of many disenchanted Republicans.
I would be remiss if I failed to reiterate what I hinted at above. Wife Pat and I had the pleasure of hosting Governor Johnson Saturday and Sunday evenings, and I have served as his “escort” on visits to North Texas on this and a previous occasion. He is a warm and modest gentleman in every sense of that word. In my time I have had beers and conversations with Joe Biden (whom I still remember fondly), hosted Bob Barr in my home, and been a guest of President Lyndon and Ladybird Johnson at their Texas ranch. There is no political figure with whom I would rather spend time, nor for whom I would rather work for their election, than Gary Johnson. I am pleased to consider him a friend, and recommend him highly to you.