Extended Remarks: lacRLC Board on Mark Isler May 23

Couldn’t get enough of the RLC with the brief interview with Mark Isler?
Hear the extended discussion:

Nick Hankoff, Amir Zendehnam, JJ Picard, Erin Letarte, & Noah Johnson continue the discussion after the Mark Isler Show (KRLA AM 870) Listen (lacRLC panel discussion begins at 14:50)

Show Notes:


Zealots Renew Attacks on Liberty Republicans

It is nothing new that factions in the Republican Party attack Republican Liberty Caucus members. Being a libertarian in the Republican Party has never been an easy, welcoming task.

Libertarianism is a philosophy that some in the party hate with a passion. My beliefs of peace, love and freedom as well as my family’s origins in the Middle East have made me a target to certain racists in the Republican Party who will resort to anything to slander my name. These factions gave us the same amount of hate in 2014 when Reuters and The Blaze picked up on our amazing work and success in the Los Angeles County Republican Liberty Caucus.

It is clear that Republicans are split over stark differences on how to handle foreign affairs. As Republicans, we should embrace the free market and let our ideas compete with one another. Yet, there are those who shout “anti-Semite!” to whoever disagrees with their take on the Israeli government. In my case, the chosen phrase was, “Associates with Radical Anti-Semitism.” The hit piece (and I’m guessing the poor headline) against me was by an anonymous author (how convenient). There could not be a more intellectually dishonest and lazy argument than to call someone an inaccurate name while ignoring the entire topic at hand.

I guess I am making inroads with the philosophy of freedom when the fallacious and lazy attacks start to come in. Ron Paul was all too familiar with these types of attacks from wrongly being called an anti-Semite to a racist, none of which were even remotely true. The anonymous author didn’t restrain themselves to just covering my criticism of the Israeli government. They then forced pathetic connections to make the unfounded “association” of anti-Semitism. There is nothing radical or anti-Semitic about my statements, associations or beliefs. I have always denounced anti-Semitism and call on the anonymous author to withdraw his or her defamatory statements.

The hit piece is so silly that it attempts to use my YouTube favorites and posts I have clicked “like” on as a centerpiece for their argument rather than focusing primarily on my own words. None of the videos endorse anti-Semitism. Several are published by Jewish people. One video is in Hebrew, by a Jewish professor in Israel speaking out against torture. I highly recommend watching it. Another video is about the life story of a Jewish economist from Austria named Ludwig von Mises. Does this constitute associating with “radical anti-Semitism” to you? Or perhaps a screenshot of my YouTube favorites showing videos of meditation techniques, economics and workout exercises is somehow supposed to be an association “with radical anti-Semitism” to the anonymous author? The only radicalism and extremism present here are the authors false claims.

Pitiful hit pieces like this one are slanderous, deluding and should not be taken seriously by any rational individual. If this is what the author had to resort to after thoroughly stalking my social media pages for months, you know they are lacking any logical argument in the first place. I find it odd that some Americans are more offended at a critique of a government thousands of miles away than our own. Criticizing a country’s government policies does NOT mean you hate someone because of their religion. Talk about a gross logical fallacy.

To clarify, as a libertarian, I do not believe in racism, sexism, anti-Semitism or any form of collectivism. My entire philosophy is contradictory to racism and I deplore any form of hate, including anti-Semitism. I view and judge every human on an individual basis and racism, in any form, is a horrid form of collectivism. As Ron Paul famously said:

“Racism is simply an ugly form of collectivism, the mindset that views humans strictly as members of groups rather than individuals. Racists believe that all individuals who share superficial physical characteristics are alike: as collectivists, racists think only in terms of groups. By encouraging Americans to adopt a group mentality, the advocates of so-called ‘diversity’ actually perpetuate racism. Their obsession with racial group identity is inherently racist.

The true antidote to racism is liberty. Liberty means having a limited, constitutional government devoted to the protection of individual rights rather than group claims. Liberty means free-market capitalism, which rewards individual achievement and competence, not skin color, gender, or ethnicity.

More importantly, in a free society every citizen gains a sense of himself as an individual, rather than developing a group or victim mentality. This leads to a sense of individual responsibility and personal pride, making skin color irrelevant. Rather than looking to government to correct our sins, we should understand that racism will endure until we stop thinking in terms of groups and begin thinking in terms of individual liberty.”

Liberty Republicans have sadly grown accustomed to vitriolic hate from fellow Republicans. Constant attacks over philosophical differences must end if we are to ever become a fighting force in this country again. There is only one way the Republican Party is going to make inroads, grow our ranks and have success with not just other Republicans, but more importantly outsiders. And that is to embrace the beliefs of peace, love, unity and respect. The Republican Liberty Caucus has accomplished this. Perhaps it is time for others in the party to try it as well.


Power or Party?

by Nick Hankoff

The Rand Paul (13-Hour) Moment marked the beginning of the end of the Republican Party’s incessant militarism. How so? The divided interests are no longer Principle vs. Party as during Ron Paul’s campaign, but rather Party vs. Power. The militarists aren’t going away, but they won’t overreach again without considering the civil rights wing which has gained the respect and trust of grassroots conservatives. This new reality puts the momentum behind the liberty movement, but its long-run strategy must not rely on historic gifts from on high in the chambers of Congress.

Republicans like Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain see America as a battlefield, under attack and at the same time an essential military force for civilization worldwide. This crazed murder-suicide mentality leads them to champion causes (read: powers) that align them with elitists.

“When they say, ‘I want my lawyer,’ you tell them, ‘Shut up. You don’t get a lawyer. You’re an enemy combatant,’” Lindsey Graham blasted on the Senate floor rallying for support of provisions authorizing military kidnapping of all persons, citizens included, on US soil under the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act.

“[Army General and Chief of Staff Ray Odierno] cannot replace the men and women serving in Afghanistan under this sequestration because he doesn’t have the ability to train their replacements. Isn’t that alarm enough for us?” John McCain pleaded of his colleagues in an effort to block so-called disastrous cuts to the so-called defense budget.

Republicans like Graham and McCain are not growing their Party with these imperial delusions. More than 2/3 of Americans want out of Afghanistan. More than half think the United States is losing the War on Terror. But must the people be restricted to expressing their dissent on issues of national security through the cheerleading of a few exceptional legislators on Capitol Hill? The liberty movement must show a better path for representation and reform in foreign policy matters.

Across the country, anti-militarist coalitions are disregarding Left-Right politics to pass local resolutions and state bills that insure individual liberty against unconstitutional, authoritarian forces of the federal government. From criminalizing TSA search and seizure to limiting drone surveillance to non-compliance with indefinite detention over 40 bills are being heard. This is the good kind of blowback to the American Empire, and it’s only the beginning.

Here in California, 4 cities have passed resolutions condemning the McCain-authored NDAA indefinite detention provisions. The LA County RLC has endorsed a petition demanding the same from the LA City Council. And now, finally, in Sacramento there is AB 351, introduced by Republican Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, which states in part:

(8) Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Public Law 112-81) violate portions of federal law, the United States Constitution, and the California Constitution and are invalid and illegal in this state.
(c) It is the policy of this state to refuse to provide material support for or to participate in any way with the implementation within this state of Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Public Law 112-81).

What an opportunity for the liberty movement to follow up on Rand Paul’s epic speech – with action! Washington, D.C. is not going to curb its practice of usurpation based on any direct appeal from the people, especially on the war powers it claims. A broad-based movement with narrow goals and decentralized tactics will succeed where a presidential campaign could not. Rand Paul’s filibuster was only the beginning, but it alone cannot be the end. Paul has brought the issue of militarism into the spotlight and now the ball is in our court. The future of liberty depends on us meeting with our neighbors, city councils, and state legisaltures where our voices, and therefore the Constitution, are less easily ignored. Start by joining the Facebook group where Californians are currently plotting the next step to pass AB 351 and stop indefinite detention in their state.

The politically-connected McCain and Graham care more about preserving their power than revitalizing the party, and obviously more than the Constitution. Once upon a time, the libertarians were damned for defending principle before party. Now those principles are the life of the party, and the neocons are being left behind.