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by Casey Stanislaw
Friday, Mar. 19, 2004 at 3:51 PM
The other day, an Libertarian Party candidate wanted a contribution so he could buy a van and make speeches at Ramada Inns ... Did I mention that he also renounced paper money and only carries gold and silver
Central Texas, March 11
This has all been a big misunderstanding. Somehow, in the great database in the sky, someone identified me as the chairman of the Libertarian Party for Milam County.
Now I'm getting all his mail. The other day I even got mail addressed to "The Honorable Casey Stanislaw". I thought it was in my box by mistake, but then I remembered that I'm the only Casey Stanislaw living in Cameron. So I guess I am the Libertarian party chair.
It all started about five years ago, back during the Clinton era and before Sept. 11, when, in a fit of individualism, I sent to the Libertarian Party and received a membership card. This was after I had become fed up with politics as usual and had started reading stuff by people like Ayn Rand. At the time I was employed by a company in Austin, and I got to know this crazy Libertarian named Michael Badnarik who ran around giving seminars on the constitution and who had also renounced his social security number, drivers' license and "right" to pay taxes.
Over the course of a couple of years of working with Michael we had a few conversations, and even though I can't exactly say I exactly liked the guy or agreed with his lifestyle, he did make sense on most of the things he talked about in a Rush Limbaugh kind of way. So I thought I would check it out.
I did a little research, then declared my non-allegiance to the Democratic and Republican parties and voted for the Libertarian presidential candidate in 2000. Keep in mind that in the last election the Libertarian Party was reaping the benefits of Clinton's misdeeds and the fact that the two main candidates were not perceived at the time to be very strong. The Libertarian party also boasted that it was the third largest party in America.
It was around then that I got a phone call from some guy in Austin who said he was from the Texas Libertarian Party office or some such. I could tell he was not from around here because he pronounced "Milam" wrong. Anyway he wanted to know if I was interested in being the county chairman, since I was one of only two people in the county registered to the party, and did I want to drive to Caldwell to take part in some kind of seminar. "I'm not sure," I said. "I don't know enough about the party or how it works to be the chairman." "I understand," he replied, "but do you mind being the point of contact for other Libertarians in the area?" "Ok," I said, and just like that I received the (temporary, I thought) title of "Libertarian Party Chairman for Milam County," even though I did not drive to that Hotbed of Liberty, a.k.a. Burleson County, to attend the seminar.
I've held that position for four years now. And I guess it's not such a bad job, because it requires zilcho work and people address me as "honorable" no matter how much beer I drink. But I think I'm going to quit, because it just isn't working out. Even though philosophically I still lean towards libertarianism, I don't think I want to be a member of the party any more.
The main reason is because I got an email the other day from Michael Badnarik asking for money for his run at the Libertarian Party nomination for (get this) President. And not of his local neighborhood association, but of the U-nited States of America. It seems that Michael feels that with his vast political experience in failed candidacies for various state and county positions, the time is right to buy a van and drive around the country and make speeches at Ramada Inns. Did I mention he has also renounced paper money and only carries gold and silver? Also, according to the Austin American Statesman, Michael has recently declared his desire to move to New Hampshire to be part of some kind of "back to basics" political movement.
So I'm giving up the Party Chairmanship because of that. You see, it's guys like Michael Badnarik that give us non-conformists a bad name. It is one thing to go against the grain, but it is another thing to be delusional and stupid. And how much credibility can you have associating with an organization who claims someone like that?
So, in conclusion, I'd like to say to my successor, the party is in ship-shape. We have increased the party membership in the county 50 percent during my tenure (from two to three), but there is much work to be done (I'll email you a list). Just a word of advice: if you see a van parked down by the river with a "Badnarik for President" bumper sticker, stay away from it.
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