Former Orange County, FL mayoral candidate Matthew Falconer is running for office again. This time the Falconer seeks to swoop down and win the position of state representative in Florida’s 44th district.
Right on cue Falconer is already out promoting himself to local libertarian groups such as the Orange County Campaign for Liberty organization, hoping to dupe some of them into exhausting their time, energy, and money into a campaign entirely devoid of any libertarian principles. Fortunately, the Orange County Campaign for Liberty members are likely either to focused on the Ron Paul campaign or to burned-out on elections to give Falconer much attention.
I greatly admire and am grateful for the Orange County Campaign for Liberty group. For several years it has acted as an umbrella organization for many different methods of libertarian activism including heroic civil disobedience, holding criminal police accountable, informing thousands of jurors about jury nullification at the Orange County courthouse, protesting the TSA at Orlando International Airport, and organizing the annual Florida Liberty Summit three years in a row – bringing in not only Ron Paul to speak, but Misesians Tom Woods, Tom DiLorenzo, Laurence Vance, and Yuri Maltsev.
However, the group, or perhaps only the group leadership, has repeatedly made the error of cozying up to and even actively promoting scumbag politicians who care nothing about the principles of liberty and pay only limited lip service to the word in order to get invited to Campaign for Liberty events. Such freshmen politicians are parasites seeking to recruit the labor of the CFL activists – knowing full well that they will likely betray the activists once they are no longer needed.
Take the example of the blatantly statist theoconservative state representative Scott Plakon. For several years, Florida CFL tolerated his statist, unlibertarian views. They invited him to speak and share the stage with the great Ron Paul two years in a row at the Florida Liberty Summit. They allowed him to promote himself at the smaller local meetings. They got him stage time at a big Tenth Amendment Center event alongside great libertarian thinkers like Tom Woods and Tom Mullen.
The idea was that even though he’s not a libertarian (at all), through extensive flattering from libertarians he would eventually be won over and converted to libertarianism.
How did that investment pay off? This past January, Plakon endorsed Rick Santorum, perhaps the most grotesquely statist presidential candidate, for the Republican nomination instead of Ron Paul. Talk about a failed plan.
In 2009, much of the Orange County CFL group was seduced by Falconer, who has claimed to be a libertarian, into working hard for his mayoral campaign. Included in Falconer’s original platform was a particularly disturbing plan to greatly expand the already totalitarian Orlando police-state.
As Paul Watson detailed then, the primary plank of Falconer’s platform was starting a Nazi-Germany-like youth law enforcement program where a thousand young people would be hired to patrol neighborhoods and report suspicious activity to police. You’d think a libertarian-leaning political candidate would at least be campaigning on a message of reducing the presence of government in people’s lives, not expanding it.
I can only conclude that Falconer is a liar when he promotes himself as some sort of saint of fiscal sanity and small government as he was simultaneously promoting this kid cops program that he himself said would cost Orange County taxpayers an additional $2.5 million a year (no explanation as to how he arrived at that number was ever provided).
I must also conclude that Falconer is a liar when he claims to be a well-read student of economist Friedrich Hayek, but said, as part of his sales pitch of this program, that this hiring of a thousand people into parasitic government jobs would alleviate unemployment. (See Tom DiLorenzo on this subject here.)
So what is Falconer’s platform this time? It consists of three issues.
First, he supports improving the efficiency of government as a step towards lowering taxes. There is no mention at all of abolishing or reducing parts of the government nor is there any explanation of how exactly he would make government more efficient. I must conclude that his first plank is bunk. Socialism can’t be made more efficient and government can’t be run like a business. As Murray Rothbard notes:
“A government service can never be run as a business, because the capital is conscripted from the taxpayer. There is no way of avoiding that. Secondly, private enterprise gains a profit by cutting costs as much as it can. Government need not cut costs; it can either cut its service or simply raise prices. Government service is always a monopoly or semi-monopoly.”
Second, Falconer plans to “restore faith in government” by introducing an “ethics reform bill” that will bring integrity back into politics. Brilliant! Write up a piece of paper telling politicians to stop being corrupt, get it passed, and they will immediately turn into angels! Don’t basically all politicians in America already take the oath of office and swear to uphold the Constitution and all that? Doesn’t seem to work very well.
Third, Falconer will “improve education by driving more dollars into the classroom.” No mention of abolishing public schools, lifting regulations off private schools, or even a sell-out voucher program. Nope, we just need to tinker around with the public education bureaucracy a little bit. Simply pay administrators less and teachers more and all will be fine.
Proudly displayed in the media section of his website is his photo and endorsement from war-mongering, police-statist, New Deal-praising Newt Gingrich.
Can we stop supporting these phony, creep politicians already? Think of all the millions of irreplaceable labor hours and hundreds of millions of dollars forever wasted on these hacktarian politicians’ campaigns.
The only use the political system has to the libertarian movement is the spotlight it can provide one with to spread the philosophy of liberty. If a candidate is either not spreading the philosophy or is spreading a watered-down, unrecognizable version of it, they are not worth anybody’s time. Turn down the offer to work on the campaign and just read Man, Economy, and State instead – chances are goods you’ll be smarter than 90% of politicians after the first three chapters.
We need to completely ostracize politicians from the liberty movement. Get these scumbags the hell away before they cause it to sell-out even more.
Responses to Common Objections
1) “We’ll be able to control the politicians if we’re the ones who got them elected.”
No, you won’t. The overwhelming majority of politicians are either stupid, corrupt, evil, self-interested, dishonest, power-hungry, sociopathic, egotistical, or all of the above. The only reason why they would ever even pretend to care what you think is so you’ll donate all your time, money, and energy to them. Once the politician is in office his need for you will be just about non-existent. Most politicians are incumbents for a good long while and don’t go anywhere but further up the political ladder. It is also once the politician has been elected that the bribes and blackmailing come in - exponentially raising the temptation to sell out.
If the hyper-active Ron Paul Revolution couldn’t stop Rand Paul from voting for sanctions on Iran, then you don’t have a chance in the world of influencing some creep like Matthew Falconer once he’s in there.
Libertarians who believe they can somehow become the puppet masters of non-libertarian politicians, or even libertarian politicians, are completely fooling themselves – especially if you’re not wealthy.
2) “Well, they may not be libertarians… but they’re the best we have!”
How this is even a legitimate qualification is beyond me. Political-process-libertarians may as well say “Well, he may not be Ron Paul, but he is the best guy we have in the Nazi Party right now. We need to pour all of our resources into getting this guy elected so we can take control of the Nazi Party and come 0.01% closer to turning it into a party of radical libertarianism.”
Yeah right, dude. The lesser of two evils is still evil.