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A Little QnA with Ernest Hancock

These are questions submitted by Libertarians of Northeast Kansas for the forum between Wayne Root and Ernie Hancock at the LPKS State Convention, April 24, 2010. They are published here exactly as submitted, and may or may not reflect the wording of the questions submitted to the candidates at the forum.

Question:
I’d like them to discuss how they feel about the ongoing ‘tug of war’, between those who want to hold to our party’s principles, and those who are willing to ‘bend’ the principles to gain popularity and win more votes.

Ernest Hancock:
For 22 years I have advocated, worked for and demonstrated that Hard Core No-Compromise libertarian activism and advocacy in support of fundamental libertarianism has produced the popularity/support desired. Abandonment of the Libertarian Party at the National level has not been due to our being perceived as too principled,… it has been because we were not being principled enough.

Question:
Which do you believe is more important: to remain true to our principles or to get candidates elected to office?

Ernest Hancock:
Principles first. Support in the form of money, effort and votes are a side effect of filling a very desirable need for the promotion of individual liberty. A Libertarian Party that offers another form of Social and Economic Engineering of Americans can offer very little to a liberty starve populace searching for a way out of their enslavement.

Question:
How do you intend to increase the size of the LP and get candidates elected to office?

Ernest Hancock:
By being relevant to the lives of individuals.

Increased membership, available resources, financial support, number of quality candidates and votes are a side effect of being perceived as a champion for the liberty of every individual.

Question:
Should the primary emphasis of the Libertarian Party be to win elections, or to present an ideologically pure Libertarian option to the voters? “Both” is not an acceptable answer.

Ernest Hancock:
Presenting an ideologically pure libertarian message… the rest will follow.

Question:
As party chair, what will you do to win over moderate Libertarians–individuals who believe generally in freedom in both the social and economic spheres, but who do not endorse the party’s full agenda–to the party?

Ernest Hancock:
Be consistent. The government is making more libertarians every day in many ways.

Question:
Would you continue to invest LP resources to obtain ballot access in states such as Oklahoma and West Virginia or use these resources to help candidates in competitive races?

Ernest Hancock:
I’m one vote on the LNC. My vote will be to support a mechanism that allows individuals to direct their money to various projects presented to them by the LNC. I’m sure that ‘Ballot Status’, individual candidates, purchased media, affiliate promotion, issue advocacy, overhead etc. will be presented to the membership for support. The idea that a very small minority would spend other people’s money with very little input from them on a regular basis has proven to me to be a very unproductive method of allocating resources.

Question:
What is the first thing you would as Chair for the national LP and why?

Ernest Hancock:
Make absolutely certain that the entire Washington, D.C. Beltway area knows that we are there. “Liberty…. She’s Baaaack”.

Question:
What do you see as the best direction to take the national party to further our growth? Here are two distinct choices.
Keep firm to Libertarian principles and demonstrate to the public that those principles are the founding principles of our nation. Point out that neither big party follows those principles and to vote for the lesser evil of those two gives us an evil and out of control government.
Moderate our support of those principles to attract conservative voters from the Republican Party.

Ernest Hancock:
“Keep firm to Libertarian principles”.

Question:
How about what to really do about health care? What should be cut from the budget? Should taxes be raised?

Ernest Hancock:
Deregulate Healthcare. End the War on Drugs. The United States budget repealed back to at least its Constitutional limits of what the Federal Government is authorized to do. Eliminate the Income Tax as a start.

Question:
There is a perception that LP is only representing the white male baby boomer. We know that not to be the case, as evidenced by our gen Xers in ExComm. What do these gentlemen plan to do to promote that this is not the only demographic represented and to promote more diverse involvement?

Ernest Hancock:
Represent the smallest minority,… the individual. Then all of the other categories just fade away. YES, they just fade away!

Question:
What qualities do you possess over the other candidates that would make you the best choice?

Ernest Hancock:
A fundamental understanding that it is up to each individual to take responsibility for their own advocacy of liberty in whatever way they are best suited. The LPUS will be a very effective and ready tool for all of us to make use of in the fulfillment of that responsibility.

Question:
What is your stance on the government’s role in marriage, and how would that effect ‘gay marriage’?

Ernest Hancock:
At most, Government’s involvement in marriage should not extend further than being a disinterested 3rd party in the enforcement of a private contract.

Question:
If you are elected, what are the first three things you will do, and when will you do them?

Ernest Hancock:
I am making every effort to make my election to LNC Chair a very clear choice for relevance in American politics and culture by being very open and public with our advocacy for individual liberty. This can be inspired by the LNC Chair initiating a “campaign” in Washington, D.C. to make it very clear who we are, what we want and how much effort we are willing to devote to demonstrate to the whole planet of our sincerity and devotion to Human Freedom via peaceful means with LOVE. (Lots of signs and hand materials to start… the rest will follow – I’ve done this many times before :)

Question:
At the end of your term, what criteria will you use to judge your time as chairman as a success or failure? And, are any of those criteria objective measurable that you will strive to achieve?

Ernest Hancock:
Campaigns, Vote totals, Money raised, Membership increases etc. are all a side effect of effectively communicating to the planet our message in a clear and unwavering presentation. We are not afraid, we are confident and we are determined to spread the libertarian message to as many minds as possible. The r3VOLution was not my first effort to accomplish this, nor will it be my last.

Question:
What is the greatest barrier to electing Libertarians nationwide? How do you propose we overcome that barrier?

Ernest Hancock:
Trillions (with a “T”) have been spent over generations via the Government Education System (Government Schools, Government Public Service Announcements, Government Licensed Media, Government Programs and Projects) to convince as many individuals as possible that solutions to any imaginable problem is to be found when first you look to government.

I have watched this programming be replaced with individual minds being able to communicate with millions of others without borders or boundaries or filters. Promotion of reality/truth and libertarianism will create a welcome environment for those looking for exactly what we offer.

Question:
The only way for a political party to win elections is to appeal to the voters in the “middle” (wherever that is). How do you propose positioning the LP to appeal to this voting bloc?

Ernest Hancock:
If try to appeal to ‘the middle’,… how will we ever attract ‘the middle’ to libertarianism?

Government is our best recruiter. Being libertarian is our most appealing trait as the world learns what we offer.

Question:
What support and training do you believe the National LP should provide to train candidates running for office?

Ernest Hancock:
Central Planning for candidate training at a national level has never been effective in my experience. At a local level there is more success, but each candidate is very different. Being able to provide legal requirements for running and access to many sources of information is useful, but a ‘one size fits all Candidate Packet/Presentation’ put together by committee for a State legislative candidate in Montana and a US Senate candidate in Arkansas is likely worse than useless. Every presentation I have attended never takes into account the personality of the candidate. And instead of allowing the candidate to learn how best to make the most use of their abilities and talents, the candidate is blamed for not being enough… whatever.

I advocate sharing as much truth as possible with as many people as possible, while making friends whenever possible and choosing ‘non-friends’ very carefully (often you learn as much about someone, and their intentions, by who their ‘non-friends’ are). My goal is to help as many people as possible free the minds of as many people as possible. More often than not this is accomplished by being of service to them instead of trying to make them serve the collective as best determined by a committee around a table.

Question:
Explain to us how your previous background and experience positions you to represent and lead the LP in a superior manner.

Ernest Hancock:
Lead libertarians???

The most effective method I know of to inspire libertarian activism is to be an example and inspiration. This has had “superior” results so far.

Question:
What is your vision for the LP 5-years and 10-years from today? If elected, what specific steps will you implement to bring us closer to that vision?

Ernest Hancock:
My preferred vision would be for the Libertarian Party to be unnecessary so we could all go about our business enjoying freedom. But I suspect that the Libertarian Party of the United States (I’m making no predictions about the many other levels of autonomous Libertarian Party’s),… I suspect that the LPUS will either be the touchstone of all political discourse on this globe within 2 years, or it will be irrelevant. Libertarianism can not be negotiated away for a place at the political table and think that we’ll be of any use to a liberty starved populace.

Freedom is popular. It is why it has survived in spite of the enormous efforts to eradicate it. The advocacy of liberty loud, clear and pure will position the LPUS so that it can serve the interests of the many that will seek to help us free more minds.

Question:
If you became the Chair of the Libertarian Party what would you do to get the Party out there and recognized by more people (networking with liberty groups, getting in the news whether MSM; local; or internet, etc.)?

Ernest Hancock:
The same thing I’ve been doing for 22 years, get on the street. This is how individuals and groups learn of you, trust you and come to rely on you. While the freedom movement is getting much stronger, it is not so large that I haven’t been able to meet most of the most effective freedom advocates in America. The moment the freedom movement perceives the LPUS to be on the front lines with them, Challenging the Cult of the Omnipotent State, we will immediately experience our highest levels of influence in American politics.

Question:
Does the national LP office have BRCA/McCain-Feingold election finance compliance information and/or accounting support available for candidates? If not, would you direct the LP national office to create/fund that support?

Ernest Hancock:
No.

I would encourage our challenging this unpopular and unconstitutional law and seek to understand how we might structure ourselves to be free of its requirements.

Question:
Would you support Ron Paul “reentering” the Libertarian Party as our candidate for U.S.President? Your reasons?

Ernest Hancock:
I don’t have any reason to oppose his “reentering” the LP. But why would he want to? He was already seen as the most libertarian presidential candidate of 2008 running as a Republican. A Hard Core, No-Compromise libertarian LPUS would attract many great libertarian candidates,… watch.

Question:
Would you support Sarah Palin entering the Libertarian Party as our candidate for U.S.President? Your reasons?

Ernest Hancock:
Sarah Palin is welcome to try. My hope is that the libertarians in the Libertarian Party will look to have libertarians represent them. If they do not… then we need to know that. St. Louis in 2010 will help provide the freedom movement with a great deal of information that we need in this regard.

Question:
With polls showing that over 40% of Americans willing to support/vote for non-R or D candidates for Congress, what are the top three specific actions you would have the party take to capture those potential voters this election cycle?

Ernest Hancock:
Tell the truth, Show No-Fear, Offer to help others find the information they need to survive what is going to happen to our economy.

Question:
What is the approximate combined net present value deficit of the U.S.A., including all outstanding Treasury debt and unfunded liabilities under our nation’s retirement and health care system (social security, Medicare, and Medicaid). ?

Ernest Hancock:
More than any of us, our children our grand children or great grand children are ever going to be able to pay back. Without another revolution of some sort (I’m working on a LOV3olution) we will continue to be tax slaves to The State for the rest of the foreseeable future.

Question:
How many sets of books does the Federal government keep? Can you describe the differences between these various books?

Ernest Hancock:
The government keeps books? And if they showed me the books, am I suppose to believe them? They have books that they use to convince you that they always need more money, they have books that convince others to invest in our debts, they have books that list investments for things like government retirement programs.

In the mid 90’s I obtained Arizona’s CAFR (Comprehensive Annual Financial Report) as a project with a fellow libertarian. The money invested in the stock market (and ready to be skimmed off, over and over) comes in large part from government pension plans (and other ‘they ripped us off’ methods of transferring our wealth from us to “them”). In time I suspect that we’ll find that these very large sums of money are now gone, to… ?

Like the previous question I suspect that you are looking for validation of something that you already know, or think you know. Whenever I am asked about a ‘number’, I know that there is someone else to tell me the number is wrong and that the number doesn’t mean what I said it meant anyway. So I respond with principle. While entitlements and debts and other obligations can be estimated at as much as $100 Trillion dollars, there are lobbyist in Washington right now trying to determine who will be left without a chair when the music stops on $600 Trillion in derivatives with no assets to back them up while they still plague the balance sheets of our economy.

If we focus on the proper role of government (defense of individual rights), the rest of this stuff is easily answered without the need for a potential voter to bring a calculator to a political debate.

Question:
The “headline deficit number” under the unified federal budget for the current fiscal year is a deficit of approximately $1.3 trillion. But this does not come close to reflecting the additional liabilities we as a nation incur for persons retiring this year and expecting lifetime benefits from the government. What is the deficit if the net present value of all promises to federal employees and military personnel are added to this figure? What is the approximate federal deficit if the NPV of unfunded promises incurred this year are added to the figure?

Ernest Hancock:
More numbers?

More than can ever be paid back. The United States Government has two options; Repudiation or Massive increases in the supply of US Dollars. Take your pick.

The rest of the world was convinced that the American people could be harvested without limit to our tolerances. But what was not counted on was the market forces that limit an individual’s desire to slave away for little benefit and no perceived guarantee that they would even have a claim to the meager benefits that they did derive from the system, even their justly acquired property.

Question:
Will you take a pledge to put the federal government and its promises under social security, Medicare, and Medicaid on the same financial accounting standards that we expect from any fully funded and solvent insurance program extending retirement and health care promises to its clients, as such accounting is required by FASB (the Financial Accounting Standards Board) ?

Ernest Hancock:
I wouldn’t waste a moment saying anything about these programs other than to advocate for their elimination.

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