It’s approaching 3 years since I’ve opened my eyes to the liberty movement and have become politically active. Ever since I switched my party affiliation from Republican to Libertarian, then from Libertarian back to Republican thanks to Dr. Paul who restored my faith in humanity, I’ve gone though many ups and downs in my political identity. I’m now studying Austrian economics for fun, going to End the Fed rallies, listening to podcasts on libertarianism and voluntarism, learning more about the true history of the United States, watching documentaries and videos, and writing more blogs.
Looking ahead this year, I want to continue my self education in Austrian economics and libertarian philosophy as well as focus on some concrete goals which I will list below. Some of these items on the list I feel can be achievable this year, whereas some are more pipe dreams. But I think this list will help me focus my priorities because my free time has become ever more limited and precious (my daughter was born just 5 months ago).
- Audit the Fed 2.0 – Starting in 2008, I become a fervent supporter in the End the Fed movement. During that Congressional election cycle, Ron Paul introduced several bills in the house, one of which would repeal the Federal Reserve Act and another, more practical one, would have an independent third party source audit the Fed. HR 1207, dubbed the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, ended up getting over 2/3 of the house majority to cosponsor it, including all the Republicans and a good number of Democrats. In the Senate there was also a similar audit bill, S.604, but this was as not successful. Sadly, Nancy Pelosi never let HR 1207 have a vote on the House floor and when it was considered as an amendment to an unrelated financial regulation bill, it was rejected. Because of this bill, for the first time in its history the Fed ended up having to hire a PR person to improve its image and to lobby Congress (she was a former lobbyist for Enron). This ended up paying off for the Fed as all the democrats and many republicans who cosponsored the bill were swayed to vote against it. As a silver lining to the story, a watered down version of the bill drafted by Bernie Sanders ended up passing and this forced the Fed release some information about TARP last year. This tiny glimpse showed just how many companies and foreign governments received money from the Fed, ranging from McDonalds to Harley Davidson to the Bank of Ireland. However, this year the Audit the Fed movement stands a much better chance. Ron Paul is now the chairman of the Committee on Monetary Policy (which oversees the Fed), his son Rand Paul is now in the Senate and working with his dad to introduce an audit bill in both chambers of Congress, and now there’s a Republican majority in the House. All of these factors make the second go around of finally getting a real audit of the Fed a likely scenario. Once we get this full audit, it is the hope of Ron Paul and many others like myself that the country will be so disgusted that they’ll want it abolished. But for now we’re progressing in baby steps.
- Become an official Central Committee member for Santa Barbara County GOP. I’ve been attending these monthly meetings as a guest for the past year and have helped the party by canvassing for certain members running for office as well as doing work maintaining their blog (which you can see here: http://www.santabarbaragop.org/Blog/). I get a sense that the “Ron Paul Republicans” are still a minority in the committee, but ever since 2008 and the rise of the Tea Party movement I think the numbers have continued to grow and I’ve been responsible for getting a least one other like minded individual elected. For the most part I think I share a lot in common with the majority of people there, especially on fiscal matters. But on the social issues is where we diverge. The last time this happened was when we had a vote to endorse a measure on closing the marijuana dispensaries in the city of Santa Barbara, which ended up passing by something like 13-2. I’m not exactly the biggest supporter of dispensaries (I’d rather see marijuana completely legalized and just have any stores sell it), but for now I think they’re a small step in the right direction and that vote disappointed me. If I become an official voting committee member, I’ll definitely let the libertarian side be represented on these issues.
- Holding Republicans accountable in the new Congress – Just because there’s a majority in the House doesn’t mean I’m going to stop scrutinizing the decisions of Congress. I’m going to continue to hold their feet to the fire and keep pressuring them to vote the right way. Besides an audit of the Fed, I think the next big test for Republicans this year will be whether or not they will vote to raise the debt ceiling. Those members who vote to increase it will forever be RINO traitors in my eyes.
- Prepare for very high inflation and possibly hyperinflation – For now it looks like our country is on a course to financial ruin due to inflation and an unserviceable debt. This has been worrying me now for over two years and I’ve been trying my best to prepare for it. My goal this year is to continue investing in gold and silver, stockpiling some nonperishable food, expanding my garden, and to buy more firearms and ammo. When the shit hits the fan, I want ensure my family’s assets are protected and that we are in much better shape than those who didn’t heed the warnings. For more information about this issue you can read my blog on protecting your assets against inflation and also consider this blog on how investing in silver could possibly bankrupt JP Morgan.
- Take a trip to New Hampshire and/or move to New Hampshire – The Free State Project has definitely captured my attention (thanks to the podcast Free Talk Live) and has made me envious of all the liberty activists working together in New Hampshire to fight for liberty on the local level. Like they claim, the freedom movement in most cities around this country is kind of pathetic (Santa Barbara included), and I’d love to live in an area that respects liberty and has people constantly fighting for it. However, given the fact that I’ve lived in California my entire life and have a family, moving to New Hampshire might be quite the stretch, so taking a trip there this summer might be a more realistic goal.
- Prepare for the 2012 Presidential Election – At some point this year politicians are going to start announcing their intents to run for president and even start their campaigns. Ron Paul, my ideal candidate, still seems to be 50/50 about running again but I have a feeling he will. If not, then another likely candidate that I can throw my support behind is Governor Gary Johnson. If you haven’t heard of him, I suggest you Google him. I’ve heard rumors that Jesse Ventura might also run, but it’s a long shot. Also, his Conspiracy Theory show seems to be doing pretty well so that might keep him busy enough to consider staying on the sidelines (I’d prefer Ron Paul or Gary Johnson over him anyways). Once I find a candidate I can get behind, I want to start reforming our local Santa Barbara Ron Paul meetup group right away and start networking with other groups like The Campaign for Liberty, which seems to have built some good infrastructure for coordinating political campaigns. Starting to campaign as early as possible is key to victory in what’s going to be a hard fought race to defeat Obama (assuming most likely he’ll run again in 2012).