Photo by Mica Asato on Pexels.com
Thanks for visiting our blog. You can get to know the SCLP a little bit here. Hopefully this helps you do some research, since our news outlets can’t be trusted to do it honestly.
Libertarians have been called a lot of things. Not all of them flattering. Most recently, the Post & Courier out of Charleston called us “a debate club for extremist ideas rather than anything that has anything to do with attempting to govern our nation or state.”
Ignoring the weird construction of the sentence “anything that has anything” for just a second, the P&C is labeling the South Carolina Libertarian Party extremists for adding to our party platform language that supports dissociation.
Allow us to unpack the intent of the platform plank in question.
In November, the South Carolina Libertarian Party held its state convention in accordance with state law governing political entities. During bleak economic times, the South Carolina Libertarian Party held its convention in Greenville and contributed to the tourism (hotels) and hospitality (restaurants) industries of our own state by traveling from as far away as Beaufort to attend.
During the convention, we completed a review and revision of the state party’s platform–the living document that details what the party stands for. The platform committee worked on the language all year and made several style changes and clarifications. Line items in the platform are called planks, and one plank, titled “Decentralization of Power”, affirms the SCLP’s belief in restoration of power to the state and local government and individual citizens, away from the federal government.
The plank reads:
The SCLP supports the repeal of the 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution, thereby restoring to the State legislatures the power of appointment of United States Senators. By so doing, senators will be directly accountable to their State legislatures and reduce the benefit to be had from trading favors for votes. Senators, as per the founding fathers’ intent, must be the representatives of their respective States and not the individual voters. We further affirm our support for the 9th and 10th amendments to the Constitution of the United States, the rights of the citizen to perform jury nullification, and the power of local governments to nullify any state laws which exceed the tolerable purpose of government, as detailed in Planks 1 through 3 above. One essential of a free government is that it rests wholly on voluntary support. Therefore, we further proclaim our support for the right of dissociation by any individual, group or entity from any other.
It’s the final language, regarding dissociation, that the Post & Courier latched onto and used to label the South Carolina Libertarian Party as secessionists. In a rebuttal letter to the editor, we took issue with the P&C’s misrepresentation of our philosophical position. (read further: We Didn’t Say Secession, You Did)
At its core, the SCLP is a party of principle. In the Decentralization of Power plank, the principle at work is preservation of the individual’s rights.
The bigger the entity is, the less in-touch with individual rights and desires it will be. We saw the infringement of federal power play out over and over during the COVID crisis in 2020. Central planners in Washington, D.C. put heavy pressure on state governors to impose lockdowns and mask mandates. Areas of the country with little to no infection were still expected to close businesses, shutter schools, and wait out the worst of the pandemic, humbly crouching down and hoping for reprieve from federal bureaucrats who behave like rulers and tyrants.
The free press (so-called mainstream media) focused on nationalized agencies like the CDC, and urged the viewing public to accept the national crisis. Local affiliates of national media repeated the urgency and are, to this day, reporting infection numbers in a way that flames panic and communicates crisis.
Meanwhile, at the local level, individual citizens, businesses, and community organizations like churches, have defied mandates to continue working, providing for their families, and serving those in need. That is dissociation.
When schools couldn’t answer safety questions, and teachers unions were lobbying hard for aggressive shut-down policies that let their members stay home while our kids disengaged, homeschool parents became leaders. They encouraged fellow moms and dads to do what was best for their children, created small neighborhood pods to ease the burden, and shared curricula and best practices with newbies. Homeschool numbers bumped up from 3.3% nationwide to 11.1% as citizens demonstrated their frustration with government-run schools. That is dissociation.
We are in the middle of what is being called The Great Resignation and 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November. Maybe it’s mask and vaccine mandates, maybe it’s frustration with a corporate status-quo that overworks-and-underpays, maybe it’s entrepreneurism running rampant, or maybe it’s government handouts. For whatever reason, millions of us are dissatisfied enough with our employment to quit. That is dissociation.
When the Charleston city council decided to remove Confederate statues from public land and the State House made a law to preserve history and punish Charleston, the city needed recourse. Lawmakers at the capitol are not more accurate than the local officials. They’re generic – they have to be – they represent more people. And yet they use their statewide influence to strongarm local officials into inaction. Charleston removed the statues anyway. That is dissociation.
When your local NBC news affiliate carries a story out of Idaho, your Democratic nominee for senator raises most of his campaign funds out of state, and the weekly Meet the Press episode advocates federalising everything, we are in an age of central planning. Those who are meant to lead our nation are consolidating power and forcing blanket policies that do not apply in every market.
The SCLP supports the return of power to local citizens and the officials elected thereby. We reject the nationalism of the two-party system and advocate for individual rights to the nth degree. That is dissociation.
Nobody said “secede from the union”; what we said was: return the power of governance back to the people. That government is only free when it is a voluntary endeavor and we are free to choose like we do when buying our groceries. Our current government is coercive, nosy, bossy, and tyrannical. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We could elect more Libertarians.