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DeAngelis Declines Debate Challenge
On January 29, I issued a Public Debate Challenge to Dr. Cory DeAngelis, who is one of the country’s premier advocates of the statist program known as school vouchers. My debate challenge was issued in conjunction with a contemporaneous Substack article I wrote entitled, “What Does ‘The Party of Principle’ Mean?" in which I took DeAngelis to task for sending out a Libertarian Party fundraising email that called on L.P. members to support school vouchers.
As I stated in my article and as I stated in an article entitled “Letting Go of Socialism” that I wrote more than 30 years ago, school vouchers are nothing more than a socialist device designed to make public (i.e., government) schooling work more efficiently, specifically through “choice” and “competition.” As a statist measure that is based on the initiation of force, school vouchers have no legitimate place whatsoever within the Libertarian Party. The only legitimate position on education within the libertarian philosophy and the Libertarian Party is the total separation of school and state, at all levels of government — federal, state, and local. (See Separating School & State: How to Liberate America’s Families by Sheldon Richman.)
My Public Debate Challenge offered DeAngelis a number of alternative venues for our debate, including Zoom and eight upcoming L.P. state conventions from February through May.
I received the following response from DeAngelis to my Debate Challenge:
Thank you for the request!
I am going to have to decline this opportunity, as I am overextended this session and already agreed to a nearly identical debate at Mises University this year.
Corey A. DeAngelis, Ph.D.
Oh well, no matter. The arguments that I would have used in our debate are set forth in articles I have written on Substack, as follows:
“What Does ‘The Party of Principle’ Mean?” (January 2023)
“Should LP Members Be Running for School Board?” (January 2023)
“The LP Leadership and the ‘Party of Principle’” (September 2022)
“The LP Pledge and School Vouchers” (August 2022)
As everyone knows, the Republican-Democrat welfare-warfare state has mired America in perpetual crises that, like a malignant cancer, are taking our country down from within. Their warfare state is also, once again, getting America ever-closer to all-out, life-destroying nuclear war with its interventionist antics in Ukraine. There is no question but that both Republicans and Democrats are bound and determined to continue this welfare-warfare-state trajectory.
There is one — and only one — hope for America. That hope lies with libertarianism and the Libertarian Party.
The American people need to do some serious soul-searching on where we began as a nation, on what our good founding principles were, and what we need to do to get our nation back on the right track. If they do that, I have no doubts they will come to the realization that the only solution to America’s many woes lies with libertarianism and the Libertarian Party.
But as I have been stating in my series of Substack articles since last August, every single member of the Libertarian Party needs to engage in serious soul-searching as well. L.P. members need to decide whether they want the L.P. to continue advancing statism in the name of “liberty” and “libertarianism” or whether they want to restore the Libertarian Party as “The Party of Principle” in the political arena.
It is up to the Libertarian Party to lead America out of the deep and dangerous morass into which both Republicans and Democrats have plunged our nation. But that is not ever going to happen if the Libertarian Party continues its 30-year trajectory of advancing statism by simply relabeling it as “liberty” or “libertarianism.” To lead America out of its deep morass, the Libertarian Party must return to its founding concept of adhering strictly to libertarian principles.
As I have been pointing out in my Substack articles, school vouchers are just one example of this negative phenomenon. Other examples of advancing statism by simply redefining it as “liberty” and “libertarianism” include border (i.e. immigration) controls, saving or “privatizing” Social Security, health-savings accounts, getting better people to run regulatory agencies, regulatory reform, CIA reform, selective foreign interventionism, reductions in income taxation, the “fair” tax, legalization of only marijuana, and many others.
If we are to lead America out of this deep morass, we cannot be Republican-Lites or Democrat-Lites. We cannot be welfare-warfare state reformers. We cannot be endorsers of “freedom-oriented” Republican candidates or “freedom-oriented” Democrat candidates. We cannot compromise or conceal our positions in the hopes of pragmatically securing votes. We cannot be “The Party of Principle Some of the Time.”
To lead America out of the deep and dangerous morass into which both Republicans and Democrats have plunged out nation, we need to be who we are — Libertarians. We need to adhere strictly to our own principles. We need to be “The Party of Principle” all of the time. If we do this, I have no doubts that we Libertarians will succeed in getting America back on the right track and that we lead our nation and the world to liberty, peace, prosperity, and harmony with the people of the world.
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