Wikinews interviews U.S. Libertarian Party presidential candidate R. Lee Wrights

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Monday, June 20, 2011 File:R. Lee Wrights LPNC 2012 State Convention.jpg

Libertarian presidential candidate R. Lee Wrights
Image: Stef Watson.
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

R. Lee Wrights, a candidate for the U.S. Libertarian Party's presidential nomination, took some time to speak with Accredited Wikinews Reporter William Saturn about his presidential campaign and positions on political issues.

Wrights, a native of North Carolina, is an activist and lifetime member of the Libertarian Party who currently serves as the editor of several Libertarian publications. He previously worked as a medical technician in the United States Air Force and earned degrees in History and Journalism at Willmar College.

He is currently being challenged for the nomination by National Guard officer R.J. Harris, radio host Jim Duensing, former Nevada Libertarian Party chair Jim Burns, marketing executive Roger Gary and attorney Carl Person. 2008 Vice presidential nominee Wayne Allyn Root is also expected to make a run.


Ten personal questions were asked followed by ten policy questions.


((William Saturn)) What are some of your personal achievements?

((R. Lee Wrights)) Founder and editor of, America's premier online libertarian newsletter.

Leading the most-successful volunteer ballot access drive for the Libertarian Party of North Carolina. Serving three terms on the Libertarian National Committee; one term as Vice Chair.

President of the Foundation for a Free Society, a 501c3 non-profit educational organization dedicated to promoting the principles of liberty, personal sovereignty, private property, and free markets in order to create a more free and prosperous society.

((WS)) What are your goals in life?

((RW)) Right now I am focused on bringing a peaceful America to my children and grandchildren.

((WS)) Have you ever been arrested or charged with a crime?

((RW)) No.

((WS)) What historical or contemporary figures do you admire?

((RW)) I admire most of the Founders, but especially Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

((WS)) Who did you support in the 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 presidential elections?

((RW)) Harry Browne, Harry Browne, Michael Badnarik, Mary Ruwart

((WS)) Have you run for public office previously?

((RW)) A couple of times for local offices, however, I have managed numerous campaigns for other candidates at the local, state and national level.

((WS)) Why did you choose to run as a Libertarian?

((RW)) I am seeking the nomination because the Libertarian Party faces a critical test in 2012 and I want to make sure that we're up to the challenge. The Libertarian message in 2012 must be loud, clear and unequivocal call to – stop all war! We must stop the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we must stop the War on Drugs and Alternative Lifestyles, we must Stop the War on Civil Liberties, we must stop the wars on food, healthcare, guns – you name it.

((WS)) What do you feel sets you apart from your fellow contenders for the Libertarian Party presidential nomination?

((RW)) I've been active in the Libertarian Party and libertarian movement all my adult life. I've never been afraid to passionately champion the unvarnished libertarian message of individual liberty and personal responsibility. Other candidates have tried to refine, revise or remake the libertarian message in order to appeal to voters. That tactic has failed not only the party, but the cause of liberty, as well. Instead, I propose to embrace the principled libertarian message and will not be afraid to speak truth to power.

((WS)) How often do you campaign and how would that change if you won the nomination?

((RW)) I am campaigning every day, either in person, online or on the phone and that will not change when I am honored with the Libertarian Party nomination.

((WS)) If elected, what would you do as president?

((RW)) My first order of business will be to disengage the United States from the tangle of misguided, immoral and unconstitutional military conflicts we are involved in by using the same authority and power as Commander-in-Chief so many presidents have abused to get us mired in these quagmires in the first place.


((WS)) What necessary freedoms are currently lacking in American society?

((RW)) All our freedoms are currently under attack by Democratic and Republican politicians who have conjured up myriads of excuses, "imaginary hobgoblins" to wage war on American citizens and the world. They have manipulated events to distract, divide and terrorize Americans into willingly sacrificing their liberty before the great false god of Security.

((WS)) When is government necessary?

((RW)) Government is only necessary to protect individual life, liberty and property. The only just and "necessary" government is one, as James Madison said, "which impartially secures to every man whatever is his own."

((WS)) In a market with little or no government regulation, what prevents an entity from seizing the entire means of production and becoming the new main regulator?

((RW)) Government regulation is in reality a method by which large businesses with power and influence use government power to benefit themselves at the expense of smaller competitors. In a truly free market, there will always be competition to prevent one entity from seizing the entire means of production.

((WS)) In context of government's role, what are your stands on the legality of incest, bestiality and child pornography?

((RW)) While these practices might be repulsive to most people, as they are to me, government cannot stop them from happening. Libertarians believe people should be free to make choice for themselves about their lifestyle, so long as they do not harm others. In all cases where violations of human rights occur, the proper role of government is to prosecute those who have committed the violation.

((WS)) Do you disagree with any parts of the Bill of Rights?

((RW)) No, except that I believe the Second Amendment should have been the first.

((WS)) Should the people of the United States have a right to constitutionally amend the Bill of Rights to increase the power of the federal government and limit individual rights?

((RW)) No individual, or groups of individuals, has the right to limit another individual's rights. Our rights come from our Creator, not from any government or document. Two people, 200 people, 2 million people, even the world's populations combined do not have more rights than one person. That is why when it comes to human rights, no number is greater than one.

((WS)) Should the lives of American citizens be valued above citizens of other nations?

((RW)) No. All human beings have equal value. No race, color, creed, nationality, language group, ethnic group – no human being – is of more value than any other. We are all equal under the Creator. Freedom has no race. Liberty knows no color.

((WS)) What are your views on immigration?

((RW)) The so-called "illegal immigration" issue is an economic issue and should be treated as such. We must change immigration law to match the reality of a dynamic society and labor market. Instead of building walls we should be opening doors. America should be creating a sane and humane immigration process to screen out terrorists and criminals while allowing honest, peaceful, hardworking people to come here to work and help build on the American dream as millions have done before them.

((WS)) When is war necessary?

((RW)) As C.K. Chesterton said, "The only defensible war is a war of defense." The libertarian principle of non-aggression does not mean you can't defend yourself. If the United States is attacked, we should defend ourselves using whatever force is necessary, and all the power at our disposal to stop the attack quickly and decisively. But we do not have the right to maintain an occupation force or engage in "nation building" in the aggressor nation.

((WS)) Are you a truther, birther, neither or both?

((RW)) None of the above. I am a Libertarian.


This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.