Separating the Libertarians from the Neocons

Grand Street News, a fine community paper serving the lower east side, features yours truly in the latest issue. Sharp-eyed editor Yori Yanover noticed that was confusing lovable Libertarians with ill-mannered Republicans, and contacted me for clarification:

The other day, we read in Lloyd Doggett’s report in Politico about the disruptions of health-plan town hall meetings a reference to the disrupters being a “mob, sent by the local Republican and Libertar ian parties” that “came not just to be heard but to deny others the right to be heard.”

We could believe this about Republicans (Who can forget the Dade County Brooks Brothers Riot?). But Libertarians? Would Ayn Rand condone brute thuggery? So we emailed the only Libertarian we know—and vote for—our neighbor from East River Housing Jim Lesczynski: “Is this something your people would do?”

Jim Wrote back: “I can’t speak for what other Libertarians would do while acting as individuals, and I haven’t read the Politico report, but I can tell you that the Manhattan Libertarian Party would never send people to disrupt someone’s meeting or town hall. In my opinion, the Libertarian ethic is to treat other people the way you want to be treated. I would not want someone to disrupt my meeting, and I certainly wouldn’t condone the disruption of someone else’s event.”

Just as we suspected.

Yori also notes my current campaign to abolish the Public Advocate, “the office which he, and 98% of New Yorkers consider a useless waste of public money.”

Grand Street News endorsed me for NYC Public Advocate in 2005.

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