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Ted’s essays

governor campaign inquiry – response

E-mail to Ted Dunlap for Montana Governor with response below.

Greetings Mr. Dunlap, (received 8/28/2016)

I suppose I need a little information which you should be able to provide.

1. How many Montanans are Libertarians in the Montana Libertarian party?

2. Who is your running mate as the Lt. Governor?

3. Who is your campaign manager?

4. How many counties have you covered in the state?

5. When was the Montana Libertarian party convention and where was it held and how many attended?

6. What bills are you proposing for the state of Montana?

7. What do you think about Universal Military Training?

8. What do you think about Montana National Guard?

9. Did you serve in the Military Ted? (Saw nothing on your web site) or did your running mate for Lt. Governor serve in the military?

10. Have you read the Montana Constitution? What are your thoughts?

11. What are your thoughts on the financial situation with the folks in Montana…specifically what are your thoughts on the Montana laws covering credit reporting for the people?

12. How many Montana TV talk shows have you been on? Have you been on The State of the State?

13. Which Montana newspapers have covered your candidacy and has any endorsed you?

14. You and I agree on the term “Democracy” being bandied about ‘sooo loosly’, and apparently you and I recognize that this country is a Constitutional Republic as is actually so is the state of Montana, structured the same. In this regard, do you know the structure of how the Montana Legislature conducts business and what could be improved? If you see improvement in that area, how would you go about to improve it?

15. How is the money in the campaign? A fair budget, a poor budget a great budget?

16. Have you investigated your two primary opponents? What are their strengths and what are their weaknesses?

17. What is your campaign schedule to the election… a calendar of events and appearances?

18. Who in the House and the Senate have you met with and how many may gravitate to your campaign and even help with your campaign?

19. What organizations in Montana have you contacted that want a better Montana government, who are they and how much do they support you?

20. My last question: Why not sell T-shirts and other promotional items on your web site for donations?

James (Warrant Officer USMC ret.)

James, I apologize for taking so long to answer. I wanted to respond in-kind to your thoughtfully crafted questions.

The Ravalli County Libertarian party is the best organized in the state, BUT that is due entirely to the energy and perseverance of one man, Dave Merrick. He does not use the Internet at all, which is a limiting factor, but he is a dynamo of personal action and telephone calls. However, that only results in 20-30 people he can call “Libertarian” on his list in The Bitterroot. People with strong independence and self-reliant natures don’t seem to lend themselves towards organizing in political groups.

Ron Vandevender is the Libertarian candidate for Lt. Gov. I have yet to meet him, but he is the guy the party chose for the slate, and is a strong opponent of over-reaching government. His website is: http://www.ronformontana.com/

I am my own campaign manager, treasurer, webmaster, financeer and anything else that gets done on this campaign. Not that I’m good at doing all those things simultaneously, but I am the only one I’ve been able to assign the tasks to. Delegation is actually one of my strong suits, but I have nobody to delegate to thus far.

Your next question relates directly to that. I started off the Ted Dunlap for Montana Governor campaign expecting to run around at least western Montana, but have been de-motivated by the total lack of financial and physical help. I’m afraid this campaign never got wheels under it. Maybe everybody is hunkering down expecting incoming fire. Maybe it’s me. I dunno.

The Montana state Libertarian Party has not met as a group any time in the last few years. The Ravalli County party has met two times this year, but there have been no formal party conventions.

I propose no new laws for Montana. I strongly believe there are far too many. For over 100 years, people who lusted for control, power and unearned wealth wormed their way into state and federal legislative bodies … where they created laws to serve the people who financed their campaigns and those who donate “speaking fees” to politicians. Undoing some of that would be a much better legislative priority than adding to it. I am proud to say I would give that my best shots.

Universal military training, as you call it, would be a world better than passing out smart phones and participation awards to a generation who has earned precious little and respects even less. I used to think some, any, USofA federal military service was a positive rite of passage. So many of us went from boys to men during our tours of duty that it seems a natural way to accomplish the transition. Moreover, the pampered sissies, to put it crudely, we see where we used to see young men are a clear symptom that something is gravely wrong with our culture.

Now, however, I find myself a much smaller, less-experienced version of Brigadier General Smedley Butler who wrote the small paperback book War Is A Racket once he realized what he had done for the wrong people and their trumped-up reasons for killing abroad. I am frightfully aware in ways I was clueless before that my service, and that of every fellow veteran, served under direction of some really awful people with horrible, ugly, self-serving motivations.

Yesterday, taking a break from my Libertarian Party booth, I watched a few minutes of our county fair rodeo events. Teams of young adults rode their horses with great power, skill, dexterity, talent and courage. I watched them racing, in small teams against a clock to single an assigned steer out of a herd, getting it and two of their horses into a stock trailer as fast as possible. Mounted, dismounted, literally wrestling the steer by the horns, tail, ropes and anything else they could use to get the job done.

Next I watched a bunch of teams simultaneously working to get a measured amount of milk out of wild cow herd … first team to un-rope their captive cow and deliver the milk wins. Mounted, unmounted, lassos flying, horned cows charging every whichaway, horses, cowboys and cowgirls on the ground, running, falling, wrestling the cows, riderless horses running around at random … THAT was NOT an event for sissies, or for those who can’t work together as a team in a melee.

I am thinking today that there are a number of ways societies can help youngsters find honorable adulthood… but that none of them involve getting something for nothing… and all of them involve honor, courage, work ethic and serving your community in positive ways.

The USofA was founded in a culture that assumed voluntary community defense. The thought that some would sit by hoping and wishing that evil will miss them and their world simply would not occur to the founders of this country. They formally called the defensive service “the militia” and figured it included every able bodied man from teens to seniors, along with any women who were inspired into direct participation. Built into this were the people of experience training and guiding those who have more youth, energy and much to learn. Solid cultures are always structured that way. That would be a world better than having a youth-dominated war machine with senior draft dodgers at the controls.

All of the state, regional and private militias were at one time designed similarly. When threatened by a large force, they united, worked together and, if the threat was large enough, created a national army to repel foes. Again, it was not just 20-40 year olds, it was EVERY courageous, responsible, able-bodied man, including some who could speak with experience of the horror of war and the desirability of avoiding it.

The standing army we were warned about 200 years ago was not part of our constitutional republic’s design. At no point was the federal government supposed to be capable of posing a threat to the people who authorized it and states that created it.

We lost our way. The state militias were stolen; usurped into the federal standing army. The word “militia” was demonized. The regional armories were commandeered by the federal army. Instead of being a locally controlled regional emergency response team, all of the organized, disciplined defense has been destroyed and, in most cases, deployed in foreign wars of questionable utility to the general populace.

I love what the Montana National Guard should be. I respect the individuals who enlisted in it. I wish it were constituted as outlined in the above paragraphs. Regardless of any election, I have and will continue to work for my community in defensive, communications, emergency response and other capacities as I am capable.

I served 4 years in the US Air Force during the Vietnam War. (James sent a follow-up message saying he had indeed found this information at my website).

I have read the Montana Constitution. There are a few elements clearly written by men removed by years and motivation from the original founders of this country, but most of it would be good for all of us, were it adhered to.

“The financial situation with the folks in Montana” is a huge, complicated question. The essence of it lies in the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 and the 90% – 97% of the value the USofA dollar has lost since then. While we popularly use the word “lost”, STOLEN is indeed more accurate. Nevertheless, time, money, resources and liberty have been lost or taken from all of us. The results hurt the bottom 99% while the top 1% find it quite satisfactory; the top 0.01% even more so. This will not be resolved while the great majority of us remain ignorant of the cause. Man can either be free or ignorant – not both.

I have been on one radio talk show. Syndicated reporter Perry Bacus published a respectful article about me. I have had written opinions and responses published in print and online media. I have received no endorsements from media, officials or figureheads.

I am gratified that you read some of my writing on the word “democracy”. I don’t think, even were I elected Montana governor, I could restructure the state legislature. However, much as two-term New Mexico governor Gary Johnson did, a good governor could veto bad law, encourage good law and curtail excessive spending.

Of the three choices in your multiple choice question, my campaign budget is “poor”. That hampers my ability to participate outside of very local events, limits advertising and, probably worst, leaves me feeling my efforts and perspective are unappreciated. I do not take that personally. I am confident, competent and productive in many, many ways. It just is not the time, or I am not the person for this campaign. That is really okay with me, though I am disappointed with the sleepers. Who will wake them? Where? When? I will continue to see the future I see, and work towards a strong community as best I can.

The last four of your questions I will merge and answer with a reiteration that my campaign finances have come entirely out of my family budget. I expect no significant change and have no plans for aggressive campaigning.

And, finally, you ask me about the other candidates for Montana Governor.

Of the options voters have for Montana governor in November, the incumbent is clearly the worst of the three. He has a proven track record of serving someone besides the people of Montana. He opposes armed self-defense and favors expensive, health-destroying pharmaceuticals over cannabis with 100-year history as non-destructive medicine. Greg Gianforte and I have talked quite a bit. He is an honorable, thoughtful, knowledgeable man. He has some blind spots that are common today, including his ignorance that the current prohibition is far worse than the disease. Neither of them would, or are capable of thinking and writing what I have written above.