A few folks have asked me why I support LP Presidential Candidate Kent McManigal. After all, I don’t agree with everything he says and he’s unlikely to get the nomination, but the truth is that Kent is a fascinating individual, a true individualist who has so much more to offer us than politics. He just published an insightful article on Strike the Root, which he calls “A Deep Breath of Freedom” . Here is an excerpt:
I have not really spent much time until now thinking about why freedom is so important to me. I love freedom for the same reason I love oxygen: Both are necessary for life. Government is like a fire in a small room, burning up the oxygen and making me fight to get to the fresh air outside. When the Declaration of Independence speaks of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” I think it is simply repeating itself for emphasis. The three things are so tightly bound together that I don’t think they can be separated.
Most of my thoughts of freedom center around the outdoors. Freedom to me is the ability to enjoy life and not worry about laws or regulations. Freedom is not the opportunity to take advantage of or hurt anyone. Those kind of twisted desires bring their own chains, even if you don’t get caught.
There are many times in my life where I have felt limitless freedom, such as the day I spent sitting on the edge of a cliff, in the roots of an ancient tree. I watched the clouds drifting slowly past far below me, hawks riding the air currents beneath the clouds. I could see the river glistening in the distance and tiny houses that I understood were very important to people I didn’t know, people who were the whole world to someone. For that day, I felt as though I were a part of their world, yet isolated from it. On days like that, freedom is a physical presence.
There are also the days of peeling the bark from poles destined to be new lodge poles for my tipi. Seeing the bark curl away from my drawknife and smelling the freshly exposed wood, there is no way to adequately describe the experience. I immerse myself in it so deeply that I chew bits of the bark to more fully become a part of the tree.
McManigal continues to describe his outdoor experiences in a manner so descriptive that you feel like you’re there, experiencing it with him. Then he continues on to discuss his presidential campaign, ending with the following:
This presidential campaign I have undertaken has forced me to give up some of my freedom in order to spread my message around a bit. I think it has been worth it. I hope that from reading my words, someone else has begun living more free. I must remind myself that I can’t show other people why freedom is so valuable if I don’t allow myself to enjoy it.
Do yourself a big favor today. Do something to increase your own freedom, if only for a brief time. Escape that small room where government consumes all the oxygen, or use the fire extinguisher of your own exercised rights and accepted responsibilities to make your world safe for freedom in the future.
Kent McManigal is not your typical politician. He is unapologetic about his lifestyle and beliefs, and doesn’t try to hide his true self from the voters. And that, in a nutshell, is why I support Kent McManigal. He has been called everything from a “mountain man” to an “anarchist”, to a “hippy”. Yet those terms don’t even begin to describe the man.
Even if Kent doesn’t get the nomination, his candidacy will not have been in vain, because his deeply held libertarian philosophy will have made an indelible mark on those within the Libertarian Party who were able to look beyond the physical facade, to the true lover of freedom which lies beneath.