While I couldn’t find anything written by Barry Hess about his Libertarian Presidential campaign (and in all honesty, I didn’t know he was running until I read it in one of Stephen Gordon’s articles here on LFV) I did find this autobiography, apparently written when he was running for a governorship.
Barry Hess Biography
I graduated from Fordham University in New York City in 1978 and then spent a little time in Law School. It didn’t take too long for me to figure out that I really didn’t want to be a lawyer, I wanted to travel and see the world, and so I did.
I am sincerely grateful that a solid work ethic and the pursuit of excellence (not perfection) had been instilled in me by the examples I saw in my own family. I can’t say we were poor, because my family’s fortunes seemed to settle more to either extreme of being broke, or flush. I got to see both sides and the middle of the economic spectrum in detail. I know how the ‘other half’ lives.
I loved summers for as long as I can remember, its arrival meant that I could get out of Florida and go up North to Ohio to work
and play on my grandparent’s farm.
The first job I had that I actually got paid for, was when I was twelve years old. What started as a modest newspaper delivery route soon became the second-largest in the city of Springfield, Ohio. I just kept using my own earnings to buy out the other paper boys, and when we finally moved up to New Hampshire a couple of years later, I was able to sell my business for a handsome profit. I was hooked on self-reliance from that point on.
My Mom died after an extended and hard-fought bout with cancer. She was 48, I was a high school freshman of 14, and the loss exposed a profound realization of just how precious, fleeting and fragile our time here really is.
As I grew up I did the usual things like pumping gas, washing dishes and mowing lawns. One of the best jobs I had was as the host of my own radio program when I was a sophomore in high school. I had become entirely self-sufficient. If I couldn’t find a job I liked, I’d invent one. Pulling my own weight gave me dignity and self-respect. From my fourteenth birthday I felt the pangs of pride and from that time on I would refuse to accept even a single dime that I did not earn—from anyone.
In high school, I continued to involve myself in theatre and sports like skiing, track, football and baseball, as well as school politics where I served as class president and student representative. I didn’t graduate high school, in fact after 2 ½ years of it, I had had enough. I was bored, so I went to college at the University of New Hampshire, at Plymouth. My freshman year I was voted class president and played sports like soccer, skiing and lacrosse. My sophomore year through graduation was spent at Fordham University in the Bronx of New York City. In order to pay my own way, I scrubbed the school’s toilets, (calling myself “Commander Commodee”) and managed the campus center at night that gave me time to study. I started a travel business to provide low cost student vacations to Ft. Lauderdale for Spring Break.
In the summers, I worked interstate bridge construction as a laborer. For fun, it was the school’s theatre troupe, soccer, sky-diving and rugby that kept me busy.
After graduating in May of 1978 with a B.A. in English and indepth credits in History, Political Science and Philosophy, I moved into Manhattan and took a job as a legal hearing representative for fraud investigations for a major national insurance company. It wasn’t long before I was offered a promotion and a transfer to San Diego. My cross-country trek was interrupted with a visit to my sister, right here in Phoenix. I never made it to San Diego, it just felt ‘right’ to stay.
Today, I’m learning to invest as a currency speculator in the foreign exchange market.
Arizona is where I really grew up. I’ve tried a lot of things here, and a lot of different businesses, and I’ve made a lot of mistakes, just like people do. But you’ll not find an honest man who can say that I have ever cheated or stolen from them, even though I have managed to embarrass myself more times than I care to recount.
I’m not one of those ‘perfect-never-done-anything-wrong’ candidates who’ve buried or bought off their indiscretions. Asked if I had any skeletons in the closet, I was dumbfounded—see, I was thinking more like a bone yard than a closet. But then, I know I am my own worst critic.
There’s no saint like a reformed sinner.
The good thing about having made mistakes along the way is that each incident of significance has served a good purpose. Like God himself slapping me upside the head to straighten me out. Usually, the ones I remember brought me to a fork in the road and on to bigger and better things. You might say I’ve earned a Doctorate in Jim Rohn’s philosophy of, “If you want to know how to do something ‘right’…do it wrong first”.
My greatest embarrassment is in not getting involved in the political process sooner. Like most other people, I was content to complain while I waited for someone else to ‘fix’ government, or to restore my freedoms. Then one day, I had had it. I drew a line in the sand and convinced myself that if ‘they’ ever imposed upon my rights to a certain extent, then I would get into it.
My embarrassment comes from knowing that the line I drew kept retreating. Finally, I couldn’t let it go any further. I had to admit to myself that nobody else was going to stand up for the little guy. And if I didn’t do it, it wasn’t gonna get done. I view my participation as a duty I owe as the price of my own freedom, and at the same time, a privilege to serve others.
The individual rights our founding fathers died to protect are so important to me because I can see that this generation will either destroy the last vestiges of the freedoms that make us unique, or reclaim them.
My decision to seek the Libertarian nomination for Governor is really very simple, I just want my Freedoms, my Rights and my Responsibilities back.
I believe that the gift of Life is far too precious, and far too fleeting to turn over to anyone else. I do not pretend to know better how you should run your Life. No one knows better how to do that than you. I don’t want to spend your money. I believe your money is yours. Like Harry Browne said, “it is up to you to spend it, save it, invest it or give it away as you see fit, not how some faceless far-removed bureaucrat decides you should”.
Only a handful of individuals have even held the seat of this States’ Governorship, and I am confident that each and every one would tell us that 99.9% of what they needed to know to function in office was learned in office. This position is so unique; there literally is no way to prepare. Prior experience only says they can ‘copy’ what the ones who brought us to this point have done. Is that what we want, more of the same?
A grasp of the Constitution, common sense and the integrity to follow through in doing what is right, are preferable to laying claim to having been “successful” at getting elected. I am intent on changing the way things get done in Arizona and not concerned with how they are being done now.
I have no stronger desire than to restore our State to its’ former greatness and to leave a legacy of individual Freedom to our next generation. As Americas’ first political philosophy, Libertarians have an obligation to press on until the job gets done. A single-mindedness of purpose, a clear understanding of our Constitution(s) and some common sense are the only qualifications a candidate would need to get my vote.
Our current politicians are delusional in thinking they can use government to fix everything in everyone’s lives. And they say I’m utopian when I suggest we let people take care of themselves by getting government out of the way. Maybe I am utopian, but they are definitely delusional. History shows that government usually screws up just about everything it gets into and only makes matters worse. I hope you’ll join me in this grassroots effort, and I’ll ask that you support the campaign in every way that you can, even if it’s just talking about it to your neighbors and persuading them to get up, get out and vote this time around. You can be assured that this time you will not be limited to a choice of the lesser of two evils.