This is Wheeler in Ft. Wayne at the 2007 Ft. Wayne Tea Party.
I branded him Patriot Paul by encouraging an unsure and nervous newbie activist to continue to show up to protests in costume.
Recently I discovered this message written by the so-called "patriot" Paul Wheeler, in response to a Libertarian outing that supports small business owners' rights to choose to allow smoking in their establishments. While Paul claims to be anti-smoking, he never once said a word that cigarette smoke offends him as he attended countless activist meetings as I puffed away on cigarettes earlier this year.
I specifically asked Wheeler if he minded if I had a smoke in my own house, to which he replied (as always) that he did not mind. I'm not sure what Wheeler's overall problem is, but I do know one thing. He's a hypocrite in a costume. The inside doesn't match the outside, folks.
--Melyssa for HFFT
Do Libertarians Need a Facelift?
Desiring to take a stand for business owners' rights in the field of smokes, local Libertarian Party members and like-minded went on a 'Cigar-roll' on Saturday in Indianapolis. Yes, we all want business owners to be in charge of their own property, but at what risks to others and to what extent? A man's home is his castle, but even the Constitution directs the government to enter, albeit with a warrant. One cannot hide behind his doors and do anything he wants. Without a full
fledge debate, the matter becomes presentation and emphasis. What message is sent by published pictures of the event showing LP members and such imbibing toxins? While it seems there are as many brands of libertarians as cigars, there are just as many causes to fight for. The question of emphasis becomes whether ingesting poisons is the best way to promulgate the cause of freedom. Fighting for the 'right' to poison others and call it a business seems a strange way to highlight the Libertarian Party, when basic freedoms affecting and transcending both smokers and non-smokers are far more plentiful, given the breathtaking national issues besetting us during the last several years and aggressively thrust upon the American people during 2008-9; the Fed, fiat money, taxes, bailouts, banking. The question is not whether the LP has a right to ingest poisons, but whether it wishes to be seen as extremists in perpetuating an addiction to others by example. It's one thing to take to the streets with signs for freedom and another thing to participate in something knowingly harmful to yourself & others under the guise of liberty. The means don't justify the ends. Patrick Henry wanted liberty or death; not liberty as a means to death.Bottom line: can libertarians get away from these displays and define itself on broader issues confronting Americans and be relevant. Donny Ferguson, communications director of the national LP, wrote recently that 2 items, guns and legalization of drugs, are worthy causes. The latter is exactly what has marginalized the LP. The LP needs to rise to the issues of immigration and abortion, among others (even libertarian icon Ron Paul is against abortion on libertarian grounds, based on not using force to effect change). For 30+ years, the LP has done instant replays of fringe antics. Take a look at the pictures and ask yourself if this is the message of hope or hopelessness. Is this the direction of the LP? Will the real reformers please stand up. Would you vote for these people for public office to represent you?
Here is a well-thought response to Wheeler I was emailed today. It states what I continue to hear from people who interact with him. Paul is a guy in a costume with a mighty overblown ego.
It is Ironic that Patriot Paul is reading the Declaration of Independence at the 4th of July Tea Party. I say ironic because Patriot Paul is a statist. He believes in government intervention not only in your personal life, but in how one can run his own small business. While movements often feel the need to have some kind of mascot, Wheeler has not distinguished himself in the area of pro-liberty ideology or in demonstrating any understanding of things. He has mostly relegated himself to some kind of critic who just likes to throw rocks at people wiser than himself.
Patriot Paul called those opposed to the forced government smoking bans on private property "murderers" and "baby killers". His comment alienated many people and will certainly not earn him a spot amongst Indiana's great statesmen. Patriot Paul is a staunch supporter of Smoke Free Indy's campaign to eliminate smoking in cigar bars, hookah bars, clubs and pubs. This of
course would cause many small business owners to lose their life's work, all in the name of government saving people from harming themselves. Patriot Paul believes that others should not be able to smoke on private commercial property, even though an individual has a choice whether or not to patron an establishment. Patriot Paul believes that choice should not exist. Suffice to say that places like Indy Cigar Bar, by the Keystone Fashion Mall, would be forced to close if Patriot Paul, Smoke Free Indy and the local statist politicians get their way.
By the way, Smoke Free Indy is a government funded special interest group that lobbies local government to adopt legislation that forces their ideals and views onto the general population. Anyone see the conflict of interest in a government funded special interest group? If someone was to support an organization like that, then they don't deserve the title of Patriot to me, nor should that person be reading the Declaration of Independence at a rally denouncing government intervention. It's just an insult to the founding fathers and to insult them on the 4th of July is unfathomable.
But, hey, some people will cozy up to any group or organization or even throw their former friends under the bus if they think it will get them some form of minor notoriety. There are far better advocates around Central Indiana that could have been tapped for this, insulting everyone with someone just because they have a nice costume to wear wasn't necessary. It's time to start paying to attention to who the smart, principled and ideologically grounded folks are not just who is vocal and flamboyant.