my affair with a girl named rand...

In high school I discovered the writings of Ayn Rand -- as do many adolescence -- and proceeded to read everything that Rand wrote, along with the prominent books advocating the Libertarian Party.  It was a brief affair and one that I am not particularly proud of.  I am told that quite a few naive teenagers get into the philosophy, but grow out of it.  Some points of criticism can be found here;

Despite coming to see Ayn Rand/Libertarian Party as something akin to a cult, I fully support the First Amendment rights of the Libertarian Party to compete in the political process and have made some effort to improve the legal status of Independent and third-party candidates in terms of ballot access, voting methods and public debate participation. This brings me to my work with the late David Helfter on a little-known organization called, Friends of Democracy.


I met Helfter while we were both students at MN State University Moorhead,  Despite our political differences (I was transitioning from identifying as a libertarian to an Independent and he was going to college specifically to help elect libertarian party candidates) we both felt that the range of debate on campus needed to be expanded and that Independent and third-party candidates were being treated unfairly.  We also both had an interest in science fiction, especially Star Trek.


Friend of Democracy sponsored debates that included representatives from various third-political parties, encouraged students to get involved in the political process and, yes, promoted election law reforms. In addition to our sponsored debates, voter registration drives and the like, Friends of Democracy help setup a local chapter of NORML with Kevin R. Shores (part of our goal of getting students more politically active). 


Sadly, in 2004 David Helfter died in a home accident and Friends of Democracy folded soon after.  Today, Election Law/Voting rights remain an interest of mine and I still try to lobby elected officials to adopt ranked choice voting, liberalize ballot access laws and include non-major party candidates in public debates.


I discuss my evolution of my political beliefs/party affiliation some more in my FAQ guide.