1980/1 Jeb and George HW Bush/ Ronald Reagan Home
By 1979 I had become involved enough in the Libertarian Party to become a delegate to the 1979 LP national convention in LA., where I voted for Ed Clark. While I was out there in LA I wondered if Arnold was following politics and was aware of the Libertarian Party convention in town.
In 1980 we had a fund raiser for the Ed Clark for President campaign in Ft. Myers with Ed in attendance when I donated $5000 to his campaign thanks to the money made by following Harry Browne's advice through the late 70s. As I gave the check to the LP bigwig from Washington, DC I told him I hoped they put it to good use. Imagine my surprise when several months later I saw Ed on national TV in a several minute ad talking about abolishing the newly instated selective service registration. I had never told anyone about my past history so I found it strange that they had put my money to use in the manner they did. I believe that someone in Washington had been able to find out about my history and relayed that information to someone in the Libertarian Party.
After Reagan won the election in 1980 his VP elect, George Bush, came to the Naples Beach Club to speak. He had a lot of friends in Naples going back many years. I had already been suspicious of him and his possible peripheral involvement in the Kennedy Assassination and continuing the CIA's cover-up while head of the CIA. (Who Killed JFK) I also had been miffed about his recent comment during the primaries calling Reagan's proposed economic policies "Voodoo Economics." I decided to distribute leaflets criticizing Bush's comments. So I guess I was criticizing him from both the right and left. At the time I was on the Florida LP executive committee and had founded the Collier County LP branch which I used as the sponsor of the leaflet.
When I arrived there was a big traffic jam in front of the Beach Club as cars were waiting to park. At the time I had a “Government is the Problem – Not the Solution” bumper sticker. I parked near the beach club golf course so that the bumper sticker was visible to cars on the street. I began passing out my leaflets in the street to the cars as they entered the parking lot. I had on my “Joggers Do It on Their Feet” T-shirt.
After the cars had all entered I decided to enter the grounds of the beach club to see if I could find some more action. As I walked around the side of the building I saw about 12 people (mostly men in suits) standing outside a door smoking and talking. I approached them and began handing out my leaflets. Then I saw a tall young man dressed casually who just struck me as being a graduate of an ivy league school. I approached him and said hi and handed him a leaflet. Not long after that two of the men in suits approached me and said I would have to leave the property. They grabbed me by the arms and started to escort me off the property. As they did so I turned my head back and yelled "No problem - we believe in private property rights."
I figured that those people were in George's entourage and that some of them might even be family, so the message would get to him. I went around to the front of the building and waited to see when the message would get to George. Sure enough about 15 minutes later I saw two men looking out from their room down at me from the upper floors. I just stared back. I left soon after that.
I wondered who the young man was that I had handed the flyer to that had resulted in such a quick response from security. I wouldn't find out until the 90s when Jeb Bush began running for Governor of Florida.
When I called in to talk to him on a local talk show I had a hunch that he was the young man I had met while protesting his father in 1980 but I hadn't seen him on TV yet so I wasn't positive. I called in to complain about his father reneging on his “Read My Lips – No New Taxes” pledge.
During our conversation he mentioned that it sounded like I was reading some of the same publications he was. The publication he was talking about was Reason Magazine, a libertarian publication out of Santa Barbara. Later during his campaign I heard him mention several times his libertarian leanings. Soon after that I saw him on TV and my hunch was confirmed.
Not long after I protested the VP Elect at the Beach Club, I was interviewed by the Naples Daily News and had a big write up in the Sunday edition of the Naples Daily News about me and the Libertarian Party. During the interview it was pointed out to me that the history of third parties in this country was not very promising. I pointed out that although the socialist party never had a candidate elected to a major office virtually all of their platform was adopted by the other two parties.
About that time I also had a letter to the editor featured in "Info World", a personal computer magazine out of California. Someone in the personal computer industry had written a letter to the editor pleading for the industry to get together to create lobbying groups to lobby congress for favors. I argued that whenever producers in the same industry got together they inevitably get around to trying to limit competition and raise prices. I pointed out the problems of the industries with high government involvement and suggested that the personal computer industry concentrate on providing quality products at reasonable prices instead of wasting their efforts lobbying congress.
I signed it as the owner of Southwest Computer Center which was the name of my business at the time. This was probably misleading as I only had an Atari 80 and a mini-computer that were actually for sale at the time and the southwest referred only to southwest Florida. My focus had already shifted from selling hardware to developing and selling accounting software for the new personal computers coming on the scene so that small businesses could more effectively compete with larger companies. I would eventually change the name to “Software Solutions, Fla.” to reflect that fact.
I also signed as the Lee County campaign manager for Ed Clark's LP presidential run. I was really surprised when a week later I saw my letter featured on the editorial page of “Info World.” I'm sure Larry Ellison would have read it and possibly Arnold also.
I've since read about how big a kick Nancy Reagan got out of my protesting George H.W. Bush in Naples but Ronnie had to go public with a half-hearted apology for his more enthusiastic supporters which I saw him do on TV a few days later to smooth it over.
As I was watching Reagan's inaguration speech on Jan 20, 1891 I couldn't help but be encouraged by his saying Government was not the solution and calling his presidency a “new beginning” which had been Ed Clark's campaign slogan.
Several months later my neighbor approached me and said the FBI had came to his house and asked questions about me. I had no idea what that was about, but I knew something was up.
One afternoon I was in my office when a charming middle aged married couple came into my office. They said they were from the Washington D.C. With the Reagan Administration and the General Accounting Office. We talked some about politics before they asked me how I would feel about working in the Reagan Administration. As much as I liked Reagan I still was too much of a libertarian to believe that the Republican Party would be able to reduce the size of the Federal Government. I had read about David Stockman's rather libertarian views and was a fan of his but I was just starting my new business. I was curious about what my duties would be but assumed it would have something to do with the new micro computer software and databases. I replied that the only thing I wanted to send to Washington, DC was a nuclear bomb. Today that would get you arrested. Before they left I apologized to them for my gruffness and told them that I realized that they were the good guys as the GAO tries to keep government spending within limits as far as I understood. I was kind of a loner and I didn't mention it to anyone, not even my brother.
Several months later Reagan and Bill Casey, the director of the CIA, visited Naples to play golf.
In 82 news came out about the CIA being involved in blowing up power stations in Nicaragua in their support of the Contras against the Sandinistas. Being a former electrician I found that especially offensive. Just the thought of all that wasted material and labor that had gone into wiring the station. I was imagining the poor people of that country trying to survive while the CIA is cutting off their power supply. I wrote a letter to the editor complaining about it saying that if the God, Guns, and Guts people wanted to take THEIR God, and THEIR Guns, and THEIR Guts to Nicaragua I had no problem with that but not to tax me for it because I didn't want to support terrorist actions such as that. Being a libertarian I had no love for the Sandinistas. It was just the means again that I was objecting to.
It wasn't long after that that the Congress passed the Boland Amendment which was supposed to prevent the executive branch from spending any public funds toward attempting to overthrow the Nicaraguan government. This led to the Reagan administration and Casey at the CIA seeking private funding and the Iran/Contra scandal.
My hunch about the Republican Party was correct. Reagan had to back off on his pledge to abolish the departments of education and energy. Stockman resigned in 1985 after it became apparent that congress was not going to allow any spending cuts in social services. That along with Reagan's increase in the military budgets caused a dramatic increase in the US debt which accelerated our spiral towards national bankruptcy. Before Reagan would leave office the national debt would nearly triple.
Reagan was a great spokesman for individual freedom and economic freedom and his greatest contribution was in backing Paul Volker in his attempt to get inflation under control by raising interest rates until he put a stake in the heart of that nasty bitch. However as republics meander on their journey toward democracies they build up layer upon layer of complexities and financial burdens which can only end in a collapse. Once the electorate learns they can vote themselves something for nothing the result is inevitable. The politicians realize the only way they can stay in power is by giving the people what they want - benefits that someone else pays for.
Eventually it becomes necessary to go to a fiat monetary system to try to hide the costs and the unacknowledged bankruptcy by inflating the currency. We are just beginning the era of the collapse of the US empire. We overreached just as all empires in the past have done and now we must pay the previously deferred costs. It will not be pretty.
See What Went Wrong.