Yesterday Colorado suffered a sad loss. I had seen the photos on the newspapers’ web pages, but I didn’t put it together until, by coincidence, I called Sheriff Bill Masters today, and he told me that the victim of yesterday’s plane crash near Boulder was Barry Maggert, long an activist with the Libertarian Party, with which I was once involved. Masters heard the news from Richard Lamping, with whom Masters and I have worked and who helped organized Maggert’s 1998 campaign for U.S. Congress.
Lamping told me about how he got Maggert to open his interviews with a line attributed to Benjamin Franklin, “Half the truth is a great lie,” in criticism of his opponent. Once Maggert and I had a long and pleasant conversation about his history in politics.
As the Rocky Mountain News reports, Maggert was on his way to see his son graduate today from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
The Rocky adds: “Maggert was a columnist for the Carbondale Valley Journal and owned Maggert & Associates Engineers in the town. The Valley Journal says Maggert is a former chairman of the Garfield County Libertarian Party and wrote a column that expressed those views entitled ‘Live and Let Live’.”
What did Barry Maggert believe? I managed to pull up an article from the October, 1998, Colorado Liberty that quotes Maggert. Bill Winter reports:
Colorado Libertarians took to the trees to conduct a ‘pick-in’ to protest restrictive INS policies that have kept immigrant farm workers out of the fruit orchards in that state and threatened to leave apples, pears, and peaches rotting on the trees. On August 29, two dozen LP members spent the day picking pears in the orchards of Talbott Farms in Palisade, Colorado. …
Included in the Libertarian ‘pickin’ crew were Sandra Johnson, the party’s candidate for governor; Dan Cochran, candidate for Lieutenant Governor; and Barry Maggert, candidate for U.S. Congress (District 3).
During the day, Libertarians picked an estimated $5,600 worth of fruit, and donated the proceeds of their labor to migrant farm workers. …
“The INS is displacing needed labor and hurting people who are trying to feed their families,” agreed Maggert.
“These Mexicans are trying to improve their lives — something we as Americans should never oppose. This is not the American
“It’s uncommon to see a government agency meet its objectives as well as the INS has this year,” he said. “But the INS’s success means that fruit will rot on the trees, that workers will be prevented from the free and voluntary exchange of their labor, and that all of us, rich and poor alike, will pay higher prices for food this fall.”
And Maggert’s old political web site includes additional views:
Every individual should be free to pursue his or her own goals and aspirations, both personal and economic, limited only by a respect for the equal rights of everyone else to do the same.
The only legitimate purpose of government is to deal with those who refuse to respect the rights of others.
To work toward a freer America by eliminating laws, regulations, and government programs that restrict or handicap the individual rights to pursue life, liberty and happiness, as the individual sees fit so long as it does not interfere with the rights of others. …
We have a system in this country where only the wealthy can afford to get the education of their choice for their children. Even though all Americans pay taxes for childrens’ education, only a select few have enough money left over to send their kids to a free-market school.
By returning the tax dollars paid by families back to them, all Americans can pick the school of their choice. This causes competition amongst schools to create better curriculums, teaching methods, and learning environments.
Returning parental control of a child’s education instead of the government deciding what a child should and shouldn’t be taught is of the utmost importance.
This looming financial disaster must be our top domestic priority before it bankrupts our nation. Social Security taxes should be halted. Americans could then start to pay into their own private retirement programs.
Government assets should by sold to provide for annuities for all people that have paid into the current system so that their promised benefits are not taken away.
I trust private entities, such as The Nature Conservancy, to take care of our precious forests, deserts, seashores, and wilderness areas more than I trust the government to take care of them. Politicians get contributions from oil, timber, and mining companies as payment for opening up these lands for corporate use. If a private conservator is sold these lands, they belong to them only, to be used as they see fit. As private organizations free enterprise will keep these organizations in check.
I am personally morally opposed to the idea of abortion as a means of contraception, but I am equally opposed to using government to force my morality onto another person. All individuals have the right to do with their own bodies as they choose. …
War on Drugs:
I want to see dramatically reduced crime rates in this country. I want to see drug pushers removed from our schools. I want to see less gang violence. I want to see less organized crime. And lastly, I want to see less crowded prisons so that we may put away violent criminals for good. Why would anyone want to keep our current system of drug laws alive?
It’s time to end the insane war on drugs. The drug problem in America centers around the business of buying and selling of illegal substances, not the individual’s use of drugs. Since hallucinogenic drugs were banned in this country, crime has skyrocketed. Drugs in schools have risen dramatically. The current problems we endure with gang violence and drive-by shootings have not been seen since the days of Prohibition.
One only needs to look back at what the prohibition of alcohol did for organized crime and violence in this country. When Prohibition ended, it ended the criminal careers of men like Al Capone and the days of drive-by shootings and Tommyguns.
Apparently Maggert was interested in Ron Paul’s presidential run.
I didn’t know Maggert well, and I haven’t seen him for years, but what struck me most about him was his down-to-earth good humor. He was a lot of fun to talk with, and he seemed to really enjoy himself. He was serious about promoting human liberty. Even though I eventually left his party, I always appreciated Maggert’s grounded approach. I join with other Colorado advocates of liberty in offering Maggert’s family deepest sympathies during this painful time.
Maggert will be missed. We will remember him and his life’s message, “Live and Let Live.”