Augustus Invictus: The Gainesville Address (18 August 2016)


From Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Augustus Invictus’ Facebook page, August 22nd, 2016:

My Fellow Americans.

Two and a half centuries ago, our forefathers waged a war against their government – and won.

A year and a half ago I announced my candidacy for the United States Senate, and I noted then that our Founding Fathers were not mere talking heads or political pundits. They were not the sort of half-hearted political activists we see holding signs in front of City Hall today. These were powerful men who petitioned their Government in vain; these were men of action who, failing to gain the respect of their Government, took up arms against it.

For forty years now, Libertarian candidates have resigned themselves to failure. Each has settled upon his role as a voice in the wilderness – none has yet accepted the role of the revolutionary. And so, with each election, we volunteer our time to spread the message, and we play the game, and we make a show of running – but always in the back of our minds is the thought: “We won’t win this one, so we need not fight too hard.”

But I have news for you. This time there is a difference.

This time we are going to fight, with everything we have. We will not resign ourselves to our customary third-party irrelevance. We are going to fight because with us at the helm, the Libertarian Party has the leadership, the platform, and the purpose that America needs.

After a period of forty years or a hundred years or a hundred fifty years, when power has gone from the cities and the States to the government in Washington, D.C., it’s time to have power go back from Washington to the States and to the cities of this country – all over America.

We are going to fight because at a time that America cries out for the unity that the Obama Administration has utterly destroyed, the Libertarian Party, at least, will be united in Florida upon my nomination.

I thank all those who have made the hard fight that they have for this campaign. And I know that you will all fight even harder for the coming election in November because we Libertarians are all going to be together in that election campaign.

And a party that can unite itself will unite America.

My Fellow Americans, most important – we are going to fight – win or lose – because our cause is right.

We make history tonight – not for ourselves but for the ages.

The choice we make in 2016 will determine not only the future of America but the future of peace and freedom in the world for this new century.

And the question that we answer tonight: Can America meet this great challenge?

For a few moments, let us look at America, let us listen to America to find the answer to that question.

As we look at America, we see cities enveloped in smoke and flame.

We hear sirens in the night.

We see Americans dying on distant battlefields abroad.

We see Americans hating each other; fighting each other; killing each other at home.

And as we see and hear these things, millions of Americans cry out in anguish:

Did we come all this way for this?

Did American boys die in Normandy, and Korea, and in Valley Forge for this? Did they die in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in the War on Terror, for this?

Listen to the answer to those questions.

It is another voice. It is the quiet voice in the tumult and the shouting.

It is the voice of the great majority of Americans, the forgotten Americans – the non-shouters; the non-demonstrators.

They are not racists or sick; they are not guilty of the crime that plagues the land.

They are black and they are white – they’re native born and foreign born – they’re young and they’re old.

They work in America’s factories.
They run America’s businesses.
They serve in government.
They provide most of the soldiers who died to keep us free.
They give drive to the spirit of America.
They give lift to the American Dream.
They give steel to the backbone of America. They are good people, they are decent people; they work, and they save, and they pay their taxes, and they care.

Like Theodore Roosevelt, they know that this country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless it is a good place for all of us to live in.

This, I say to you tonight, is the real voice of America. In this year 2016, this is the message it will broadcast to America and to the world.

Let’s never forget that despite her faults, America is a great nation.

And America is great because her people are great.

With Winston Churchill, we say: “We have not journeyed all this way across the centuries, across the oceans, across the mountains, across the prairies because we are made of sugar candy.”

America is in trouble today not because her people have failed but because her leaders have failed. And what America needs are leaders to match the greatness of her people.

And this great group of Americans, the forgotten Americans, and others know that the great question Americans must answer by their votes in November is this: Whether we shall continue the policies of the last five decades.

And this is their answer and this is my answer to that question:

When the strongest nation in the world can be tied down for fifteen years in a worldwide war with no end in sight;

When the richest nation in the world can’t manage its own economy;

When the nation with the greatest tradition of the rule of law is plagued by unprecedented lawlessness;

When a nation that has been known for a century for equality of opportunity is torn by unprecedented racial violence;

And when American politicians cannot travel abroad or to any major city at home without fear of a hostile demonstration – then it’s time for new leadership for the United States of America.

My Fellow Americans, tonight I accept the challenge and the commitment to provide that new leadership for America.

And I ask you to accept it with me.

And let us accept this challenge not as a grim duty but as an exciting adventure in which we are privileged to help a great nation realize its destiny.

And let us begin by committing ourselves to the truth – to see it like it is, and tell it like it is – to find the truth, to speak the truth, and to live the truth – that’s what we will do.

We’ve had enough of big promises and little action.

The time has come for honest government in the United States of America.

And so tonight I do not promise the millennium in the morning. The new millennium is already here – and it is up to us to take action and to make the most of it.

I don’t promise that we can eradicate poverty, and end discrimination, eliminate all danger of war in the space of six, or even twelve years. But, I do promise action – a new policy for peace abroad; a new policy for peace and progress and justice at home.

Look at our problems abroad. Do you realize that we face the stark truth that we are worse off in every area of the world tonight than we were when President Eisenhower left office fifty-six years ago; or when Clinton left office sixteen years ago; or when Bush left office eight years ago. That’s the record. And there is only one answer to such a record of failure and that is a complete housecleaning of those responsible for the failures of that record. The answer is a complete re-appraisal of America’s policies in every section of the world.

We shall begin with the War on Terror.

For fifteen years, the Federal Government has had at its disposal the greatest military and economic advantage that one nation has ever had over another in any war in history.

For fifteen years, America’s fighting men have set a record for courage and sacrifice unsurpassed in our history.

For fifteen years, the Federal Government has had the support of the American people for the objective of seeking an honorable end to the struggle.

Never has so much military and economic and diplomatic power been used so ineffectively.

And if after all of this time and all of this sacrifice and all of this support there is still no end in sight, then I say the time has come for the American people to turn to new leadership – not tied to the mistakes and the policies of the past. That is what we offer to America.

And I pledge to you tonight that the first priority foreign policy objective of my tenure as Senator will be to bring an honorable end to the War on Terror. We shall not stop there – we need a policy to prevent more amorphous, worldwide, endless wars.

All of America’s peace-keeping institutions and all of America’s foreign commitments must be re-appraised. Fifty years ago, also in August, also in Florida, Richard Nixon remarked that in twenty-five years, America had provided more than one-hundred and fifty billion dollars in foreign aid to nations abroad. Our generation has done that in the last four years.

In Afghanistan and again in Iraq, the United States furnished most of the money, most of the arms; most of the men to help the people of those countries defend themselves against the enemies of American corporations.

Now, we are a rich country. We are a strong nation. We are a populous nation. But there are three-hundred million Americans and there are seven billion people that live in the world.

And I say the time has come for other nations in the world to bear their fair share of the burden of defending peace and freedom around this world.

What I call for is not isolationism or pacifism. It is a non-interventionism, in which America goes to war when it directly affects the interests of the American people, not the special interests.

We do not seek domination over any other country.

We believe deeply in our ideas, but we believe they should travel on their own power and not on the power of our arms.

We shall never be belligerent but we shall be as firm in defending our system as our enemies are in expanding theirs.

We believe this should be an era of peaceful competition, not only in the productivity of our factories but in the quality of our ideas.

We extend the hand of friendship to all people, to the Russian people, to the Chinese people, to all people in the world. And we shall work toward the goal of an open world – open skies, open cities, open hearts, open minds – but not open borders, open welfare, open caskets.

This period in which we are entering, I think we will have the greatest opportunity for world peace but also face the greatest danger of explicit world war of any time in our history.

I believe we must have peace. I believe that we can have peace, but I do not underestimate the difficulty of this task, considering the belligerence of our own Federal Government, which wants war at all costs. Because you see the art of preserving peace is greater than that of waging war and much more demanding.

And as we commit to new policies for America tonight, let us make one further pledge:

At least for my lifetime, hardly a day has gone by when we haven’t read or heard a report of the American flag being spit on; an embassy being bombed; a city being burned; or an ambassador being insulted some place in the world. And each incident reduced respect for the United States until the ultimate insult inevitably occurred.

And I say to you tonight that when respect for the United States of America falls so low that a fourth-rate military power, like Iran, will seize an American naval vessel and hold our sailors as hostages, it is time for new leadership to restore respect for the United States of America.

My friends, America is a great nation. And it is time we started to act like a great nation around the world. It is ironic to note when we were a small nation – weak militarily and poor economically – America was respected. And the reason was that America stood for something more powerful than military strength or economic wealth.

The American Revolution was a shining example of freedom in action which caught the imagination of the world.

Today, too often, America is an example to be avoided and not followed.

A nation that can’t keep the peace at home won’t be trusted to keep the peace abroad.

A Government that does not earn respect at home will not be treated with respect abroad.

A nation which can’t manage its own economy can’t tell others how to manage theirs.

If we are to restore prestige and respect for America abroad, the place to begin is at home in the United States of America.

My friends, we live in an age of revolution in America and in the world. And to find the answers to our problems, let us turn to a revolution, a revolution that will never grow old. The world’s greatest continuing revolution, the American Revolution.

The American Revolution was and is dedicated to progress, but our founders recognized that the first requisite of progress is order.

Now, there is no quarrel between progress and order – because neither can exist without the other.

So let us have order in America – not the order that suppresses dissent and discourages change but the order which guarantees the right to dissent and provides the basis for peaceful change.

And tonight, it is time for some honest talk about the problem of order in the United States.

Let us always respect, as I do, our courts and those who serve on them. But let us also recognize that some of our courts in their decisions have gone too far, and we must act to restore that balance intended by our forefathers.

Let those who have the responsibility to enforce our laws and our judges who have the responsibility to interpret them be dedicated to the great principles of civil rights. But let them also recognize that the first civil right of every American is to be free from domestic violence, and that right must be guaranteed in this country.

My friends, let this message come through clear from what I say tonight: Time is running out for the merchants of crime and corruption in American society. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Ben Bernanke, Janet Yellen, George Soros & his ilk – they will all be tried for treason if I have anything to say about it.

The wave of crime by our politicians and by the bankers & financiers is not going to be the wave of the future in the United States of America.

We shall re-establish freedom from fear in America so that America can take the lead in re-establishing freedom from fear in the world. And to those who say that law and order is the code word for racism, there and here is a reply: Our goal is justice for every American. If we are to have respect for law in America, we must have laws that deserve respect.

Just as we cannot have progress without order, we cannot have order without progress, and so, as we commit to order tonight, let us commit to progress.

And this brings me to the clearest choice among the great issues of this campaign.

For the past fifty years we have been deluged by government programs for the unemployed; programs for the cities; programs for the poor. And we have reaped from these programs an ugly harvest of frustration, violence, and failure across the land.

And now our opponents will be offering more of the same – more billions for government jobs, government housing, government welfare.

I say it is time to quit pouring billions of dollars into programs that have failed in the United States of America.

To put it bluntly, we are on the wrong road – and it’s time to take a new road, to progress. Again, we turn to the American Revolution for our answer.

The war on poverty didn’t begin fifty years ago in this country. It began when this country began. It’s been the most successful war on poverty in the history of nations. There is more wealth in America today, more broadly shared, than in any nation in the world.

We are a great nation. And we must never forget how we became great.

America is a great nation today not because of what government did for people – but because of what people did for themselves over two-hundred years in this country.

So it is time to apply the lessons of the American Revolution to our present problem.

Let us increase the wealth of America so that we can provide more generously for the aged; and for the needy; and for all those who cannot help themselves. But for those who are able to help themselves – what we need are not more millions on welfare rolls – but more millions on payrolls in the United States of America.

Instead of government jobs, and government housing, and government welfare, let government use its tax and credit policies to enlist in this battle the greatest engine of progress ever developed in the history of man – American private enterprise.

Let us enlist in this great cause the millions of Americans in volunteer organizations who will bring a dedication to this task that no amount of money could ever buy.

And let us build bridges, my friends, build bridges to human dignity across that gulf that separates black America from white America.

Black Americans, no more than white Americans, they do not want more government programs which perpetuate dependency.

They don’t want to be a colony in a nation.

They want the pride, and the self-respect, and the dignity that can only come if they have an equal chance to own their own homes, to own their own businesses, to be managers and executives as well as workers, to have a piece of the action in the exciting ventures of private enterprise.

I pledge to you tonight that we shall have new policies which will provide that equal chance.

We make great history tonight.

We do not fire a shot heard ’round the world but we shall light the lamp of hope in millions of homes across this land in which there is no hope today. And that great light shining out from America will again become a beacon of hope for all those in the world who seek freedom and opportunity.

My Fellow Americans, just to be alive in America, just to be alive at this time is an experience unparalleled in history. Here is where the action is. Think.

We stand now at the dawn of a new millennium. We – not our fathers or grandfathers – will determine what kind of nation America will be.

This is the kind of a day I see for America by the time my children have children of their own.

I see a day when Americans are once again proud of their flag. When once again at home and abroad, it is honored as the world’s greatest symbol of liberty and justice.

I see a day when the President of the United States is respected and his office is honored because it is worthy of respect and worthy of honor.

I see a day when every child in this land, regardless of his background, has a chance for the best education our wisdom and schools can provide, and an equal chance to go just as high as his talents will take him.

I see a day when life in rural America attracts people to the country, rather than driving them away.

I see a day when we can look back on massive breakthroughs in solving the problems of slums and pollution and traffic which are choking our cities to death.

I see a day when our senior citizens and millions of others can plan for the future with the assurance that their government is not going to rob them of their savings by destroying the value of their dollars.

I see a day when we will again have freedom from fear in America and freedom from fear in the world. I see a day when our nation is at peace and the world is at peace and everyone on earth – those who hope, those who aspire, those who crave liberty – will look to America as the shining example of hopes realized and dreams achieved.

My Fellow Americans, this is the cause I ask you to vote for, so that we do not have to go to war for it. This is the cause I ask you to work for, so that we do not have to go to war for it. This is the cause I ask you to commit to – not just for victory in this primary and in November but beyond that to a new generation.

Because the time when one man or a few leaders could save America is gone. We need tonight nothing less than the total commitment and the total mobilization of the American people if we are to succeed.

Government can pass laws. But respect for law can come only from people who take the law into their hearts and their minds.

Government can provide opportunity. But opportunity means nothing unless people are prepared to seize it.

A President can ask for reconciliation in the racial conflict that divides Americans. But reconciliation comes only from the hearts of people.

And tonight, therefore, as we make this commitment, let us look into our hearts and let us look down into the faces of our children.

Is there anything in the world that should stand in their way? None of the old hatreds mean anything when we look down into the faces of our children. In their faces is our hope, our love, and our courage.

Tonight, I see the face of a child.

He lives in a great city. He is black. Or he is white. He is Mexican, Italian, Polish. None of that matters. What matters, he’s an American child. That child in that great city is more important than any politician’s promise. He is America. He is a poet. He is a scientist, he is a great teacher, he is a proud craftsman. He is everything we ever hoped to be and everything we dare to dream to be.

He sleeps the sleep of childhood and he dreams the dreams of a child.

And yet when he awakens, he awakens to a living nightmare of poverty, neglect, and despair.

He fails in school.

He ends up on welfare.

For him the American system is one that feeds his stomach and starves his soul. It breaks his heart. And in the end it may take his life on some distant battlefield.

To millions of children in this rich land, this is their prospect of the future.

But this is only part of what I see in America.

I see another child tonight. He reads a book by nightlight and he dreams of faraway places where he’d like to go.

It seems like an impossible dream.

But he is helped on his journey through life.

A father who encouraged self-education, loyalty to family, and the virtue of valuing the Spirit over the material.

A mother who wept when he went to war, but she understood why he had to go. Great professors, mentors, & instructors encouraged him on his way.

A courageous wife and loyal children stood by him in victory and also defeat.

And in his chosen profession of politics, first there were scores, then hundreds, then thousands, working for his success.

And tonight he stands before you, a candidate for the United States Senate. You can see why I believe so deeply in the American Dream.

For most of us the American Revolution has been won; the American Dream has come true.

And what I ask you to do tonight is to help me make that dream come true for millions to whom it’s an impossible dream today.

In 1860, the newly elected President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, left Springfield, Illinois, never to return again. He spoke to his friends gathered at the railroad station. Listen to his words:

Today I leave you. I go to assume a greater task than devolved on General Washington. The great God which helped him must help me. Without that great assistance, I will surely fail. With it, I cannot fail.

Abraham Lincoln lost his life but he did not fail.

We, my Brothers & Sisters, will face challenges which in some ways will be greater than those of Washington or of Lincoln, of their generals or of their soldiers. Because for the first time in our nation’s history, we will face not only the problem of restoring peace abroad and of restoring peace at home – but now we patriots who believe in the American Dream are no longer the Presidents or the Senators, the leaders of the government: we are considered threats to the government.

Without God’s help and your help, we will surely fail; but with God’s help and your help, we shall surely succeed.

My Fellow Americans, the long dark night for America is about to end.

The time has come for us to leave the valley of despair and climb the mountain so that we may see the glory of the dawn – a new day for America, and a new dawn for peace and freedom in the world.

Be strong. Fear not. And may God bless the United States of America.

You know the scary part about this speech? I plagiarized 99% of it from a speech by Richard Nixon in 1968. In most places, I only changed names: the politicians for the mafia, the War on Terror for the Vietnam War, and so on. The only things that have changed, have changed for the worse.


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