Former Libertarian Party VP Candidate Wayne Root: Decent Egyptians Love Mubarak


Appearing, alas, on the Libertarian Party's website, Wayne Root sets the biased media straight:

I just got off the phone with a longtime friend- a successful Egyptian business leader. He believes that several hundred thousand people in the streets do not represent the 80 million citizens of Egypt. They represent anarchists, communists, and Islamic extremists- all with an agenda and axe to grind. He says if you polled the people of Egypt today, the majority would support Mubarak. He says that the backbone of Egypt- the business owners, small business community, and middle class still support Mubarak and the military.

Obligatory libertariana way farther down the essay--and numerically placed as of less libertarian significance than the fact that "media coverage is often based on sensationalism" (you know, like tens of thousands protesting in the streets): not our job to pick overseas leaders, end foreign aid, blah blah.

NEXT: Miami Beach Police vs. Citizens With Cameras

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. O noes, anarchists!!!!

  2. not our job to pick overseas leaders, end foreign aid, blah blah

    Libertarians believe in isolationism, in minding their own business, in not getting involved in foreign intrigues. No?

    1. Yes, but I believe Brian's point is that the article tacked them on as obligatory "Our Father"s after saying "Hey that dictator on the US payroll is a right good chap."

    2. I think the complaint is that Root paid lip service to those notions while hinting at a very different set of priorities while making his central point.

    3. A quibble: I wouldn't accept the label of "isolationism" for the policy of "minding their own business... not getting involved in foreign intrigues".

  3. I hate everything.

    1. so u hate hate?

      1. I would hate you, but why waste the energy?

      2. He hates haters.

  4. "I just got off the phone with a successful Alabamian business leader, and he assures me that all those Negroes are being stirred up by outside agitators, probably Communists."

    Also, I have trouble believing that in a nation of 80 million, there are even hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of "anarchists, communists, and Islamic extremists" and their dupes.

    1. I'll agree with you on the anarchists and communists, but that last bit I wouldn't be surprised if there were in excess of several hundred thousand (polls conducted in Egypt have revealed something around 20% openly embracing/empathizing with Al-Quesadilla, even if you assume the poll results are doubled from flawed methodology, that's still 8 million).

      1. Is Al-Quesadilla like Al Pastor? It's all tasty to me.

      2. And almost half the country is on the record as sympathetic to Hamas in those polls as well.

        The idea that there aren't that many Islamists in Egypt is just laughable. It's the freaking birthplace of the modern Islamic terror movement for crying out loud.

  5. It hurts me to ask this since I treasured Brian Doherty's entry to WhoYaVotinForPalooza 2008 the mostest of all.

    Will one other living person please proofread his posts?!

    1. If there's an error in it, please point it out and I'll fix it. If you just don't like my sentences, I can only apologize. Blogging is fast and dirty and, as I'm sure you've all figured out, seen by no one other than the authors, and has to be amended on down the line in a similarly fast and dirty manner.

      1. Thank god we have The Daily coming to restore our faith in journalism. I mean, they don't post anything until it's a day out of date! That way, there can be no errors.

        1. I'd rather have factually accurate news a few hours "late" than error-riddled news that trips over itself in the quest to be first. Did you know that Rep. Giffords died at the scene? Oops, sorry, she didn't. Knee-jerk news reporting encourages knee-jerk responses by people who believe everything they read and who might never see the inevitable retractions and apologies.

          1. If some people can't think critically, that's their problem, not ours.

            1. "Blogging is fast and dirty" that's the best shit you've written today-write when you're pissed-off more often.

  6. Freedom for Americans, miniature American flags^H^H^H^H^H truncheons for others!

    1. flags^H^H^H^H^H truncheons^H^H^H^H^H tear gas cannisters

  7. successful Egyptian business leader = msot likely someone with good connections to the government

    1. Yeah, he would have been more truthful if he had said "I just got off the phone with a guy who has gotten rich and whose livlihood depends on Mubarack staying in power..."

      What a fucking tool.

      1. Welcome to left-libertarianism.

        1. Huh? That doesn't make any sense.

      2. My thoughts exactly. The kleptocracy being supported by "successful Egyptian business leader" is not exactly bathed in disinterested, unbiased motivation.

      3. Yeah, in fact there was a post here about the extreme barriers to entry in the "legitimate" Egyptian economy just a couple hours ago, no?

      4. He says if you polled the people of Egypt today, the majority would support Mubarak.

        You know, if I were Egyptian and had a Police Officer standing over me watching who I was voting for, I'd probably support Mubarak, too.

        1. Yeah, the problem isn't that they don't like Mubarak, its moer that they haven't really had a chance to say how much they don't like Mubarak, like to the point of being able to vote against him. That kind of irks people.

          1. Certainly a portion, but not the whole enchilada. And a lazy quickie explanation for it all that ignores many other contributing factors. Which is part of the trap the Western Media fell into. Thus incompletely describing events.

            1. The realpolitik involved I'm sure has alot of would be future dictators licking their lips, but it doesn't mean that the ordinary people are looking for a new dictator.

  8. The LP really needs to step it up and put all their effort into getting their next batch of candidates into nationally televised debates so they can take a shit on the stage.

    1. But G.G. Allin is dead.

    2. I'm willing to run.

  9. I doubt the veracity of this claim.

    For everyone willing to demonstrate, there are dozens who went to work instead, but agree with the protest.

    And what affenkopf said.

  10. Not really too shocking, surprising, nor completely out of left field whackadoodle. In a way, it tracks with an item published a couple of days ago in American Thinker purportedly written by a young Egyptian on the scene and aware of the undercurrents - his basic premise (which is nothing like the shallow and clueless 'analysis' provided by 'professional' journalists) indicated that a lot of the tension was attributable to subtle, but halfway free market reforms that were altering the character of the socialism based state of affairs in Egypt - which were taken as a threat to both the status quo and often portrayed as being shoved down people's throats and/or pulling the rug out from under their concept of 'security' (in economic terms), and creating conditions that could be interpreted as potentially chaotic. Plus, as mentioned, they were halfway - lacking what DeSoto points out - property rights protections, as well as short on individual liberty concepts.

    As far as it goes, the public mobs, so far as I've been able to find, haven't really put forth anything beyond calls for the target of the angst (Mubarak) to go, along with chants of 'justice' and 'freedom', but lacking anything but conceptual these conceptual and notional buzzphrases, sort of like the Gnome Business model. 1) Steal panties, 2)???, 3)Profit!

    As such, it would make sense that the basically emo street crowds and the fledgling capitalists benefitting from the opaque reforms already underway would diverge on the issues at hand.

    Whichever, though, in reality, Mubarak is pretty well politically ghe-screwed at this point. With this magnitude of a mess, his only realistic choices are to be hard-ass Mr. crackdown, or designated fall guy.

    Flip a fucking coin at this point.

    1. I would hardly consider someone who's rigged elections for the past 30 years to be a "fall guy". He may fall, but only years later than he should have.

      1. At this point, there's little 'may' about it. And short of an absolute authoritarian dictatorship, a la Uncle Joe's or Chairman M's (which Mubbie may have dreamed about, but never truly attained) he is, for all practical purposes, more like the figurehead.

        Kind of like in the US when everyone rails at the guy living at 1600 about the economic results from the idiocy by those who really control the purse strings up on Capitol Hill. Fair? Unfair? Or just how it is?

        1. I wouldn't say Mubarak is a figurehead ala PRI or Chinese Communists (where you have a bureaucracy in control). Maybe he's closer to a Pinochet or Franco near the end of their lives. Still there because they control the party, if only because the party can't pick a successor.

    2. "1) Steal panties, 2)???, 3)Profit"

      #2 is Japanese panty vending machines.

  11. I have voted for some real turkeys who happened to get the Libertarian nomination, on the theory that I was casting a generic protest vote for more liberty & the candidate's actual identity didn't matter. But if Root manages to get the LP's nod next year, there's no way I can hold my nose tightly enough to give him my vote.

    1. For anyone left wondering why the LP never seems to have its finger on the pulse of America's culture, it's because America's culture is deathly afraid of where that finger has been.

    2. A truther in 2004, a Baby Doc adviser in 2008. What's wrong with a Mubarak sympathizer in 2012?

      1. Diversity!

      2. What do you have against the truth?

    3. Ya it sucks when voting Libertarian is the lesser of three evils.

    4. So you're going to vote for Obama?

      1. Maybe I'll write in Malia.

        1. Isn't Sasha the daughter who told Barry that if he fucked up as POTUS, he'd get his Black Card yanked?

    5. Outside the bony confines of you skull, what the fuck does it matter Jesse. You're making a living off this shit, but don't takee it all so seriously.

  12. To be fair, Root is expressing the opinions of his friend, not the Libertarian party.

    But his statement "Has the media bothered to interview anyone on the other side of this Egyptian crisis? Has anyone gone out of their way to interview the shop owners or homeowners . . ." is flawed by the fact that the police and Mubarak backing mobs are targeting foreign journalists. If the people in power do not want news getting out, it is probably because they do not like what it has to say.

    1. otoh, there's the possibility that the Western media reps are doing such a totally crappy job that it's just annoyingly fueling the crisis, but not for the right reasons. So far, the coverage HAS been ludicrously shallow and bias confirming, tailored for Western pre-conceptions. It's been breathless, sensational, and almost wholly focused on the activists and protestors in the streets, and publishing THAT as the de-facto state of the entire country, in toto. Presentations of other (local) perspectives and in depth analytical presentations on the situation have been virtually zilch.

      This is not to excuse or justify the ham fisted handling by Mubarak and his toadies, or the mostly non-committal activities of the ultimate Egyptian power brokers (at this point) the military, but just calling the plays as they've happened so far.

      That Anderson Cooper was stupid enough to wander cluelessly into the middle of this, and - surprise! - he got his ass kicked because of his own stupidity isn't totally reflective of some heinous dark undercurrent in play. Just that tempers are getting a bit frayed in the land of the Pharoahs.

      1. Al-Jazeera was the first media organization to get the crackdown from the Mubarak regime and their target audience is not Western. Also, the state run media, which would have an interest running their POV was running ludicrous shit like cooking shows this weekend.

        1. Keep in mind, AJ's coverage was a bit more on point, and thus a more lucrative target than the nattering western media. Money does talk, and 1.5 billion is a hell of lot to shove onto the come line and yell 'let it ride'. . .

          1. So the problem is that AJ's coverage was accurate? Cracking down on independent media is bad no matter what their views are. You keep saying there are alternate views. Besides, the occasional speech by a higher level muckity muck, why hasn't the state controlled media focused on that instead of pretending that nothing was happening?

    2. To be fair, Root is expressing the opinions of his friend, not the Libertarian party.

      That's too fair. Root isn't being forced to relay his friend's opinions.

      1. How do you know? Mubarak has people everywhere.

  13. I fear that groupthink has Reason looking at the protests/riots only one way. We should at least acknowledge that it's possible the protesters are not necessarily any more representative of your run-of-the-mill, heartland Egyptian than Glenn Beck or Jon Stewart ralliers were of Mr. & Mrs. American Gothic.

    (And, no, while I'm comparing the Mubarak protests to the National Mall rallies, I'm not equating the two.)

    1. But it might not be too much of a stretch to consider the street protests in Cairo as being somewhat similar to the anti-Bush/Code Pink/San Fran marches, and extrapolating them out as the 'mood of America', which WOULD be a stretch, mostly by ignoring a significant percentage of the populace with a differing opinion.

      1. The code pinks/anti- bushes got a chance to vote against him. The anti-Mubs are still awaiting theirs.

        1. Ability to vote, or lack thereof, does not indicate nor guarantee coherence or a thought out plan of action. Nor does it indicate majority status, one way or another. Apples and oranges, in that respect, with the differences being moralistic in nature only.

          1. No it doesn't, but how is anyone to know until you allow them that chance?

            Maybe Mubarak is the best person to rule egypt, but its not for him to decide that.

            1. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for them having that chance. And I don't really have either an opinion or a dog in the fight wrt Mubarak being the big kahuna. Just spewing my buck ninety nine (inflation!) take on the state of play so far.

              1. There's alot of ways this can go, but perpetuating one wrong to prevent a theoretical other is not a good plan.

                1. But how is Wayne Root perpetuating this, he does not think that it's the US business to get involved in or to support Egypt.

                  He was just reporting the opinion of an Egyptian that he knows, which is far more relevant then what is being reported in US TV and newspapers which is mostly the opinion of the US reporters, editors, pundits and politicians, many of whom probably could not find Egypt on a map.

                  1. we stopped talking about root a few levels back.

    2. That may be the case, but when you shut down the interenet, strangle the media and rig elections, its hard to think that your side has the easy majority supporting it. One would immediately think you're attempting to thwart the will of the people.

      1. Every group seems to have a segment of it willing to give up much of their freedom for (relative) security/stability. Many of us see the danger in that kind of thinking, but those people who don't see it exist, sometimes to a great extent.

        Also, I don't fully understand the mindset of majority voters in cities like Detroit or NYC, so I'm pretty sure I can't get into the mind of every Egyptian. I doubt I'm the only one with that inablility.

        My point is that the loudest and most visible don't always represent the majority view. I'm not saying that's the case or not the case in Egypt, and I'm not claiming Mubarak is good for the people, just that we can't be that certain we're reading the hearts of most Egyptians correctly. Our wanting the Egyptians to want freedom more than anything may be clouding our perception.

        1. The loudest don't often represent the silent majority, but when you have a significant minority that doesn't feel represented by anyone in government, I don't think it's a stratch to say they probably need to have an official voice regardless. Mubarak stonewalling them on this point means he needs to go.

    3. If President Obama (or Bush or Nixon or whomever your favorite boogeyman is) used the powers of his office to limit the exposure of his opponents, to threaten and arrest their supporters, to discourage people from voting, and ultimately to tamper with or outright falsify ballots, who would you sympathize with? Does it really matter if a majority of the population still would approve of the man? Hosni Mubarak might indeed be elected in a fair and free election, but he was not elected in one to begin with, vis-a-vis he is a dictator, popular or otherwise.

    4. Maybe so. I think the point, though, is that Root comes across as not-too-bright and gullible by passing along this one anecdote, which he could have kept to himself, when there is so much evidence that what his friend said is b.s.

  14. What are the size of the crowds in Alexandria? Cairo is not the only major population area and frankly the "protester" figures reported don't impress for a city of 7mio and urban area of 18mio.

    It seems not for a moment has anyone at Reason questioned not just the bona fides of the protesters but the basic question of what % of the population really share similar views.

    Please go back and check Iran for a case and point. The support the media claimed (read: wanted to believe) those protesters had was nowhere near as wide spread in reality. Cruel fact of life is a lot of Iranians like Ahmadinejad. Why is it so far fetched to think that some fairly sizable - even if minority - % of Egyptians don't want Mubarak out?

    1. The crowds in Alexandria on the million man day were about 1 million too. The most impressive crowd size I've read about were the 250K in Suez, which has a population of 600K.

      1. That's the gripe I've got with the MSM coverage so far - they've played and played crowd scenes to the rafters, and been pretty damned skimpy on the underlying/background/related information. The word "why" is being treated like it belongs in a George Carlin skit or something.

        1. I'd also keep in mind that just because people are not in Tahrir Square does not mean they are not supportive or doing their part. My cousin is 100% in support of all of this. However, he is the only male guarding the building where my two aunts and 2 female cousins live. He sees his role in the revolt as protecting his family and neighbors. There are hundreds of thousands, possibly millions more like him. People who support the revolt, but can't because they are doing what the police refuse to do, which is protect the people.

    2. Brutal repression has way of turning back crowds.

  15. a successful Egyptian business leader

    Which, in Egypt, pretty much means he's a politically connected rent-seeker. Fuck Root.

  16. Successful businessmen will want to preserve the status quo, the rest is utter BS.
    That said, how many revolutions have turned to govts as bad or worse?
    Egypt may well turn like Iran, and it?s naive to believe that the protesters are demonstrating for freedom or even for some sort of "democracy".
    It?s good for people to rebel against dictators, but don?t get your hopes up-

  17. That's a possibly right read on the situation, but put in such a weird Chamber of Commerce-y way it can only annoy and confuse everybody who isn't, uh, Chamber of Commerce-minded.

    Does he always talk like that? It's gross.

    And, except?"anarchists?" In my Middle East? What is this I don't even

  18. Who's more embarrassing, Wayne Allan Root, or the child porn lady? Forming a party was the stupidest thing libertarians ever did.

    1. Libertarians didn't form a party, it organically formed around the crazy and reached for the closest label it could find.

      1. I'm just glad that the theocrats in the Constitution party don't call themselves the L-word.

        1. Not this month, but I suspect that they are probably on old splinter group.

          You know, the Judean People's Front.

          1. You realize that Team L is the Judean Popular People's Front, sitting all alone, don't you?

            1. Good god, you mean they're not the People's Front of Judea. I've been throwing away my vote all these years.

        2. They probably do, it's just "theo-libertarians" or "Jesustarians."

          1. Jesustarians

            I only eat things that have died for my sins.

            1. *fucking awesome.

            2. Can you live off of communion wafers and wine?

              1. Sure, as long as they're actually human flesh and blood. The good kind are.

            3. damn...just damn...

              THIS is why i come to this site.

    2. From what I've read about the LP's very earliest years (I wasn't there), it had a chance of being effective and relevant. But it all went wrong early on.

  19. all with an agenda and axe to grind

    Every. Single. One of them. My "friend" told me so.

    Every. Single. One.

    1. I love when people give me the chance to throw out Mark Twain quotes.

      The symbol of the race ought to be a human being carrying an ax, for every human being has one concealed about him somewhere, and is always seeking the opportunity to grind it.

  20. The problem with identifying oneself as a "libertarian" is that it is pronounced the same way as "Libertarian".

    1. Tailor your label to your audience. Around conservatives, call yourself a "fiscal conservative". Around progs, call yourself a "classical liberal". Around libertarians call yourself "libertarian". Around Objectivists, call yourself "libertarian, but not like those Randroid assholes" just to see their blood pressure visibly rise.

      In all other cases, just call yourself an Indep. If they ask about faction, tell the berk you're in the Free League.

  21. 2012:

    Obama vs. Huckabee/Romney vs. Root vs. Tancredo vs. McKinney


    1. Tancredo just because he wants to bomb Mecca. People that say stuff like that belong in the White House.

  22. I hope this finally settles the debate about the wisdom of picking (vice-)presidential candidates based on star power alone.

    1. Also, when picking someone with star power you want to pick someone who actually has, you know, star power.

      1. Celebrity convert of the month/transparent huckster '12!

  23. Perhaps Baby Doc and Mubarak can run on the LP ticket in 2012?

  24. The protesters' focus on Mubarak is making me less hopeful each day. I would rather see a list of political reforms or fundamental rights that they want to promote. If they are just getting rid of Mubarak, they will probably end up replacing the old dictator with a new one.

    1. Having a revolution without a philosophy is never a good idea.

  25. Mr. Root, I'm more interested in who the "successful Egyptian business leader" likes in the Super Bowl this weekend. I assume he was betting large!

  26. Root is absolutely correct. Egyptians love Mubarak. I mean he has won every election with 99% of the vote.

  27. Good news, everyone. I just got off the phone with a longtime friend- a successful Egyptian business leader, and he said that Wayne Root is a dick.

    Since when did Dondero move to Egpyt and become successful?

  28. The real story here is that Eric Dondero moved to Egypt to live the life of a real libertarian, licking the boots of a military dictator, and finally became successful! Good for him. Then these punk anarchists had to go ruin his pax paradise.

    The Dondero is probably pissed that his boy Hosni is gone, but no worries, he has plans to back Guiliani in the September elections in Egypt, only to watch the Ghouls lose to a dog catcher.

  29. Shocking, Root snuggling up with Mubarak and Bob Barr standing side by side with Baby Doc in Haiti. The Libertarian Party has become a have for neo-con statists with a penchant for big government.

  30. Discuss with Root himself...

  31. Since we have Bob Barr working for Baby Doc Duvalier in bringing hope to the people in Haiti.

    And since we now have Wayne Root correctly point out that Mubarak may be the only thing standing between the people of Egypt and total anarchy.

    Maybe in 2012, if it does not work out for them in Haiti and Egypt, the Libertarian Party could run a Duvalier-Mubarak ticket for President and Vice President of the United States. There is obviously a constituency for it in today's Libertarian Party.

    Duvalier-Mubarak 2012: Experienced world leaders, bringing hope and preventing anarchy and extremism from taking over the USA as only they know how!

    Maybe we can fix them up with Hawaiian certificates of live birth in preparation.

  32. Libertarians for Duvalier-Mubarak 2012

    Campaign HQ is looking for someone to come up with some designs for T-shirts, bumpers stickers, coffee mugs, etc.

    Please post a link to any designs you come up with.

    Winner gets a "get out of secret prison free" card.

  33. Some say 2012 may be too soon. But for those of you who agree that the world can't wait, for the hope and prevention of anarchy that only this kind of experienced leadership can provide the people of the United States.

    We need your help now.

    We need state leadership in every state, organizing Libertarians for Duvalier-Mubarak 2012 chapters to persuade Duvalier and Mubarak that the time is now.

    We need people making Libertarians for Duvalier-Mubarak youtubes, buttons, bumperstickers, tshirts, thongs, and much, much more.

    Let's move up the schedule?.no time like the present!

  34. Duvalier-Mubarak have proven their ability to cut, slash, dice and make mince meat out of what ever gets in their way. As the Libertarian candidates for President and Vice President in 2012, they can credibly promises to waterboard, electrocute, and beat the crap out of that budget until it cries uncle! They will make entire programs disappear, never to be heard from again! And who knows how to sock away money better than Jean-Claude Duvalier!?

  35. For 2008 presidential-race nominees supporting foreign dictators, I guess that makes us 0 for 2. Way to pick 'em, LP.

  36. OK guys, and how many of you have sources in or from Egypt advising you? At least he's Rooting around for intelligence.

    So there goes Brian Doherty, picking out the most provocative bit for this audience, and then treating the rest of Mr. Root's piece as tokenism. What do you want him to do, headline the platitudes? He's got some actual info, of course he should lead with that, and he did. Sometimes I think you guys are more interested in form than substance.

    And what will you say if his source turns out to be right? If the rebels wind up installing a regime that's worse than Mubarak's, because that's what they want?

    1. Uh, I do. And unlike Root I have more than one source and have attempted to validate what they say with what the media reports are. Unlike Root, I also take into account potential biases. What is his friend's connections to the government? Why is his friend underestimating the total numbers of protesters (the national total was in the millions, not hundreds of thousands)? Why ignore the violence caused by the state and the hired Mubarak goon squads? &c.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.