Transmissions from the Timothy Leary Papers: Ron Paul for President
With the current United States presidential election approaching, I thought it appropriate to share a couple items from the Timothy Leary papers relating to Ron Paul.
US Congressman Ron Paul lost his bid for President in 1988 under the Libertarian Party ticket. He has since sought election unsuccessfully under the Republican ticket in both 2008 and the current 2012 election.
This floppy disk and sleeve doubled as an invitation to a Ron Paul fundraiser hosted by Timothy Leary.
A second disk, which may have been distributed to those attending the fundraiser, is signed by Leary with the following message:
Thank you for joining me today in support of Ron Paul and the Libertarian Party. As we enter these closing years of the Roaring Twentieth Century, we're going to see personal computers enhance our lives in ways we can scarcely imagine. Fellow Cyberpunk Chuck Hammill has helped me assemble a collection of bits and bytes you may enjoy.
"If you're wise ... digitize!"
In agreement with Leary's interests at the time, the disk contains software credited by the Libertech Project for those who "like the idea of techno-thwarting government abuse." and was "distributed free to Libertarians, Objectivists, Discordians, Cyberpunks, Survivalists, Soldiers of Fortune, Hackers, Entropists, Deltaphiles and similar types…"
The disk contains DOS programs generating fractal graphics and a copy of the paper, "From Crossbows to Cryptography: Thwarting the State via Technology" by Chuck Hammill, given at the Future of Freedom Conference in November 1987.
I do not claim to represent Timothy Leary's political beliefs, but I do know that he identified as a libertarian during his life. His writings reference his libertarian views, as mentioned previously by NYPL Intern, Rebecca Weintraub. Ron Paul's support to end the "War on Drugs" also made them logical allies. I suspect their influence as public figures will be further researched in this arena.
During his 1988 "Ron Paul Revolution" campaign, Paul was also aligned with the likes of Governor Jesse Ventura, Governor Gary Johnson, Barry Goldwater, Ralph Nadar and Cynthia McKinney. Ultimately, former Vice President George H W Bush with Senator Dan Quayle were elected president and vice-president in 1988, defeating Democratic candidate Governor Michael Dukakis and running mate Senator Lloyd Bentsen.