Local Libertarians gain new leadership

By Dave Carew

In recent years, there has been a marked surge of interest in libertarian philosophy in the Nashville area and around the U.S., particularly—and quite interestingly—among young people. One manifestation (among many) of this trend: the popular cable TV news program The Independents, whose female host, Kennedy, is young and zany, yet deeply committed to the tenets of personal and economic liberty.

Within the past two weeks, a new chair of the Libertarian Party of Williamson County was appointed, in the person of Jim Buente. In this exclusive interview with Underground Nashville, Mr. Buente and Jim Tomasik (Chair of the Libertarian Party of Tennessee), shed light on the local party’s goals and mission.

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE:  What is your #1 goal for the Libertarian Party of Williamson County in the coming year?

JIM BUENTE:  To get organized! We are planning to hold an informational and organizational meeting in early March. At this meeting, I will show a video including our National Libertarian Chair about what it means to be a Libertarian. Then, Jim Tomasik will give an update on state legislative issues. Finally, I will lead a discussion on how we might organize the Williamson County chapter.

At the next meeting, we will elect a board of directors and review, revise, and approve bylaws.

Then the real work will begin. I envision us researching, analyzing, and then taking positions on local issues. Then we will begin to speak out at public meetings and in the media about our positions. Eventually, we will recruit and help elect Libertarian Party candidates for national, state, and local offices.

UN: Tennessee is an overwhelmingly Republican state. In general terms, how would Tennessee be different if its governor and a majority of its General Assembly were Libertarian, instead?

JIM TOMASIK:  I think there would be a significant improvement in the lives of a majority of its citizens. [For example], a citizen would not have to worry about his property being annexed without his vote or consent . . . He or she would be able to travel throughout the state without fear of his cash being stolen by law enforcement officers . . . LEO [law enforcement officers] would not be allowed to endanger the lives of citizens or other LEO, because “no-knock raids” would be a thing of the past.

Also . . . [a Tennessean] could seek medical cannabis for his or her ailments or simply for recreational use, as beer and other alcoholic beverages are enjoyed.  Addictions would be handled as a medical issue, not a criminal one. [Those] who own a liquor store or a grocery store could sell any product that is otherwise legal to sell.  There wouldn’t be a “Beer Board.”  There would be no “sin tax.”

[Finally, you] wouldn’t be penalized or given special favor by the government for having a personal relationship with another consenting adult. You wouldn’t be forced to purchase anything [you did not] wish to purchase. [You] would have the choice of more than two political parties on an election ballot.

UN: What do you believe is the single biggest misconception people have about members of the Libertarian Party?

JIM BUENTE: I’d say a lot of folks just don’t really know what it means to be a Libertarian. It’s pretty simple. We are for maximum liberty and minimum government.

National polls indicate that a growing number of people agree with us. When I talk to people about my new role, most say, “well, I believe in a lot of [your] ideas.”

As we go forward, our principles of maximum liberty and minimum government will be the standard we use on all issues.

For more information, please visit:


David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter,” both now available at Amazon.com and XLibris.com. Dave is also a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.

Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit:


Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit Lambscroft.org (link below) and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.



Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew



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