Mary Ruwart, according to her website today, issued an address regarding the false, libelous statements of advocating child pornography made against her at the Indiana Libertarian Party Convention in Indianapolis on April 26.
According to Third Party Watch and Dr. Ruwart's campaign site, the Mary Ruwart for President Committee released the following statement:
Dr. Mary Ruwart reiterated her position on child pornography during a two-part Presidential Candidate Forum at the Indiana Libertarian State Convention April 26. Each candidate was given one minute to respond to each question. Candidates also had three minutes for a closing statement at either the afternoon or evening session.
'Children forced to participate in sexual acts have the same rights and recourse as any rape victim,' Dr. Ruwart said in response to a question on child pornography during the afternoon session. 'We can, and should, prosecute their oppressors.
'But bans on child pornography are like bans on drugs and prostitution. They don’t work. They only make a bad situation worse. We’ve driven the child pornography market underground, where profits soar and criminals abound. That’s why thousands of children are kidnapped each year and forced into sexual slavery.
'In states where prostitution has been banned, prostitutes have no recourse if they are exploited or abused. In Nevada, where prostitution is legal, exploitation and abuse are limited.
'We can limit abuse of children in the child pornography trade by ending its prohibition. We can’t end child pornography any more than we can end prostitution, gambling, or drug use. Utopia is not an option, but liberty does make a bad situation a bit better.'
Because time for answering the question was so brief, Dr. Ruwart did not elaborate on how predators would be prosecuted without legislation specifying age of consent. In other discussion, she explained to delegates that courts were likely to consider that pre-pubescent children had been coerced, since desire would be absent. The burden of proof would be on the pornography producer or older sex partner to show that coercion, e.g. rape, had not occurred.
With older teens, the burden of proof would likely be to show that coercion had occurred. A number of 17 and 18 year old teens have been convicted of statutory rape and labeled as a sex offenders for having relations with slightly younger females, even if they lived with them or later married. 'Some teens are quite capable of choosing a mate. Why punish them for life because they are mature for their age?' she asked.
'Coercion with children coming into puberty (junior high school students) are more likely to be considered on a case-by-case basis by the courts,' Dr. Ruwart explained. 'Junior high students often have consensual sex, even though society frowns upon it.
'Doing away with age-of-consent laws means that fewer teens will be unjustly convicted and sentenced to a life with a 'sex offender' label,' Ruwart told her listeners. 'Liberty protects our children, both from coercion and injustice.'
In his answer to the same question, Wayne Allyn Root's campaign manager claimed Dr. Ruwart said 'pedophilia is OK' in her book 'Short Answers to Tough Questions.' Mark Schreiber said he paid $100 to have the book shipped overnight to him and that it contained that phrase and the words 'a contract exists.'
He also repeated the call, posted on Mr. Root's website, for Dr. Ruwart to withdraw from the presidential race.
Dr. Ruwart then used the three minutes she was planning to reserve for the evening session to answer this false accusation. She pointed to copies of 'Short Answers' and invited convention attendees to read page 43 to prove to themselves those phrases do not appear.
'I've been very disappointed in my dear colleague, Mr. Root, who just last week, at the Washington LP presidential forum publicly declared that I would be his preferred vice presidential running mate should he prevail in Denver,' she told Indiana Libertarians. 'Yet, when he found something objectionable in my writings, he did not call or write for further explanation, he simply condemned me.
'This is particularly disheartening because Mr. Root himself was accused of misrepresenting the facts in the Ohio Libertarian Convention forum. He came to me and asked me not to condemn him as a liar until I heard his side of the story. I told him -- even before hearing his side -- that it had never crossed my mind to think him guilty of any impropriety.
'I'm sorry that he did not give me the same consideration he wanted for himself.
'Mr. Root owes me no apology. He simply made a mistake, the kind of mistake neophytes make when they are new to the Party and new to Libertarian campaigns.
'This is why, when choosing your presidential nominee, I suggest you choose someone experienced in libertarian campaigns. This is why, when choosing your presidential nominee, remember this person will be looked to as a leader for years to come.
'Do you want a leader who condemns without consideration? Do you want a leader who will perpetuate the in-fighting that has crippled the LP for so long, or someone who can unify diverse factions and encourage them to pull as a team?
'We are selecting more than a presidential nominee in May; we are choosing the person whose example we want to follow. Choose wisely for you are choosing the Libertarian Party's future.'
I hope Root is paying attention to this release, considering that his attacks have galvanized Libertarians to give a great deal of support to Ruwart and helped many purists to put him in their political crosshairs.
If anything, Root's juvenile attacks on Ruwart and his half-baked denial of calling for her to drop out of the race will only serve to destroy his campaign and not help him.