Q: What do you get when you pit one Libertarian Party county chair in a debate against four experienced, professional, mainstream party Texas State Representatives?
A: Pity for the four politicians.
But that’s what’s happening at the Voting Rights Debate in Austin on January 23 and the Dallas County Libertarian Party is urging local libertarians to make the trip south to cheer on the “Underdog.”
The underdog, Kurt Hildebrand, is officially described as “a political activist and organizer, Chairman of the Hays County Libertarian Party, advocate for sustainable agricultural and living practices, inventor, technologist, and a champion debater.”
“Listen, guys,” Curry Taylor of the DCLP wrote,” we always gripe about not being included in any mainstream debates. Well, this time we were specifically invited to participate!”
Dallas Libertarian Examiner contacted the presumed Libertarian underdog to learn more about his background and specifically asked about his debating experience.
“Haha,” was Hildebrand’s initial reaction. “Yes. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to laugh but among those that know me well in Austin, this question would seem sort of funny.”
Public and persuasive speaking, it turns out, has been a fervid interest since his college days where “I’ve studied philosophy, argumentation, and rhetoric extensively and it’s a topic I feel really passionately about.”
Since coming to Austin five years ago Hildebrand became involved in a group called the Dionysium that organized monthly public debates. He joined the staff, defeated all their best debaters and was declared the champion.
“I have also defeated one of the LP’s best debaters Michael Badnarik,” Hildebrand stated, “whom I consider a personal friend.”
Badnarik was the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate in 2004.
Hildebrand doesn’t claim any special expertise on voting rights, the subject of Thursday’s debate, but says “I can and do debate on any topic given enough time to research the issue and prepare cogent arguments.”
He then assures us, “I have prepared what I believe is a thoroughly libertarian and also unique perspective on the issue.”
Hildebrand’s libertarianism came to him not as a “thunderclap” moment of enlightenment as some libertarians experience but more as “a process of gradual development and self-education.”
Debate conclusion: Hildebrand is no underdog. But he might just be a sleeping dog to the other debaters.
Tickets are $25.
Voting Rights Debate
Topic: “Voting Process & Progress: What’s Right For Texas?”
AT&T Executive Education Conference Center
State Capitol Building
Thursday, January 23rd, 7pm
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