An Hommage to Aaron Russo

America, Freedom to Fascism

The below article taken from “Advocates for Self Government”

Watch this Video series with Film maker and Music Producer Aaron Russo who sadly died in 2007.  We lost a wonderful Human Being a Real “Mensch”.  I can only imagine what he might have accomplished had he not left us so prematurely.

His partial Bio can be viewed below.  You can watch his film “Freedom to Fascism” in 11 parts commencing HERE

First interview with Alex Jones and the second series of 1 through 5 parts with Peter Boyles.

You could call Aaron Russo a typical Hollywood hotshot turned politician — except that he was never a typical Hollywood hotshot. And he was anything but a typical politician. 

Born in Brooklyn in 1943, Russo got his start in the entertainment business by booking rock-‘n’-roll shows at local theaters while he was still in high school. When we was 24, he opened the Kinetic Playground nightclub in Chicago, where he showcased up-and-coming bands like Led Zeppelin, The Who, and Jefferson Airplane.

From 1972 to 1979, he managed Bette Midler and helped turn the flamboyant singer into a recording and movie star. He produced Midler’s Tony award-winning Clams on the Half-Shell Revue Broadway show in 1975. Over the years, Russo also managed the Manhattan Transfer, actor David Keith, and actress Susan Sarandon.

In the late 1970s, Russo turned to movies. He produced the romantic musical drama The Rose (1979), starring Bette Midler, and the blockbuster Trading Places (1983), starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd. Both movies were nominated for Golden Globe awards. He also produced Partners (1982), Teachers (1984), Wise Guys (1986), Off and Running (1996), and Missing Pieces (1996). His one foray into directing was 1989’s Rude Awakening. In all, his films were nominated for six Academy Awards.

In 1994, the political side of Russo came to the forefront. Inspired by the success of independent presidential candidate Ross Perot, he announced the formation of the Constitution Party, with a limited-government platform similar to that of the Libertarian Party. The party never ran any candidates, and Russo shut it down after 18 months. (In 1999, the U.S. Taxpayers Party renamed itself the Constitution Party, but that organization was unrelated to Russo’s effort.)

In 1994, Russo created a one-hour, politically themed TV show entitled Aaron Russo’s Mad as Hell. The program, part stand-up comedy monologue and part slash-and-burn political rant, offered Russo’s libertarian views on the IRS, Social Security, NAFTA, and the federal budget. When he was unable to find a syndicator for the show, Russo sold it as a video.

Russo made his first run for political office in 1998, seeking the Republican nomination for governor of Nevada. He came in second in the primary, winning 25.9% of the vote in a four-way race.

Russo joined the Libertarian Party in 1999, saying it was his “true political home.” In 2000, he delivered a fiery speech at the Libertarian National Convention, calling Libertarians the “last, best hope for freedom in America.”

In 2004, Russo announced he was seeking the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination. Russo told LP News (February 2004) he was running because the United States is “heading to totalitarianism. I have a sincere belief [in] the Constitution and Bill of Rights as envisioned by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Ben Franklin. Unfortunately, neither political party respects the vision of our Founding Fathers, and these documents have been relegated to the dustbin. I want to dust them off and restore them to their proper role in our lives.”

If elected president, Russo said, “I will bring our troops home from every corner of the globe. I’ll revoke the Patriot Act. I’ll cut taxes, cut spending. I’ll cut the size of government. I’ll stop corporate welfare. I’ll engage all nations in trade and commerce. I’ll protect our air and water, and I’ll protect our borders, but most importantly, I will protect our Constitution and Bill of Rights.” At the party’s 2004 presidential nominating convention, Russo finished second to Michael Badnarik.

In 2006, Russo wrote, produced, directed, and starred in a documentary feature film entitled America…From Freedom To Fascism. The film questions the legality of the income tax, attacks the “growing authoritarianism” in American life, and challenges viewers to participate in civil disobedience to preserve liberty.

Whether through the medium of libertarian films, videos, or political campaigns, Russo says his goal is to “try and get the word out to the public about what’s happening to America — and give them an opportunity to try to change things.” In November of 1999, he told the Las Vegas Sun that he wanted the headstone on his grave to read, “Freedom Fighter.”I’m for the freedom of each person. The government is there to serve you; you’re not there to serve the government.” — Aaron Russo in the Las Vegas Sun (November 4, 1999)

“I have a sincere belief [in] the Constitution and Bill of Rights as envisioned by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Ben Franklin.” — Aaron Russo in LP News (February 2004)

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About Benjamin Kanarek
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Fashion and Beauty Photographer. Some of the magazines I have shot for include: VOGUE (China, Portugal, Brazil, Italia, Paris and South America & Mexico editions), RG VOGUE Brazil, Harper’s BAZAAR (China, en Español & Latin America, Hong Kong, Italy editions), L’Officiel Paris, ELLE (Spain, Portugal and Greece editions), Madame Figaro (France), Cosmopolitan (France and Italy editions), Glamour (France), Votre Beauté, Jardin des Modes, Dépêche Mode, New York Daily News, Fashion District News, New York Times Magazine, W (British edition), WWD, Fashion Magazine (Canada), Flare (Canada), Oyster, Tank, WestEast…