WESTMINSTER, Colo. (UPI) -- David F. Nolan says "It is not the government's business to make a motorcyclist wear a helmet. A man has an inalienable right to bash in his own head if he chooses-but not the head of his neighbor."
Nolan wants to build a political party on that premise. The 28-year-old sales representative for a computer services firm is acting chairman of the Libertarian party, which officially announced its formation in late January in Denver. It is headquartered in this Denver suburb.
Nolan and many of his party's members are former young Republican activists for whom President Nixon's dramatic economic controls and overtures to the Communist government of China were the last straw.
"We no longer believe the Republican party can be salvaged as a vehicle for espousing the point of view of minimal government," he said.
He Admires Ashbrook
Nolan expressed some admiration for Ohio Rep. John Ashbrook, a conservative who is challenging President Nixon for the 1972 Republican nomination.
"But Ashbrook doesn't have a snowflake's' chance in hen of Winning," Nolan said. "And when Richard Nixon is renom- inated he (Ashbrook) will fall back in line."
The Libertarian party will not fall back in line according to Nolan. It plans to run candidates for President and vice president and hopes to be on the ballot in at least ten states. I* will try write-in drives in the others.
"We don't feel any of the major parties offer any real hope. Occasionally you get a Goldwater. But usually you get a-Humphrey or a Nixon who will promise anything to win."
A Lesson for GOP
Nolan said he was indifferent to the prospect that his party might draw votes away from Nixon and indirectly help the Democrats.
"Maybe it will teach the GOP a lesson," he said.
The party currently claims 250 members and hopes for 10,000 by election day. It has divided the United States into eight geographical regions and has organizers in each.
Nolan, makes the point that the Libertarian party is differ- ent from many other small splinter groups in that it's philosophy of minimal government interference cuts across standard ideological divisions. Many of the party activists are not disaffected conservatives, he said, but former liberals and new leftists.
"We hope to demonstrate the moral bankruptcy of both 'liberalism' and 'conservatism,'" he said.
The party's temporary platform includes such items as respect for property rights, advocacy of a "laissez faire" economy, opposition to government subsidies and upholding the right to bear arms. And then there is its strong advocacy of the right to crack your own skull.
Right to Die
"Imagine," Nolan said, "the government outlaws riding a motorcycle without a helmet. It's all right to have a law requiring good brakes because if you can't stop your car you could hurt someone else. But a motorcyclist can only bash in his own head by not wearing a helmet. If he wants to run the risk to feel the wind in his hair, that's his right."
It's a heady thought, all right.