In mid-September Dr. John Hospers, our presidential candidate, completed his campaign tour which covered eight states across the nation. The whirlwind schedule at each of his stops was probably best exemplified by his Dallas, Tex. visit.
Upon his arrival in Dallas, Dr. Hospers held a lively news conference at the airport of about two hours duration. From that point on, the candidate made several radio and TV appearances interspersed between speaking engagements, before flying on to Houston that night.
This pattern was repeated in Houston, Oklahoma City, Chicago, Boston, New Hampshire, Philadelphia, Des Moines, and finally Denver.
In Chicago, Dr. Hospers was joined by Ms. Tonie Nathan, our vice-presidential candidate for a speaking engagement and several radio and TV appearances. Several newspapers also covered the event, the most prominent being the CHICAGO TRIBUNE.
The trip was very successful in several respects, including the political aspects. The very appearance of the candidates served as a rallying point for party members and provided an opportunity for interested persons to gain an in-depth perspective on Libertarian ideas.
Radio, TV, and newspaper coverage was extensive (Dr. Hospers' Dallas appearance was carried by the wire services and received attention in newspapers throughout the country) and served to notify the public at large that there is a new movement afoot.
Speeches given to university students and other large audiences will expand considerably the market for libertarian ideas in the future. Financially, contributions to National HQ in Denver have increased substantially as more people are coming to realize that the Libertarian Party is for real.
Politically, what counts more than vote-getting (since the primary purpose of the Libertarian Party is education, not electing a president)—is the fact that radically new political ideas are being injected into America's political mainstream. These libertarian ideas are bound to take root in some form in the future.
One immediate result of the tour is becoming evident even at this early stage. Requests for Dr. Hospers to speak are coming in from several places across the country. In late September he was interviewed for 3 hours by an AP reporter for a story which was syndicated in early October. Sales of his book LIBERTARIANISM have picked up considerably.
The long-term effects of public exposure to libertarian ideas will, of course, take time to be felt and even more time to evaluate.
A look at various state activities:
CALIFORNIA—Plans are underway for a mid-October weekend tour by Dr. Hospers in the San Francisco Bay area. Support in the Northern California area has grown by leaps and bounds. Membership is in the hundreds throughout California.
NATIONAL—A mid-October nationwide tour is being planned for Ms. Tonie Nathan. The tour will probably be more extensive than Dr. Hospers' and should reap the same benefits in terms of exposure and idea dissemination.
COLORADO—National HQ continues to print up and disseminate hundreds of pieces of literature each week. Ads in national magazines have been prepared and submitted. Pipp Boyls' congressional campaign is going fairly well.
LOUISIANA—A drive is underway to obtain 1000 signatures to get Dr. Hospers on the ballot.
NEW YORK—The Free Libertarian Party state membership is up to several hundred, and campaigning for several local candidates is going ahead full steam.
OREGON—The home state of Ms. Nathan is actively engaged in canvass activity on a large scale and the party structure is growing at a steady rate.
WASHINGTON—Only 100 signatures were needed to get Dr. Hospers on the ballot and 107 were obtained. Ms. Nathan was instrumental in helping the Washington party get on the ballot.