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What Libertarians Really Need To Do….


Over at the libertarian community blog Hammer of Truth, Stephen Van Dyke consults the collective wisdom of the Internet to learn what Libertarian Partiers who want more electoral success really need to do, and catalogs it in all its glory and contradiction, from "recognize America can have a vital interest in the freedom of other countries and people" to "pop some viagra, and take a chance on romance with the Dems" to "recognize that we are—and almost certainly always will be—political outcasts."

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  1. “recognize that we are – and almost certainly always will be – political outcasts.”

    I draw the line at “almost certainly always will be”, but life could be good as a block of swing voters. …just ’cause the last would be dictator didn’t woo us doesn’t mean the next one won’t.

  2. …recognize America can have a vital interest in the freedom of other countries…

    Except Iraq, of course.

  3. Keep talking, choose our battles wisely, vote for the lesser evil, really boring shit…

  4. Libertarians need to find a young man who has public speaking skills equivalent to those of the major parties.

    I’ll settle for them finding anyone (of any gender) who isn’t crazy and doesn’t act like a fool. (I hated Badnarik, BTW)

    Keep putting up assholes and idiots who trumpet things like tax protesting not having drivers licenses and I’ll keep giving ’em a pass.

    Their arguments may be valid…even sound. But their rhetoric and their style is usually too close to the fringe loonies you avoid sitting next to on public transportation.

  5. “Libertarians need to find a young man who has public speaking skills equivalent to those of the major parties.”

    Equivalent to the speaking skills of George Bush and John Kerry?!?

  6. Personally, I feel like the party should be disbanded and repurposed more along the lines of groups like the AARP. The idea here being to agree to stand together, offer endorsements, and vote as a bloc. Make politicians from the major parties court the libertarian vote just like they do the seniors or the unions. There is little chance of a libertarian candidate winning powerful seats running on that ticket. We need to abandon this sense of absolutism and moral superiority and try to play the game like everyone else.

  7. Wow…profoundly cool idea, there Curtis

  8. I agree with curtis = be a constituency, not a party. Make pols bow to you the way they do the NRA.

  9. The problem with constituencies is that most of them eventually become the running dogs of the major parties.

  10. Curtis: valid point. But, we can do both. I don’t care if we do or not. Just saying we don’t have to disband the LP to move on with your suggestion.

  11. The idea here being to agree to stand together, offer endorsements, and vote as a bloc.

    Does the phrase “herding cats” mean anything to you? 🙂

    Still, that’s a good idea. Of course, interested folks can form a libertarian advocacy/endorsement group regardless of what the LP does.

  12. I am no longer a member of the Libertarian Party, but I am still a libertarian partier. At least on weekends.

    Oh yeah…

    Libertarians need to find a young man who has public speaking skills equivalent to those of the major parties.

    That’s a pretty low bar, don’tcha think? Surely we can do better than that.

  13. That’s a pretty low bar, don’tcha think? Surely we can do better than that.

    No, that’s the point. It has to be equivalent. Too smart and you’ll just scare people away.

  14. and that young articulate fellow will be just as roundly ignored.

    look, the only thing that gets someone considered a “major” candidate is if he is part of the moneyed parties or has some news value that is likely to result in a lot of campaign spending. ross perot, for example.

    as sad as it is, the only way for libertarians to get into the majors is to convince a rich celebrity to run. tj rodgers. dave barry. drew carey. someone like that, articulate and rich, able to call a press conference and get reporters to attend.

  15. The major problem with Libertarians – politically – is the disinclination to impose their views on another; present company excepted. You think what you like and I will too!

  16. That googling-a-phrase thing is fun. I googled “the best thing about america is” and got:

    -the best thing about America is how patriotic a country we are
    -the best thing about America is that you can get up on a podium and say whatever retarded thing you want and not get jailed for it
    -the best thing about America is that they shipped their communists over to Europe
    -The best thing about America is its diversity.
    -the best thing about America is that we have a constitution that allows us to speak freely, even if the truth hurts
    -The best thing about America is television. The second best thing is that you can sue anyone you want.
    -The best thing about America is having a job so you can live in a house and pay the bills.
    -The best thing about America is the affordability of its real estate.
    -The best thing about America is fast food – and crazy women
    -The best thing about America is the wee bit of string you get on a tea bag.
    -The best thing about America is that, here pretty much everything is “as advertized.”
    -the best thing about America is the secret ballot
    -The best thing about America is that anyone…and I mean anyone, can come from any country in the world and be successful if they want to.
    -The best thing about America is there are so many different people and wonderful cultures living together
    -the best thing about America is that poverty is such a temporary condition
    -The best thing about America is its free trade, which means anyone can buy anything with no hassle.

    Not such a bad list, overall.

  17. Libertarians who want electoral success should invest in cryogenics. Short of an unanticipated innovation, adoption of libertarian ideas will only grow at a rate roughly predicted by Fisher-Pry. However, that is just at the macro level.

    A libertarian could certainly achieve electoral success in a local election by running as a person and not as a party member. The limited acceptance of libertarianism is not necessarily a hindrance at the micro level.

  18. There is little chance of a libertarian candidate winning powerful seats running on that ticket.

    Ignoring money-wasting national campaigns is a start. Focusing on small, winnable races like state legislatures, where both parties can easily be outspent is the key. Building small pockets of support, and building the reputation of younger candidates with the ability to advance is the key.

  19. “Libertarians need to push the fact that people have rights.”
    Even poor people. Even soldiers. Even employees. Even political minorities. Even folks in other countries, even if, there, they are ignored.
    Its a start………
    The Dims are ripe for hyjacking. How many union guys own firearms? How many are fed up w/ endless Gvt bureaucracy/cost/infringement? Which leads to my perennial question: why is a “combination” of labor an anathema among libertarians, and a combination of capital swell?
    But maybe the notion of a libertarian lobby/voting block a la the NRA is the best bang for the buck.
    Idle speculation. Slow day at H&R. Maybe Terry can educate us here as to what to do……

  20. Most libertarians would be a lot happier, and a lot freer, if they ignored collective politics and concentrated on improving their own lives.

    – Josh

  21. what libertarians really need to do is stop fetishising the internet

  22. How many union guys own firearms? How many are fed up w/ endless Gvt bureaucracy/cost/infringement?

    How many would freak if you told them employers have the right to fire employees for belonging to a union and that there should be no minimum wage? (Workers who make far more than the minimum wage stand to benefit from laws that make cheaper labor less competetive.)

  23. # Libertarians need to embrace regulation of commerce.

    This is exactly where I stopped reading.

    It was the first recommendation.

  24. Political outcasts?
    We are slowly, subtly taking over the media.
    South Park makes pretty big waves. Penn Jillette is on TV weekly and radio daily. Drew Carey is filthy rich from syndication, although he doesn’t do much publicly for the cause. Scott Adams is about as popular as any cartoonist working today. We’ve got people working on Anthony Bourdain. We still have John Stossel. It’s not a long list yet, but c’mon! We’ve got South Park! Penn & Teller’s Bullshit! Penn Radio! They actually influence people. They lead discussions. We are on our way!

  25. Again: why is combinations of labor- which means a return for work, & safeguards against whimsical despotism, foul, and combinations of Capital: driving Labor in to the dirt, forming forces to break labor- OK?
    Still no answer, Fyodor. Its one way with you. If you labor: fuck you. If you own: the world is yours, AND you can combine with other owners to crush the actual source of your wealth.
    Im here because I think labor is valid, as valid as capital. One cant profit w/o the other.
    You SEEM (correct me if Im wrong) to think because rules under some modification (or not) of the nitwit notion of the divine right of kings.
    I can point to the degenerate scions of vast wealth: the current Commander in Chief comes to mind. He is where he is by strength of that “divine right” as now realized.
    And labor……well, were all taking in each other laundry, these days, while pinheads of the class W so ably represents profits from moving jobs to those places Labor dare not raise its head, unless it gets shot off.
    Hurrah! You win.

  26. On regulation of commerce, what’s the libertarian position on corporations, since they are legal fictions that:

    1. are created by the state (by statute, there is no such thing as a “common law corporation,”) and
    2. limit liability.

    They don’t seem to be very libertarian in a strict sense, but I don’t think most libertarians (if any) libertarians are against them.

    Same thing goes for any other legal forms that limit liability. LLPs and LLCs and the like.

  27. Here in WA, we just had a three-way debate for Senate that included the Libertarian Candidate. He had many good points (some not so good). He was very inconsistent in his views on the role of government when it came to specific issues (both more statist and more interventionist than the major party candidates on a couple of issues, actually). It was impossible to get a sense of what his reason for running was, or why he should be elected. His presentation was very unimpressive. He talked from notes, and his notes seemed not to make much sense.

    The bar was not very high in this debate, but the LP candidate didn’t look like he belonged in the same room as the others (and that is a sad statement).

    The best part of the debate was the Green party candidate getting arrested for trying to attend. At least the LP candidate supported him and said he should have been allowed.

  28. Libertarians need to get off of the globalist New World Order bandwagon and worry more about our own citizens rather then focusing on letting in everyone else in the world who wants to come here and vote for big government Democrats!

    One world Corporate/government globalism is NOT real capitalism, it’s fascism?learn the difference.

    The Constitution Party is now the third largest party for a reason, wake up before the rest of your party defects!

  29. Conservatives need to get off of the populist xenophobic bandwagon and worry more about our freedoms rather then focusing on keeping out everyone else in the world who wants to come here and contribute to our great country!

    Globalism is a part of real capitalism, it’s the free market?understand the economy.

    The Constitution Party is now the third scariest party for a reason, wake up before these Christian nutjobs gain any power!

  30. The Constitution Party is now the third largest party for a reason, wake up before the rest of your party defects!

    Right, as long I ignore the racist, xenophobic, homophobic, theocratic bullshit… oh wait, I CAN’T!

    Go peddle your party elsewhere, bub. To some of us, freedom means more than just owning a handgun and lower taxes.

  31. First, centralization of power and collectivism are the main enemies of personal liberty. Corporate globalism includes ‘captialism’ where government sheilds big business from competition and it also is the very personification of both of these evils. Individualism and national sovereignty (the individualism of nations)are the best friends libertarianism ever had. Second, I would prefer to be a member of your party as opposed to the Constitution Party as I don’t support the “religious nuttery” but I can’t get past the globalist agenda of your party. My point was if you dropped that counter-productive agenda you would gain many recruits (myself included). But right now they are the better of two goods fighting two larger evils. Oh and there is nothing ‘racist’ about keeping out trespassers, I embrace the LEGAL immigrants regardless of appearance. What I don’t embrace is the veiled attempts of globalists to shift the demographics to promote their one world fascist government agenda.

  32. Bottomline:

    Does it make sense to replace an oppressive Federal government with an even more oppressive World government that is even less democratic and even more tyrannical?

    Does it make sense to open the floodgates to as many people as possible when you know for a fact the vast majority of whom are going to vote for MORE government?

    Does it make sense to give priority to efforts to bring freedom to the whole rest of the world when we are losing it here at home?

    Does it make sense to support big business believing it opposes big government when in fact they have become one in the same thanks to globalism?

    Does it make sense to call someone a racist or a xenophobe because they simply dare to disagree with you?

    Lose the Globalism and me and the other two dozen or so Libertarian-leaning Constitution party members I know will gladly defect and join your party.

    Ok, so let the personal name calling and attacks begin….I’m ready for my politically correct verbal ass kicking now.

  33. Corporate globalism includes ‘captialism’ where government sheilds big business from competition…

    There is no reason that a corporation cannot be global and not be shielded by the gov’t. Globalism and governmental protection of corporations are neither mutually inclusive nor exclusive.

    I would prefer to be a member of your party as opposed to the Constitution Party as I don’t support the “religious nuttery”

    You sound like you fit in better with the Green Party. From the CP’s platform (emphasis added):

    The mission of the Constitution Party is to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity through the election, at all levels of government, of Constitution Party candidates who will uphold the principles of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. It is our goal to limit the federal government to its delegated, enumerated, Constitutional functions and to restore American jurisprudence to its original Biblical common-law foundations.

    From their platform:

    The Constitution Party gratefully acknowledges the blessing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as Creator, Preserver and Ruler of the Universe and of these United States. We hereby appeal to Him for mercy, aid, comfort, guidance and the protection of His Providence as we work to restore and preserve these United States.

    This great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    If you don’t support the “religious nuttery,” belonging to the Constitution Party is like being a Jew belonging to the Nazi party because they are tough on criminals.

    I’m not even going to get into what this “fascist government agenda” that you worry about is.

  34. Like I said I don’t support the theocratic elements within the party. Gays should have the right to marry, abortion should be legal, etc, etc. I firmly believe what someone believes is moral or immoral is different then what should be legal or illegal.

    The platform you described is the national platform most of which many of the state chapters already openly reject. I do think that it will be easier to remove the theocracy from the Constitution party (which we are actively doing) then the globalism from the Libertarian Party. Either way one or the other has to happen before we can effectively have a third party with the size and power capable of fighting off big government.

    As far as the Globalism not being capitalism think about it this way… we have separation of church and state (which is good) we need separation of business and state and that works both ways… no government interference in business but also no business interference in government (it’s that last part that’s the problem with ‘globalism’). See this website… augustreview.com if you want to learn more about the true face of globalism(and please don’t just dismiss it as tin foil hat stuff read, learn, and research it for yourself). The ‘new world order’ or whatever you choose to call it isn’t what you expect..it’s not democratic, it’s not capitalist, and it definitely isn’t libertarian!

  35. Curtis’ comment above has to be the most lucid thought on the direction of libertarian politics that I have heard in a long time.

    Now if we could get the LP, the l’s, the EFF and maybe even the ACLU all in one boat that doesn’t have anything to do with which party is on your voter registration card, we’d have a chance of winning some issues, especially civil liberties.

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