Skip to comments.“Talk Is Cheap...Let’s Go Play!”
Posted on 02/21/2005 1:40:51 PM PST by misterrob
Talk Is Cheap...Lets Go Play!
Delivered to the California Libertarian Party Convention Chuck Muth President, Citizen Outreach Los Angeles, California February 19, 2005
Thank you. Let me begin my remarks by predicting that in the next two years, Republicans are going to blow it.
When Ronald Reagan was in the White House, we were told government couldnt be restrained because Democrats controlled Congress.
When Republicans gained control of both Houses of Congress in 1994, we were told nothing could be done because the Democrats controlled the White House.
When in 2000 Republicans gained control of the White House AND the Congress, we were told that President Bushs victory over Al Gore, as well as the GOP majorities in the House and Senate, were too slim.
And then Republicans lost control of the Senate when Jumping Jim Jeffords switched parties.
But after last Novembers elections, Republicans not only control the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives, they now control Congress with SIGNIFICANT majorities. So the question conservatives are rightly asking today is, If not now, when?
Well, now IS the time. There are no more excuses for Republicans. There is no more tomorrow. Its time to put up or shut up.
If the GOP doesnt deliver...and I seriously doubt, based on past experience, that they will...many limited-government Republicans will be seriously looking for an alternative to the GOP in 2006. And this will present a tremendous and historical window of political opportunity for the Libertarian Party. Thats what I want to talk to you about today.
But first, let me address directly some objections which were raised about my being here today. Some folks have accused me of being nothing more than a partisan Republican shill who is going to try to persuade you to leave the Libertarian Party and join the GOP.
Well, those people obviously arent subscribers to my daily online newsletter.
The fact is, I regularly skewer Republicans, often with reckless abandon, for their inconsistency or outright failure to uphold constitutional, limited-government principles. I guarantee you I am NOT on the White House Christmas party list.
That being said, its also true that Ive been EXTREMELY critical of the Libertarian Party over the years. Not so much the libertarian philosophy, but some of your partys political actions.
I am a small l libertarian. I want limited-government candidates to get elected to office. I couldnt care less if theyre Republican or Libertarian. In fact, Ive conducted candidate training programs all across the country for almost ten years now and they have ALWAYS been open to Libertarian Party candidates. Ive trained hundreds of Libertarian Party candidates and it wouldnt surprise me if a few are here with us today.
Ill also point out that when I was a GOP consultant in Nevada back in 1998, I negotiated an arrangement for the GOP not to field a candidate in a particular state assembly race in order to give the Libertarian Party candidate a clear shot at the Democrat incumbent.
James Dan and his campaign manager, Chris Azarro, both attended my Campaign War College that year, despite objections by many Republicans. They ran an extremely credible, grassroots campaign and came within a whisker of winning. No one was more disappointed that James came up short. And had he won, no one would have been happier.
In fact, I think every state legislature should be REQUIRED to have at least one Libertarian Party member to serve as a reminder to the Republicans how theyre SUPPOSED to vote.
With that out of the way, lets get down to business.
As I said in my opening statement, I believe that, barring a miracle, Republicans are going to blow their opportunity to use their newly-acquired majority to fulfill the promise of finally putting the brakes on government. And when they do, fed-up limited-government Republicans are going to seriously look at political alternatives in 2006 and 2008.
Some will pull a John Galt and drop out completely, electing to stay home and not vote at all.
Others will begin actively supporting challenges to Republican incumbents in GOP primaries.
Some will leave the GOP and go independent.
And others will seriously consider joining a third party.
The question, therefore, is whether or not the Libertarian Party will be prepared to take advantage of this window of opportunity and finally become a true, competitive ballot-box alternative to the Democrats and the Republicans.
So lets talk about that.
The title of my remarks today is, Talk Is Cheap, Lets Go Play. Its a line I borrowed from the late great Baltimore Colts quarterback, Johnny Unitas and it fits perfectly with what I wanted to talk to you about today. Because Im not here to debate with you or argue with you over theoretical, philosophical issues. Im hear to talk about the Top Ten things I think the LP needs to DO if it wants to take advantage of the coming political opportunities over the next four years.
1.) JUST WIN, BABY
Former Reagan adviser Lyn Nofziger wrote recently: "The purpose of running for office is to win." It's not to make a statement. It's not to participate in democracy. It's not to get your message out. It's to win. Period.
You all need to accept the fact that if you want to change public policy, you HAVE to change public officials. Some will say that educating and lobbying existing officials is the answer. I couldnt disagree more. All the lobbying in the world isnt going to make Ted Kennedy support a tax cut or get rid of the Department of Education. The ONLY way to change that VOTE from Massachusetts is to change that SENATOR from Massachusetts.
If you want to be a lobbying organization, then become a lobbying organization. But if you want to be a political party, then you need to WIN elections to significant offices. THATS the measure of an effective political party. All the chest-pounding about philosophical superiority doesnt mean squat. If you and your candidates are not winning elections, you and your party are not successful.
2.) GET RID OF THE LOSER'S LIMP
As a party, you NEED to start showing some real ballot-box success if the electorate in general is going to ever take you seriously. No one wants to be associated with a loser.
As actor George C. Scott said in his immortal opening speech in the Oscar-winning film Patton, "When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble shooter, the fastest runner, the big league ball players, the toughest boxers ... Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time. I wouldn't give a hoot in Hell for a man who lost and laughed."
Too many of your candidates lose and laugh.
The biggest problem with losing is that its not only contagious, it's habit-forming. Once you get into the mindset that you're going to lose, losing becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. You find yourself on the field, but simply going through the motions. You find yourself limping even when youre not hurt just to have an excuse for losing.
The LP is suffering from a bad case of political losers limp. Too many of your candidates have no expectation of winning based on the fact that you have no track record of getting your candidates elected to major offices.
Many of your candidates are telling the public why theyre going to lose even BEFORE they formally announce their plans to run! They blame the system. They blame the media. They blame the voters. They blame the lack of money...even though theyve never taken seriously the need to raise it. They blame everyone but themselves.
This has GOT to end. You need to start thinking and acting like winners if youre ever going to be winners.
Unfortunately, when you field candidates who not only expect to lose, but run campaigns as though they don't CARE if they lose, you perpetuate the perception of being a party of happy losers.
Whenever someone asks me why I don't take the Libertarian Party seriously, I always respond that I'll take the LP seriously when it takes the need to actually win elections seriously. I hope youll start doing that TODAY.
3.) STOP FIGHTING WITH YOUR SOUL BROTHERS
Limited-government activists need to stop fighting with each other over the terms libertarian and conservative. Libertarians dont want to be called conservatives and conservatives dont want to be called libertarians.
This isnt just silly, its nuts. It separates natural allies over nothing more than semantics. Barry Goldwater was one of the most libertarian Republicans youre ever likely to find in the U.S. Senate. But his book was titled Conscience of a Conservative, not Conscience of a Libertarian.
The late President Ronald Reagan is the patron saint of modern-day conservatism. And he saw conservative and libertarian as two sides of the same coin, while recognizing they werent identical.
In a 1976 interview with Reason magazine, Reagan said plainly, If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. . . . The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.
The problem in the Republican Party isnt the limited-government conservatism of Reagan and Goldwater, but the big government compassionate conservatism" of President Bush.
You need to stop fighting with ALL Republicans and accept that some limited-government conservatives have chosen to stay in the GOP and fight from within. You need to find a way to join forces with them and support their candidates when they share your libertarian views. It does the movement no good to oppose someone like Rep. Ron Paul of Texas just because hes a registered Republican.
And if Im ever invited to speak to a Republican audience again after today, Ill give them the exact same advice.
4.) STOP LEADING WITH YOUR CHIN
Now I know you dont want to hear this, but the Libertarian Party has earned itself, deservedly or not, a really lousy reputation in the general public. Ask the average person what the LP is all about and youre likely to get some variation of the following: Drugs, prostitution and machine guns. Two points here:
One, if youre going to grow, youre going to need to accept people in your party who wont pass a 100% purity test. There are a number of people who, for example, will agree with your support for medicinal marijuana but who will draw the line at legalizing heroin. Sure, you might be able to win an academic debate with them on the issue, but thats not your objective. Or it shouldnt be.
Your objective should be to WIN elections and move the ball forward. You cant throw a Hail Mary pass on every play. And you win elections by addition, not subtraction. If you want to be successful politically, get used to the fact that a lot of new people joining you arent going to agree with you on every issue.
Two, you need to stop leading with your chin. The Libertarian Party has some great positions on a WIDE variety of issues. Im not saying you need to change your principles, but you dont have to start off every media interview or public appearance with drug legalization.
A wide range of voters will be supportive of your positions on taxes, spending, federal involvement in education, Social Security, Medicare, etc. Talk about THOSE issues...and dont let the press corner you and bait you into only talking about drugs, prostitutes and machine guns all the time. You need to focus on other issues if youre ever going to be taken seriously by the electorate.
5.) THE BEST PRODUCT DOESNT ALWAYS WIN
Back in the early 80s when VCRs first hit the consumer market, all the experts and insiders knew that BETA was a far superior product to VHS. Have you rented any BETAs from Blockbuster lately?
And all the techo-geeks will tell you that the Mac is far superior to Bill Gates Windows. Guess whos the richest man in America?
The libertarian philosophy of government is clearly the superior product. Unfortunately, the consumer isnt buying it. So you need to do a much better job marketing your product.
But dont despair. If theres one thing Americans are world-class at, its marketing. We actually have people who were able to persuade huge numbers of Americans to pay good money for pet rocks. People who are capable of selling pet rocks are capable of selling almost anything.
The LP is going to have to devote considerable time, effort and money to changing its public image. Right now you are the Yugos of politics. The New Coke. The Exxon Valdez. The Rodney Dangerfield. And all the polling in the world isnt going to change that image.
You dont need polling, you need a make-over artist. You need to find and raise the money to pay for the kind of professional public relations crisis management that corporations use when disaster strikes. You need the kind of guy Mike Tyson called for damage control after he bit off Evander Holyfields ear.
6.) HUNT WHERE THE DUCKS ARE
Theres strength in numbers. If you want to grow and compete successfully at the ballot box, youre going to need to get a LOT of new members. And they arent always going to agree with you on every issue.
You really need to start with disgruntled Republicans. This notion that large numbers of unhappy Democrats might be attracted to Libertarians because Libertarians are moderate on social issues is a crock. Democrats love government. Its who and what they are.
Democrats who dont think the Democrat Party is far left enough will bolt for the Green Party or an independent like Ralph Nader. Those who think the Democrat Party is too far to the left will bolt for the Republicans. This is decidedly NOT a target-rich environment for Libertarian recruitment.
No, its Republicans who will sour on the Republican Party if the GOP fails to live up to expectations with their governing majorities over the next two-to-four years. THATS the fertile ground. THATS the low-hanging fruit. Thats where you ought to be planting seeds.
On that account, Im happy to say your national party appears to have recognized this and is moving in the right direction. Your national executive director, Joe Seehusen, recently began attending a well-known weekly DC briefing for leaders of the center-right coalition. The LP also just joined a conservative coalition which has formed to kill the death tax.
And as we gather here today in Los Angeles, the Libertarian Party is co-sponsoring CPAC in Washington for the first time. CPAC is the oldest and largest conference for conservative grassroots activists. This is extremely smart politics and will pay big dividends for you in the long run.
One last point in this regard. Before coming out here I mentioned to a Libertarian Party friend that the LP needed to do a much better job of recruiting and marketing. His response was, Hey, we have a booth at the county fair every year. This is like the candidate who tells me he stands in front of grocery stores greeting shoppers. Neither is a particularly productive idea. Think about this...
As a general rule, about 50 percent of people youre going to meet arent registered to vote...and dont WANT to.
Of those who ARE registered to vote, about half of them dont show up at the polls, especially in non-presidential elections. And of those remaining, about a third are hard-core Republicans and another third are hard-core Democrats. Youre not about to change their minds.
So what youre left with is a VERY small number of people who might be interested in what you have to say. Let me suggest that there are better, more effective, cost-efficient ways to identify that small number of people and communicate with them than putting up a booth at the county fair. Im not saying stop doing the county fairs. Im saying to start doing other things.
7.) WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR, A WRITTEN INVITATION?
The #1 reason people dont give money to a political campaign is they havent been asked. The #1 reason people dont volunteer to work on a political campaign is they havent been asked. So what do you think the #1 reason is that more disillusioned voters dont switch parties?
You have to ask for the sale. You have to ASK people to join your party. Inertia and apathy are powerful forces working against you. If you dont extend an invitation, people simply are not inclined to wake up one morning and, on their own say, Hey, I think Ill join the Libertarians today.
Now, let me be clear. Switching party affiliation is a BIG deal for most people. It is NOT a decision made lightly. So your job is to make it as easy and as painless as possible. And you may have to do it in stages for some people.
Fortunately, you have a potentially very powerful option at your disposal which will help people overcome their fear and reluctance about joining you. In essence, you let people try before they buy. You allow people to join the LP without immediately switching their official voter registration.
You should actively encourage people to get a little taste of what youre all about first. THEN ask them to jump in with both feet.
Also, recognize how difficult it is for people to switch parties and always offer them a transition step. Dont force them to choose between being a Republican or a Libertarian right away. Encourage them first to simply declare themselves independent. At the very least, that will force GOP candidates to compete for their vote, rather than continue taking it for granted.
Theres already a growing movement all across the country of voters going independent. You should ENCOURAGE that. It will be a lot easier for you to recruit independent voters into the LP than to recruit Republicans into the LP.
8.) GET RID OF THE LOYALTY OATH*
*(I certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals.")
I know this is a very controversial point, but you have GOT to stop making it harder for people to join you by forcing people to sign off on a loyalty oath. The Democrats dont make you do it. The Republicans dont make you do it. The Green and Constitution parties dont make you do it. And you need to stop doing it.
You simply are not going to add voters to your ranks if you keep this oath in place. Its not so much that they disagree with the substance of the oath as it is the IDEA of taking ANY kind of oath to join a political party in America.
That being said, I believe there ARE appropriate times and places for pledges. In fact, Grover Norquists Taxpayer Protection Pledge is hugely successful and highly effective. But he doesnt require DONORS to sign it before joining Americans for Tax Reform. He requires CANDIDATES to sign it before they get his organizations support. Theres nothing wrong with using a pledge in this manner.
But to require a loyalty oath before people who agree with you for the most part can join your organization is nuts. Get...rid...of...the...oath.
9.) GETTING FROM HERE TO THERE...WHEREVER THERE IS
You need to develop goals and a long-term strategy for getting where you want to go...which starts with determining exactly where it IS you want to go and exactly WHEN you want to get there. Or as Newt Gingrich used to preach, you need to define what success is up front. And that goal needs to be not only ambitious, but realistic.
For example, at the national level you might want to define success in 2008 as getting over one million popular votes for you presidential candidate. Its doable...but it hasnt been done before. Thatll show REAL progress. Itll build momentum. Itll have a snowball effect.
Now, in order to meet such a goal, youre going to have to follow the exact OPPOSITE strategy you used in 2004.
In an election which everyone under the sun predicted was going to be a squeaker, why you chose to put your time, effort and money into the toss-up states such as Nevada and New Mexico continues to dumbfound me. Fence-sitters who werent thrilled with President Bush in toss-up states nevertheless werent about to risk putting John Kerry in the White House by casting a protest vote for Badnarik.
On the other hand, had you campaigned actively and effectively for the votes of anti-Bush limited-government conservatives in states which were clearly locked up for Kerry and/or Bush, many more folks would have felt comfortable casting that protest vote, knowing it wouldnt affect the electoral college and overall outcome. You could have broken that one million mark in 2004 had you pursued a different electoral strategy.
Make no mistake. Both the Democrats and the Republicans pursue this kind of targeted, electoral college strategy. Theres no reason the LP shouldnt do so, as well.
If you want to boost your popular vote total nationally, you need to target disgruntled Republicans in the solid red and blue states. Forget about the battleground states unless your goal is simply to spoil the election for the Republican candidate rather than building up the Libertarian Party.
And speaking of candidates, it would help to nominate someone who (a) isnt perceived as soft on terrorists, and (b) has some actual political experience.
Sure, celebrity candidates such as Howard Stern will attract attention, but theyre not going to attract votes. The bearded lady at the carnival attracts attention, but youre not likely to marry her.
And just as you wouldn't allow a college intern to do your triple-bypass surgery, voters are not going to put an academic libertarian in the White House who has no real-world governing experience. Or even a retired general, for that matter. Just ask Wesley Clark.
Let me suggest a different road to consider. There are a number of high-profile Republicans out there who have governing experience and electoral credentials. They might not pass a libertarian purity-test, but theyre certainly more in line with limited-government than a whole lot of other Republicans.
And these folks, primarily due to their positions on certain social issues, are highly unlikely to win in a Republican Party primary, although they would likely enjoy considerable support in the general election. People such as former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani or former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson. People with real-world track records of success on the campaign trail and in office.
Now, Republicans such as this arent going to just waltz into your office and beg to be your nominee. Youre going to have to recruit them. Youre going to have to court them. And youre going to have to bring some serious benefits to the table.
And the biggest one I can think of is the fact that they probably have no chance to get the GOP nomination. So maybe, just maybe, theyd entertain running as your Libertarian Party candidate and compete in the general election in November rather than get blown out before they even make it to South Carolina in the primary.
10.) STOP WHINING ABOUT THE PRESS
Seriously, folks. You all sound like a bunch of Republicans on this one. As Joe Gaylord, Newt Gingrichs former senior political strategist, would say, Of course the press is biased. Get over it.
The fact is, getting press coverage in this business is called earned media. They call it that because you have to EARN it. Its not an entitlement. You have no right to it. You cant buy it. And threats wont work either.
If you want to be taken seriously by the media and get coverage then you have to do two things:
One, WORK at it. Get to know the political reporters and columnists. Visit with them. Call them. Email them. Give them helpful, useful and timely information. And always keep in mind that fights make news. Reporters dont cover all the safe landings at LAX; only the crashes. Treat reporters professionally and courteously.
And when all else fails...feed them. Take em to breakfast or lunch. Let them see that you are a real person, a serious person, and not some flake.
Of course, it should go without saying that if you ARE a flake, then youre better off if you continue to just avoid the press.
Which brings me to the second point: If you want to overcome the perception that youre a bunch of space cadets and gadflies, you have to start acting in a serious and dignified manner. Getting yourself arrested at a presidential debate will get you media attention, but aint gonna help your image.
Final note on this topic: Heed the age-old axiom never to pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel and paper by the ton. If you have a problem with a reporter or a paper, usually the best thing to do is keep it to yourself. But if the problem is serious enough, if it goes to the heart of your credibility, then be professional and seek to resolve the problem PRIVATELY.
Bottom line: Stop whining about your lack of media coverage in public. Its unseemly and its counter-productive. Take a page from E.F. Hutton. If you want media coverage, get it the old-fashioned way. Earn it.
In conclusion, let me make another six short recommendations for getting yourselves on the first rung of the electoral ladder...
1.) Either create a first-class candidate training program internally which focuses on the grassroots nuts-and-bolts of running a campaign, or send your candidates to a qualified candidate training program such as those conducted by the non-partisan Leadership Institute. Any candidate who isnt willing to participate in such a program is a candidate who probably doesnt deserve your active support. The odds are all theyre going to do is extend your losing streak and embarrass you at the ballot box. And giving cash to these I-already-know-it-all candidates is like giving the car keys to a drunken teenager. Nothing good can possibly come of it.
2.) Stop trying to start at the top. Get yourself elected to the state legislature before running for Congress.
3.) Consider running as a Republican, get yourself elected, gain some credibility, make some contacts...and THEN switch parties. Democrats and Republicans do it all the time. Just ask Jim Jeffords.
4.) Devote MUCH more time and effort to non-partisan races where party affiliation is less likely to help your opponent...or hurt you.
5.) Champion good, widely-popular ballot initiatives which focus POSITIVE attention on your party. The Massachusetts initiative a couple years back to eliminate the income tax was a great idea. Sponsoring ballot initiatives to legalize pot isnt.
6.) And lastly, for anyone here who wants to start getting serious about improving the marketing of the Libertarian Party and your candidates, go to www.thegaryhalbertletter.com and read every single one of the FREE newsletters direct marketing guru Gary Halbert has posted there in his archives. Just be prepared for some earthy language. Halbert pulls no punches.
In conclusion, let me thank you for you invitation to be here this weekend.
It takes a lot of courage and self-confidence to invite a speaker who you know is going to say some things you probably dont want to here. But rest assured, my criticisms of the Libertarian Party arent made because Im happy to see you fail. Theyre because I want to see you succeed.
I strongly believe a huge window of opportunity is about to present itself to you in the coming months and years, but it will be up to you, each and every one of you in this room, to take advantage of that opportunity and help restore this nation to the limited-government principles of our Founders.
This isnt about being a Republican or a Democrat...or a conservative or a libertarian. Its about being an American in its true and original sense.
I wish you nothing but success. Thank you.
# # #
Who speaks for us in today's age? It hasn't been Bush or the "Republican" Congress. Where have you gone Ronald Reagan? Have we forgotten what you showed us to be possible?
While I agree with you on the need for much less government, the Liberterians are for open borders and legalized drugs. Sorry but only dopers can really make that a platform in their party.
Very long but very interesting points, also. I like the part about some people may agree with the LP on medicinal marijuana but not on legalizing heroin.
Frankly, there are a large number of people who actually agree with the libertarians but can't seem to vote for them given their lack of party strength. Unless you are a hopeless Democrat, how can you not approve of smaller government, lower taxes, the elimination of SS, the Constitution and the power of the individual.
Bush and the current batch of scumholes in Congress have continued to screw the American tax payer over the past few years. Yes, we got some tax cuts but you cannot increase entitlement, education and other non-defense spending while you are at it.
The Libertarians (IMO) shot themselves in the foot by opposing the War in Iraq. Many of them sounded just like anti-Bush Democrats in their rhetoric on the war, and I think most libertarian/conservatives who are willing to give Libertarian candidates a look didn't care for what they saw last year. I'd have gladly voted for Georgia's Libertarian Senate candidate over Johnny Isakson last year if he hadn't sounded like Teddy Kennedy when it came to Iraq.
Who was for repealing the 18th amendment? Just the drunks? Anyway, we need a new party: libertarianism without the idiocy.
That was a good read.
I agree with many of his points. And lo and behold, here comes someone saying the libertarian party is full of dope smokers. lol
But yes, call them small 'l' libertarians, South Park conservatives, whatever, there is a schism developing in the R party of people who expected less government, not more. Medicare prescription plan anyone? No Child Left Behind? Give me a break.
The libertarians need to look at the big issue of shrinking the government, and not so much at the little issues, such as marijuana legalization etc. The little issues will work themselves out when the big one is working on its own. I mean, look at the clamoring of doing away with the income tax structure, and privitizing social security.
I am worried though that they really shot themselves in the foot with the War in Iraq though. I mean, they almost didn't let Neal Boortz speak at their convention because he agrees with it. They need to make sure they aren't taken over by peace loving hippies.
If the republicans blow it, I will vote all democrat for the sole purpose of hastening the end - puting the US mercifully out of it's misery.
I will then get a can of gas, some matches and a fiddle...
Kewl...was the wackadoo who ran for governor awhile ago there? You know the one who hawked a giant loogie on the radio announcer...
| "The witches in Macbeth
play a serpentine role, as in the Garden of Eden,
telling Macbeth to take and eat of the fruit of the tree
but Macbeth, like Eve, is the one who must reach up to the tree
to pluck the fruit, the serpent merely tempts.
Or like Christs temptation in the wilderness,
Macbeth is seduced by the witches with dreams of glory and power;
unlike Christ, Macbeth does not rebuke the witches but heeds them."
They have some wierd people there no doubt but look around the republican party and we have a few people sort of out there.
I like reading up on the CATO Institute's stuff. It's very pro-business, small government and for the rights of the individual.
You could make a case that Iraq was not the immediate threat though. Yes, the world is better off without him but one could make the case that bringing down the House Of Saud or going after Pakistan for their harboring of Bin Laden and crew might have made a bigger impact on terrorism. And, Iran and Korea were probably more of a threat to us than Iraq.
Seems on the whole that there are a lot of people out there who don't like us....
Last time I checked, a few years back, they wanted to get rid of the CIA and standing armed forces. They would blind us and leave us defenseless. Throw in their drug nonsense and that did it for me. They simply aren't responsible enough to consider joining.
Perhaps Iraq didn't pose the threat other nations did/do, but you can also make a case that Iraq was the next step regardless of the threat posed by other nations. That's a big debate, and my mind won't be changed that the Libertarians were wrong on the issue.
I agree with you about the CATO Institute, and clearly the majority of Republicans have lost sight of the limited government platform. Tax cuts aren't enough, but they hold them out there in an effort to quiet their core constituency while expanding pork and entitlement to ensure reelection.
I remain hopeful, but the fight for smaller government seems lost.
This is his most important point. You have to build a constituency at the grass roots level before you can hit the top. In local elections, party affiliation doesn't matter as much, because you can meet voters belly to belly.
And the purpose of winning?
Just sticking with legalized drugs, dopers frequently don't support that. Libertarians do because it illustrates so much of the philosophy.
Those who oppose legalized drugs don't understand the libertarian view or don't agree with it.
I see marijuana legalization as smaller than drug legalization, and both as smaller than the whole "consensual crime" area: drugs, gambling, sex, and free enterprise vs licensed labor.
I am worried though that they really shot themselves in the foot with the War in Iraq.
A libertarian could argue for the invasion, if he argued that the U.S. didn't initiate force against Iraq.
More mainstream means less libertarian. Those LP members who want normalcy might feel more comfortable in the RP or DP.
You're right, and that's my whole point. Don't get hung up on the minutia, let's look at the big picture. No one is going to agree on all the small things, but we can agree that the government has gotten to be a huge hog with a gun, feeding at the trough of our labor and liberties. (did I just say that? that sounds wacky even for me.)
And since Iraq broke treaties and sanctions and fired on our planes etc etc, you can say we didn't initiate, we just continued the war from 91, when the peace treaty was never followed by Iraq.
Read his newsletter and you will probably wind up agreeing with him if you are a small government conservative. And, there are too many Freepers out there who can't stand the thought of one of their own pointing out what stinks in the republican party....the deficits, the lack of spending accountability, the interference in people's business and the lack of enforcement of our borders.
LA LA LA LA LA LA LA I CAN"T HEAR YOU LA LA LA LA LA LA
** taking fingers out of ears **
Oh misterrob, you are a stitch! Bless your heart.
You see, that was the point of my first post. If I have to hit the page down button thirty times just to get to the middle of "his newsletter" the visions of Lyndon Larouche start.
Libertarians agree on legalizing all the consensual "crimes", because they agree on the principle of non-initiation of force. Disagreeing on legalizing heroin, for example, probably means disagreeing on the basic libertarian "enabling rule" of the libertarian vision. Not small stuff.
This question is quite deceptive. On reading the article up to this question, it would seem that the proper wording would have been:
The question, therefore, is whether or not the Libertarian Party will be prepared to take advantage of this window of opportunity and finally join with the Democrats in order to become a true, competitive ballot-box alternative to the Republicans, thereby ensuring a permanent return to Democratic party hegemony.
Mr Chuck Muth proposes that "...if you want to be a political party, then you need to WIN elections to significant offices. THAT?S the measure of an effective political party."
Oh? I guess Mr Muth does not follow public policy innovations very closely. The most successful party in the 20th century on changing government economic policy never won an election. The most successful party on changing social policy also never won an election. Those two parties, the Communist Party and the Socialist Workers Party, didn't need to win elections. Mr Muth just does not get it.
He also does not quite comprehend the meaning of being a loser. He thinks winning elections is the only way to win. But having seen a good number of politicians abandon the pledges they made to supporters after winning and being socialized into the select winners circles, it becomes quite easy to comprehend that all those supporters were the big losers even with their winning candidates.
Putting the slightest amount of critical thought to any part of the rest of his advertisement, will show point for point, just how phony his political opportunism is. If he is successful, the Libertarian Party will become just like the Republican Party, splitting each others votes, and providing the democrats a sure win in every election.
I don't know if he is actually an opportunist, phony libertarian, or a decrepit libertarian. But one thing is for certain, the current Democratic Party cavalry operation going on in the rear of the conservative Republican movement, that is the current Libertarian Party operations, need more Chuck Muths operating if their to succeed.
When I can, I usually vote Libertarian. I want Libertarians running for every office. But I do not want any of them winning. Should they continue to be a spoiler party, I may stop voting for them and even start campaigning against them.
The Libertarian Party is still only questionably out of its infancy. Stunted since about 1983, the Party has lot more development before it further influences elections. The Party's extraordinary potential for defining the movement and carrying the message forward, is lost with every attempt by a candidate to win an election.
I don't want Libertarians ruling over a non libertarian society. I want a libertarian society and care not which party or parties bring it about. I say the Libertarian Party is the best starting point..
I think it's a case that the older I get the more they make sense to me....less government, lower taxes, no entitlements, respect for individual freedoms, no government interference in private or commercial market affairs and something called personal accountability. I could care less about dope.....hell, the government makes money hand over fist on taxes on cigarettes and liquor so saying marijuana is bad is a bit of a stretch. Smack, coke, crank, etc is a bit much but they do have a point and that is the drug war isn't working...not by a long shot. Get rid of the corner dealers and street crime goes down.
I don't like the idea of some liberal telling me how my family is supposed to operate just like I don't need to hear it from some born again hypocrite who thinks that now that they have found salvation that they are qualified to tell everyone else how to do it, regardless of how much drinking, whoring, stealing or abusive behavior they left behind.
To regress back to our initial disagreement, there are many advantages to the Libertarian Party running candidates for public office with no intention of winning. Among those advantages, is an increased ability to get the harder to understand ideas out into the public arena. It does not matter at this time what the overall general public thinks of the LP candidates, as they should not be the target of the campaign to start with. Long before the LP attempts to sway the general public, its movement needs to be materialized with a much larger representation in academia, and then business.
To do this thousands upon thousands of more position papers need to be written and internal warring factions need to be developed, just to reach academia. Any attempt to gain votes from the general public prior to that only makes the Party look even more out of touch with reality in the eyes of would be activists which the party will ultimately need if it is to be adequately represented in academia. Until the Party has gained such representation, attempts to reach out to the business community are counter productive. That can only effectively be carried out after the Party has grown enough to create an appearance of popularity. And that is a very long time off.
Thus I say the LP does not need to be winning elections at any time in the near future. And more importantly, it should not be attempting to do so or be seen as such. Election campaigns ran in this manner would not be spoiler campaigns.