Charles Stricklinabout the ideal way to begin working Libertarians into the federal government. From his blog:
My strategy relies less on winning the presidency and more on winning seats in Congress, particularly the House.
Currently, Republicans hold a 25-seat lead in the House. Consider what would happen if, over the next, say, 6 years, Libertarians elect 25 representatives: The president, whichever the party, would have to deal with them to pass legislation. Remember that all tax legislation originates from the House.
Libertarians, although not in the majority and therefore no able to dictate which bills are considered, would still be able to wield considerable power and support Republican bills when it makes sense to do so as well as Democratic bills when it makes since to do so. Also, if their performance suits the electorate, it’ll become that much easier for them to support a Libertarian presidential candidate in 2012 or 2016.
On the other hand, if by some miracle a Libertarian were elected president without first building a base within the House, he or she would control neither the majority nor the minority parties in either chamber, and they’d have to work with the majority party to get anything accomplished. To the best of my knowledge, no president has ever served without enjoying the support of either a majority or minority party.
As a footnote: Senate seats are extremely hard to change parties, in part due to the six year term, in part due to the enormous amount of power to be wielded (1/2 of each state as opposed to a smaller percentage of any sizable state) and in part due to the inelasticity of the position. Once a senator wins his or her first reelection, they’re able to retain their seat short of poor health, scandal or resigning to run for the presidency. This is why my strategy focuses on the House. Again, the Libertarian Party should field senate candidates, just as they should governors and state elected officials, but don’t bet the farm on them.
The logic’s sound enough, I did take a few exceptions to the article though. He talked about the overwhelming power of Republican ideas among voters, which I’m not completely convinced on. Security, maybe… but not necessarily low taxes and deregulation (remember, these are Republican ideas, not what they actually do when elected). He used it to offer proof of the difficulties in electing a President, though, and that I do concur with. We’ll need a contingent in the House before anything happens.
So here’s hoping we can successfully get guys like Michael Badnarik and others in, but I still think that it’ll be a hard fight even to do that. Honestly I think we need to focus harder on local and state races still, but when we’re ready to seriously move into national politics, this is a good blueprint to follow.