Don’t get burned out!

As a longtime Libertarian activist, I know as well as anyone the burnout that can accompany election results. I can totally understand how many of you are feeling right now. Another election season has come and gone, and the LP doesn’t have much to show for it except for a couple of Soil and Water Board seats.

Just look at the dismal numbers. The Libertarian candidates considered the strongest of the pack turned out to be anything but strong in the results. Texas’ much vaunted Bob Smither couldn’t defeat a write-in candidate! Michael Badnarik’s well-funded campaign went down in flames. For all the money his campaign spent, his results were not much better than virtually unfunded campaigns.

Some other “noteworthy campaigns”:
Bruce Guthrie, who pumped in over a million of his own dollars to his campaign couldn’t crack 2%. Phil Maymin and Bill Pierce despite some local coverage, also could not crack 2%.

Just another depressing election for the Libertarian Party. But, hey, we’re still the 3rd largest political party in the United States, right? We’ll show them in 2008!

Riiight.

If this was your first election supporting LP candidates, I hope you didn’t get your hopes up too high. “Burnout” is a very real problem after an election is done. I know it well. It’s one of the reasons why I joined the Free State Project.

After busting my ass for campaigns down in Florida and getting the same dismal results year after year, I joined the FSP. The Libertarian Party continues to fail and each election year picks itself up, dusts itself off and does the same thing all over again.

Three decades of failure means it’s time to do something differently. It’s clear the problem with our movement is we’re spread too thin. 1% here, 2% there. And only a percentage of the people voting LP are actual activists.

Enter the Free State Project.

The FSP is a plan to move Libery loving activists all to the same state: New Hampshire. While only a hundred and fifty “early movers” have arrived, they are already laying the groundwork for activist networks (Like NHFree.com and NHLiberty.org.) that new arrivals will simply be able to “plug-in” to and get active. The early movers are already holding the line for Liberty. They were, for instance, critical in defeating the smoking ban that reared its ugly head this year.

The Free State Project is an idea that’s time has come. Don’t burn out. Channel your anger and disappointment about the LP’s results away and investigate the FSP. Sign the First 1000 Pledge. I suggest you move sooner rather than later. Things are just starting to get interesting up here. I just moved here two months ago and I only regret I didn’t come sooner.

Explore the FSP in person at the upcoming Liberty Forum in Concord this February. John Stossell, Michael Badnarik (an FSP member!), and the Advocates’ Sharon Harris will all be there, and so should you.

Should you choose to stay where you are, expect future election disappointments as all of the best activists from your area continue to move to NH as part of the Second American Revolution.

See you in NH!
-FTL_Ian

posted by ianbernard
  • kcjerith

    Freestate is one of my favorite pieces of LP stateagy. I am signed up, depending of I can go to grad school in the state will decide how long it takes before i Move there. I am pleased, well at least in some cases, with the lp results. Marcus Kirby, running for kansas house distrinct 46, got over 13% of the vote. Yes it was only a two horse race, but the area (lawerance KS home of KU) is a very liberal area. fight the good fight

  • ianbernard

    The FSP is not LP strategy. It’s not an LP movement. Many in the LP do not like the FSP because they (correctly) see it siphoning off their activists. Like me. I was one of the best activists in the Sarasota, FL area. Now I’m in NH, and more of my fellow activists in Sarasota are on their way up here in 2007.

    The FSP was the brainchild of Jason Sorens, not the LP.

  • kcjerith

    really? this i did not know, I seem to see a lot of LP members supporting the cause. Are the two at odds on policy (pardon my ognorance on the subject)? if so in what ways?

  • http://freestateproject.org Seth Cohn

    Ian is right on the money. Name one libertarian _elected_ this year to your State House?…. We can, he’s a free stater.

  • ianbernard

    Kcjerith,

    I’m not saying Libertarians don’t support the FSP. Most I’ve met think it’s a great idea, and most FSP members are Libertarians.

    I was just making it clear it is not an LP idea.

  • ianbernard

    It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside when we agree, Seth.

    Say, I’ve been wondering how you feel about Dave Ridley going to court on Monday, in comparison to how you felt about Russell considering there are significant differences in how the two handled a similar situation.

  • kcjerith

    fair enough, thanks for clearing that up. though if they take the same stances, I am not concerned with who started it, not to take away credit from anyone

  • Graham

    Good luck with the FSP. I prefer to stay out in the world with the non-separatists. Yeah I may have a socialist neighbor, or perhaps even a non-white male gun-owner,etc. IMO life is more fun that way. I am a Libertarian, but I dont think I wouldn’t want to only live with/around only other Libertarians.

  • Graham

    *would

  • http://freestateproject.org Seth Cohn

    I support Dave in his court appearance, and said so directly at the recent Merrimack Valley Porcupine meeting I guest-hosted in front of 40+ people…. I might even show up for the court date if I can make it myself.

    Yeah, I feel all warm and fuzzy too…

    Say, I been wondering if you are gonna run as a Democrat in Keene in 2 years?

  • http://freestateproject.org Seth Cohn

    Graham, we aren’t separatists AT ALL. Come visit us and see.
    Heck, even in the biggest towns, there are often only a few of us so far. There is no “move here to this place” group think going on.

  • DAP

    I have a few question about the FSP and the First 1000:
    *Are we on target to meet our goal of 20,000 people before the pledge expires?
    *Are we on target to meet our goal of 1,000 people for the First 1000 before it expires?

  • MLS

    Yeah, but for the FSP to work, people have to move to New Hampshire… honestly, I would go insane if I were surrounded by a bunch of libertarian activists out in the middle of nowhere.

  • Casey Shoaf

    I signed the First 1000 first thing this morning…

  • paulie

    I would prefer the State Free Project.

    Tropical island would be ideal.

  • paulie

    I got over expecting overnight changes and then being burned out a long time ago.

    It’s a long haul, but I’m still plugging away while they let me.

  • ianbernard

    This is hardly the middle of nowhere. I live in the city of Keene, and it’s very nice.

    Seth: Expect city campaigns here in Keene even sooner. I’ll be behind the scenes, managing. We’ll be discussing this in detail at Sunday’s Monadnock Porcs meeting.

  • undercover_anarchist

    I’m sure the good citizens of NH are going to love “libertarian” carpetbaggers coming to their state and telling them how to do things.

    “Yay, let’s make NH an all-white state!”

    The country just took a turn for the better. Just beause the LP is such a dysfunctional joke is not reason to give up. Just becasue the FTL idol Micheal Fraudnarik is more corrupt than any Republican or Democrat in the House, is no reason to join a secessionist movement.

    I’ll stay where I am or move to Vegas or somewhere cool like that. I do hope that Dondickwad moves to the Great White North of Alaska and gets eaten by a bear.

  • ZanderC

    Our national aspirations are ridiculous until we can get consistently elected at the state level. Our state aspirations are ridiculous until we can get consistently elected at the local level. I think we did a great job this year.

    I am *not* going to be joining the FSP. I *am* going to be working on voter registration, and re-orienting the California State LP around organizing county- and local-level activists so that we can repeatedly and convincingly win local races. Then we move up the ladder.

    The Electorate is never going to elect Libertarians to national office until we demonstrate that we’re capable at local and state office. Look at the vote totals. We do better and better the more local our candidates are.

    This isn’t rocket science, however, it’s a future of a lot of hard work.

    I’ve already started to roll up my sleeves for ’08. I hope everyone else is too.

  • Michelle Shinghal

    I have to say TX did pretty ok. http://207.200.23.22/06novgen.htm?x=0&y=33981&id=795

    Many of our candidates did high teens to mid 20s. (the higher #s were in 2 way races, but we did as well against reps as dems. Because of a deal I foolishly made with my husband, I will step down as chair. But, that will mean that I will have plenty of time to start helping Matt Moseley for the next election. (I am also looking at city council for myself.)

    I was sad last night, but I do feel revived today. Time to get to work!

  • kcjerith

    Hey, UA made a race reference in his post, shocking

  • Steve Smith

    Good luck with FSP. Wonderful idea; glad to hear it is still alive and kickin’. Last time I checked in, many months ago, there was a lot of negative news centering on the suspicious and alarmed reactions of New Hampshire natives to the Free Staters. Also–again, this is just what I read–some of the newcomers were allegedly displaying some bad behavior and/or attitudes, which exacerbated the hard feelings. Hope that has been gotten past.

    Unfortunately I will not be among those moving to N.H. The winters in North Carolina are too cold for me! When I next move it will be to Key West or Padre Island or Panama or somewhere like that.

    Good luck though!

  • HippyChimp

    I’ve already made the move… :)

  • paulie

    I’ll stay where I am or move to Vegas or somewhere cool like that. I do hope that Dondickwad moves to the Great White North of Alaska and gets eaten by a bear.

    That’s just so mean. And what did that bear ever do to you? Don’t you care about animal rights?

  • kcjerith

    I think there are differnet ways to reach the same goal. one way, work on the local elections, get people and that level in office, and then build a base for a us senate/house/governor canidate. And I think this is a vaild startegy. However, flooding a state with LP members and getting members elected on a national/local. It is possabely a trade off, the depth of one state/ versus the broadness of many states. Maybe getting a US house/state member will help trigger larger movements in other states (maybe not).

  • paulie

    I was sad last night, but I do feel revived today.

    Right on!

  • paulie

    “Yay, let’s make NH an all-white state!”

    As opposed to now?

    Ever been to NH?

  • Michelle Shinghal

    Paulie- I was sad, drank 1/2 bottle of wine, and went to sleep shitty drunk. I think that perhaps I blacked out a little of last night. ;o)

  • R. E. Lee

    Did NH move in a more libertarian direction this election or is it becoming more like it’s socialist neighbor Vermont?
    How long until “Live Free or Die” comes off the license plates?

    Another election and another chance to ask: Do we care more about our ideas winning or about our candidates winning? How you answer has profound implications for how you think the LP should proceed.

  • paulie

    A half bottle of wine gets you shitty drunk?

    Dang.

  • paulie

    Did NH move in a more libertarian direction this election

    Dunno, but I understand they elected a member to the legislature, although as a Democrat.

  • http://freelancify.com Nigel Watt

    Anybody who thinks New Hampshire is “middle of nowhere” or not, aside from the weather, an awesome place has never been there. I say this as a lifelong Texan.

  • paulie

    NH isn’t middle of nowhere at all. Nashua has a lot of Boston-area commuters, for instance.