They really have nothing else to do in Oklahoma, I guess

The latest Republican solution to violence in schools?

Use a book to deflect a bullet!

They really do get this damn stupid, kids. I’m not entirely sure why, but this is what CNN had to say:

A candidate for state superintendent of schools said Thursday he wants thick used textbooks placed under every student’s desk so they can use them for self-defense during school shootings.

“People might think it’s kind of weird, crazy,” said Republican Bill Crozier of Union City, Oklahoma, a teacher and former Air Force security officer. “It is a practical thing; it’s something you can do. It might be a way to deflect those bullets until police go there.”

Crozier and a group of aides produced a 10-minute video Tuesday in which they shoot math, language and telephone books with a variety of weapons, including an AK-47 assault rifle and a 9mm pistol. The rifle bullet penetrated two books, including a calculus textbook, but the pistol bullet was stopped by a single book.

Crozier said the demonstration shows that a student could effectively use a textbook as protection in a school shooting.

Apparently this idea was so fucking retarded that the Democrat in the race, who can usually be relied on for an equally stupid plan, was dumbfounded.

Crozier faces incumbent Sandy Garrett, a Democrat, in the November 7 general election. A spokeswoman for Garrett’s campaign, Kimberly Hawkins Sanders, said Garrett had no comment on Crozier’s idea.

Word has yet to come in whether the Green Party of Oklahoma decried the tree holocaust engendered by the making of those textbooks.

Meanwhile, in the real world, here’s a crazy idea for reducing school shootings: vouchers and repealing mandatory attendance laws? If the moonbats that plan on killing their classmates in the name of the Prince of Darkness or whateverthehell don’t have to be in school, maybe school shootings will go down? Or maybe their parents can put them in a better private school that can slap them around and welcome them back into reality?

I do realize it’s not as brilliant as, say, using your textbook to try to stop a fucking bullet, but hey, maybe we could give it a go anyway?

posted by Stuart Richards
  • Sandra Kallander

    I think you misunderstood: no new trees would be harmed. Remember, it’s “reduce, reuse, and recycle” in that order. Reusing old textbooks and recycling them afterward (or, if contaminated with blood, composting them) is a good idea.

  • Wes P

    No homocidal maniacs will be harmed either.

  • Wes P

    Superman is faster than a speeding bullet — he could do this!

    But bullets bounce off him anyway.

  • Gary

    No homocidal maniacs will be harmed either.

    Surely you meant homicidal. ;)

  • R. E. Lee

    Why does HoT hate the children?

  • A. Spiehler

    Gosh that is stupid. Par for the course, but still there’s enough stupid there to choke a horse.

    Check out bullets vs books:
    http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot31.htm

  • Stuart Richards

    Why does HoT hate the children?

    No, we LOVE the children. They’re good with ketchup!

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    I mean it’s pretty damn stupid to use as a campaign issue, but really, it’s actually a fairly practical idea. I suppose it’s less stupid and costly than government mandated bulletproof SWAT gear for all the students. Or a stupid libertarian solution that I’m waiting to hear: letting students bring guns to school. Hell, if you throw a textbook at him, maybe you can give the gunman a concussion. I sort of say that jokingly, but deep in my heart, I know it’s true.

    Also, Stuart, your proposed solution won’t stop the most recent school killers who weren’t students, but adults.

    So really, can anyone think of a better idea? Armed teachers?

    I don’t think I want my middle school music teacher armed. She was nuts, man.

  • IanC

    Nick; unfortunately, we can’t have it both ways. What works in airlines works in elementary schools.

    Ain’t it a bitch?

  • brian g

    armed teachers sounds good to me. maybe have them qualified somehow. or better yet, GET RID OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS!

  • Derrick

    Man, does he know how heavy kids’ backpacks are already?

  • Tom Bryant

    If anyone thinks this idea is practical is obviously not thinking about the mechanics of the process. How are you going to block a bullet with a book? If you don’t have Matrix style reactions, you’ll end up with a bullet in your brain and a Chemistry book over your heart.

    The solution, as has been demonstrated by a number of prevented school shootings, is to allow teachers to carry guns. Teachers and principles have in the past held armed students at gun point to stop school shootings, why stop what works?

  • http://darianworden.tripod.com D Worden

    Nick: I’ll end the waiting for you.

    Any “kid” over the age of 15 can definitely learn to carry firearms responsibly. Younger people used to bring guns to school to hunt after they got out anyway.
    http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BQY/is_9_49/ai_105642919

    For some reason, the arm teachers/pilots/etc debate always seems to end up sounding like a question of whether teachers and pilots should be FORCED to carry guns whether they want to or not. I say let the choice be up to them. The ones who think that everyone is too stupid to have a gun probably won’t carry any.

    And of course, it goes without saying that there should be no government schools. Private schools can make their own choices about what rights people on their property may exercise.

  • http://www.ilovephysics.com Chris Moore

    Hmmm. Lets see. All I need to do is come up with a way to completely eliminate the risk of an armed, crazy idiot rampaging through a school. And while I’m working on that, I might as well work on a solution for poverty. Once that’s done, I’ll finally be able to get around to inventing that free energy machine.

    Even Libertarians can’t solve all problems.

  • http://www.lpalabama.org/blog/14 paulie cannoli

    I carried guns to school. So what?

  • brian g

    you had the courage to say what i didn’t d. worden.

    BTW, you wouldn’t happen to be Don Worden from Worden Bros., would you?

  • http://www.tom-hanna.org Tom Hanna

    Or a stupid libertarian solution that I’m waiting to hear: letting students bring guns to school.

    Let’s make it the stupid Constitutionalist solution.

    [i]t is well established that children do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse door and that deprivations of liberty in the school context may implicate both procedural and substantive due process liberty interests.

    Why should that only apply to the nice liberal “rights” and not to the Second Amendment?

  • sugonaut

    “…unfortunately, we can’t have it both ways. What works in airlines works in elementary schools.”

    Right on, Stuart. Reality is a bitch.

    I have a great position for Sandy Garrett – she should promise her constituents to take police off the streets and put them in the classroom. This will ensure that only “qualified” people have the guns in school. Plus it will be comforting for children to have a cop in the classroom.

    I can see it now…

    “Alright kids, it’s nap-time! Officer Mahoney will be right over there in that corner today – so no sudden movements while on your mats. Okay?”

  • http://darianworden.tripod.com D Worden

    brian g:

    Nope, I’m Darian Worden from New Jersey.

    Chris Moore:

    “Even Libertarians can’t solve all problems.”

    No we can’t…but maybe THE FREE MARKET CAN!!!! Yeah that was silly, but hey, ya never know what people can do when they’re as free as possible.

  • http://www.lpalabama.org/blog/14 paulie cannoli

    They can do a lot.

    But solve all problems? No, we’re still human, and such impossible expectations only create burnout, bitterness and disillusion.

    Anarchy is not utopia, just better than the state.

  • http://libspot.org/member/mlaursen/blog1/ Mike Laursen

    Or a stupid libertarian solution that I’m waiting to hear: letting students bring guns to school.

    What about only if they maintain a 2.0 or better grade average? :-)

  • paulie cannoli

    Then they lose their gun priveleges.

  • http://www.lp.org/candidates/ Sean Haugh

    I grew up in Oklahoma and I can assure you we have the absolute dumbest politics anywhere. If you have a funny name or played college football there we will elect you to anything. When I was there, the whole time the state treasurer was a fellow named Wilbur Wright. Except for a couple years in the middle when he was in jail for corruption. “Dee dee dee, oh Wilbur Wright, I heard of him.” The attorney general at that time was named Larry Derryberry. You know we sent both JC Watts and Steve Largent to Congress. I could go on. This is just the latest in the grand tradition of dumbass Oklahoma politics.

  • paulie cannoli

    Another dumbass thing about Oklahoma:

    Initiatives require copying the printed names of all the signers on the back of the page. Big pain in the ass!

    Getting on the ballot as a third party is very difficult there.

    Also, one time when I was a college student I got pulled over there and when I told the cop I was going to California he acted like I was lying or crazy or something.

    Like why would anybody ever go that far? Everybody should just hang out on their porch their whole life, or something.

  • Chuck Bronson

    I live in Oklahoma. It is ass backwards here. I’m running for state house in 2008 as an Independent unless the LP down here can get us recognition as a political party again. I remembered registering Libertarian and then about 2 months later, I got a letter from the election board saying that “libertarian committee” or something to that effect is no longer recognized as a party and I was switched to an Indie. Sucks.

    Use a book as a shield? Such great thinking.

    Kind of like Robert Carradine in The Big Red One: “The best way to snuff out a sniper is to get shot. They thought that one up at West Point.”

  • Julian

    Is it possible there are some problems with no obvious solutions? Gun violence in schools may be one of them.

    I know disarming all citizens as some advocate is not the solution. How many will not turn in firearms if it comes to that? I won’t and doubt if I am the only one that won’t.

    I also carried a firearm to high school twice a week, an M1 rifle issued by the ROTC program at school. Every male was required to take 2 years ROTC but most elected to take 3 years. No one was ever shot.

  • undercover_anarchist

    I always thought that the LP was the party of church-state separation, but I rarely (if ever) hear Libertarians decry vouchers on the basis that they put taxpayer money into the hands of religious institutions.

    How about simply opening up public school choice? Wouldn’t that be better than the current system? On a state level, I would like to see guaranteed transportation to any school within 30 miles of the student’s home. This would introduce market forces into the horrendously failing public school system.

  • undercover_anarchist

    Hey, it’s principal not principle. He is your princi-PAL, remember.

    As for armed teachers… I wouldn’t want to send my child to a school where the teachers were armed. I think there would be more potential for harm and abuse in a school teeming with guns than in one where there’s a 1 out of a million chance that a psycho shows up to kill all of the Christians(luckily, my daughter will be spared in this case).

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    “No we can’t”¦but maybe THE FREE MARKET CAN!!!!”

    Like liberals’ illusion that big government will solve everything, the idea that the free market will solve everything is the biggest illusion for libertarians. Historically it hasn’t – and this forms the core of liberal objection against libertarianism. If there is no capital, there will be no solution, at least not in the short term when the issues need to be addressed. Charities only crop up in these settings when things get so bad it is unbearable.

    Localism is the best way to compromise the two, which is why I don’t have any objections if a local district wants to set up a public school system. Local districts can cater schools to the local needs (barring violating rights) and decide the right system to use. Only when the feds become involved, then it becomes truly unaccountable, as voters lose the direct oversight to best address issues in their own system. Why have to go to Washington to change the school up the road?

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    Libertarianism fails because you just can’t hold one rigid idea to be the answer to everything. It’s a simplistic way to approach something that has very real implications on the lives of everyone.

    While the government f—ed up Katrina miserably, I honestly can’t say the private sector would have done any better. Sure, they’ll set up charities, food banks, hold sales, etc. to show what a nice corporation they are, but I just don’t see Wal-mart sending boats of Wal-mart employees down flooded rivers trying to save people trapped in their homes. Furthermore, if Wal-mart was building the levees for whatever reason, do you have any illusion that they wouldn’t also have tried to cut costs to the bone, leaving a sub-par levee? Private charities would have done their best in the situation, and people would have given lots of (maybe more) money, but to be able to respond to an unexpected, immediate crisis of this magnitude takes prior organization, capital, infrastructure, etc.

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    “I rarely (if ever) hear Libertarians decry vouchers on the basis that they put taxpayer money into the hands of religious institutions.”

    That’s not how vouchers works. It puts money for education in the hands of poor people, who can decide where they want to use it. While it’s not an ideal solution, it’s a myth that it is merely a scheme to get tax dollars to religious organizations. Vouchers would probably lead to more non-religious schools being built, because of increased demand for non-religious schools coupled with a larger segment of the population able to afford private schools. However, I agree with you that school choice is a better first step.

    Face it, people. Banning public schools will not fly with the public politically, so quit yapping about it. School choice and vouchers are ways to get the public to see the benefits of free-market competition in schools, but advocating the ban of public schools is counter-productive to libertarian political success.

  • http://hammeroftruth.com/about/ Michelle Shinghal

    #30
    Actually, according to the book, “Chest Deep and Rising”, WalMart did come to the aid of New Orleanians-they moved while FEMA was making excuses. I am from a neighboring NOLA parish and read the book written by a first responder. I had hoped to review the book here, but I found it so-so. The book, while factually correct, spends too much time patting backs. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Fraternal Order of Police and it shows in the writing. Private aid could have saved so many. Smither and his Laura Recovery RV. Hundreds of sportsmen with their bass boats. America responded- her government didn’t.

  • undercover_anarchist

    If Wal-Mart would have fucked up the levees, then the people of New Orleans would OWN Wal-Mart right now. That’s Wal-Mart’s incentive for not fucking up the levees. I’m not saying I agree with private control of the levees, etc., but I don’t think they would “cut costs to the bone” to the extent that it created legal liability for them.

  • http://darianworden.tripod.com D Worden

    Eh, in case you didnt notice, I was trying to be funny with my “prehaps the free market can” comment. However, if the problem can be solved, then free people will find a way much better than coercive bureaucrats.

    And I think it is important to be realistic and say that no, libertarians dont have all the answers. We don’t know exactly what will replace this or that government program but we can name a few possibilities. We won’t necessarily be the ones doing the replacing and we dont know exactly what everyone else wants…that’s why liberty works better than central planning.

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    “America responded- her government didn’t.”

    Her government f–ed up big time and we saw an immense amount of private action, charity and volunteerism. Wal-mart did do a lot too. But the fact of the matter is, it wouldn’t be enough. It was the government who had the means to ship in thousands of trailers to provide temporary housing, the government which needed to come in and keep all the insurance companies from going completely bankrupt (a completely free market would have done that) and the government that had to figure out some way to prevent New Orleans from becoming the next Somalia (they didn’t do such a good job, admittedly).

    They messed up and should be held accountable, but this was one among many examples in which we must grudgingly admit free markets and a pure libertarian response would fail to provide an adequate response. Maybe school shootings are another example.

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    Libertarianism’s other ideological problem is that it assumes rationality and sometimes ignores preventative solutions. For example, some libertarians believe you should be free to drive drunk – but if you kill someone, you get held accountable. The drunk driver will rightfully be punished, but the other person will still be dead. If drunken driving laws dissuade even one person from driving drunk and thus stops them from killing someone, this restriction on personal freedom is trumped by someone else’s right to life, and thus such laws are fair and preventative measures.

    This is why it is difficult for libertarians to be ideologically rigid, ignoring the fact that a whole variety of values and conflicts of liberty need to be weighed. I want personal freedoms, but I also pessimistically think a lot of people will feel increased license to violate the liberties of others. Libertarians have to tow a careful policy line between freedom, prevention and protection.

  • Earl Paige

    While I agree with the premise, the language is abhorable. Obscenity is the language of the illiterate.

    Surely you could come up with a more erudite way of conveying “…fucking retarded…”

    Or perhaps not?

  • Pavel

    Nick, you say: “this was one among many examples in which we must grudgingly admit free markets and a pure libertarian response would fail to provide an adequate response”

    But the fact is, the state has already failed to provide anything like an adequate response. How many chances does it get?

    I think that people need to step back and ask themselves why they believe that only the state can do certain things. I am sure that there are people in China who feel they must “grudgingly admit” that only the government can adequately ensure social harmony through press censorship.

  • paulie cannoli

    I always thought that the LP was the party of church-state separation, but I rarely (if ever) hear Libertarians decry vouchers on the basis that they put taxpayer money into the hands of religious institutions.

    The problem goes even deeper than that: it shouldn’t become taxpayer money in the first place. Also, religious (and secular private) schools should oppose vouchers as well, since the money will come with strings attached and turn them into de facto regime schools.

    As for Katrina, private response was far better than the government’s, and we have no reason to believe that there would not have been far more of it had the government not stood in the way in ways both direct (blocking aid shipments) and indirect (creating the impression it was solving the problem; hampering the economy through taxes and regulations; destroying civic society in myriad ways).

  • paulie cannoli

    If Wal-Mart would have fucked up the levees, then the people of New Orleans would OWN Wal-Mart right now. That’s Wal-Mart’s incentive for not fucking up the levees.

    In a true free market, yes. But then, I doubt that in a true free market MallWart would exist. Limited liability is the problem, although with MallWart it goes a lot deeper than that.

    If drunken driving laws dissuade even one person from driving drunk and thus stops them from killing someone, this restriction on personal freedom is trumped by someone else’s right to life, and thus such laws are fair and preventative measures.

    A free market would demand safety measures of whoever operated roads, which does not have to be the regime.

    free markets and a pure libertarian response would fail to provide an adequate response. Maybe school shootings are another example.

    It’s government which has put kids on Ritalin and other drugs. The problem might not even exist without them.

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    “safety measures of whoever operated roads”

    (Groans.) Besides major highways, what company would find it profitable to operate tollbooths on every road? To have the infrastructure to operate an effective toll network, a company would have to be pretty big. And regional monopolies would lead to toll prices going up and the residents could do nothing about it. How is selling off roads built with taxpayer dollars to private companies so these companies can charge us tolls libertarian? It’s an absolutely terrible idea.

    “government which has put kids on Ritalin and other drugs.”

    Right. The only purpose of public schools is to brainwash kids and turn them into government zombies. Way to reinforce libertarian cliches. Public schools are not ideal, but I think forcing poor, at-risk children to either attend evangelical Christian mission schools de facto (because they are usually the only ones willing go into inner city areas) or not go to school at all isn’t an ideal situation either.

  • paulie cannoli

    Roads bring people to their homes, jobs, and to the businesses where they shop. So, that right there provides plenty of folks with incentive to build and maintain roads. Additionally, there are companies which make the vehicles that get them around and the fuel which makes those vehicles run. Tolls are only one possible way of paying for it. There are many others. They don’t all have to be companies either; some might be cooperatives. Nor is there any reason to expect a private monopoly.

    The only purpose of public schools is to brainwash kids and turn them into government zombies.

    That’s what the founders of government schools had in mind.

    http://www.schoolandstate.org/case1.htm
    http://www.schoolandstate.org/case2.htm
    http://www.schoolandstate.org/case3.htm

    Regarding schooling for the poor see

    http://www.schoolandstate.org/case6.htm

    More:

    http://www.schoolandstate.org/case.htm

  • Julian

    I want to buy the road in front of my house and charge all my neighbors to drive on it. It is a long road and the only way in or out. I will soon be a millionaire, broke or dead from mass violence. All my neighbors are well armed and would not stand for it.

    Paulie Cannoli, you are still an idiot. Roads and river crossings were private at the beginning of our Republic. Read history and enjoy the chaos that created. Public works may be one of the few responsibilities we should carefully delegate to the government for the good of all.

    By the way, Paulie, why do you choose to use so many far left socialist buzz words such as “regime”, etc. if you are a pure anarchist. Get creative, man/woman or whatever you are and come up with your original anarchist buzz words.

    It is my responsibility to make sure anyone visiting this site for the first time understands you are marginalized here for your outrageous, Chomsky driven drivel and you are outed for what you really are.

  • Derrick

    Libertarianism’s other ideological problem is that it assumes rationality and sometimes ignores preventative solutions. For example, some libertarians believe you should be free to drive drunk – but if you kill someone, you get held accountable

    I don’t believe this at all. I believe that the owner and operator of the road should set the rules for its use. Currently the gubmint owns most roads, therefore it is quite within its moral authority to pass and enforce traffic laws.

    Now, if a private company wants to own and operate a roadway, it should be able to set its own rules, and the gubmint should stay out.

    Hopefully we’ll get there someday. For now, I don’t think see road privatization being politically saleable.

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    Julian. Look, I agree with your point, but I think you’re not being productive by calling Paulie names. If you want to attack his arguments, fine. But can you please start to address people you disagree with with a little more respect?

    I don’t agree with Paulie, but I don’t agree with they manner in which you are not agreeing with Paulie or anyone else on this site. There are ways to do so without coming off as hate-filled – remember, we may be a fractured family, but we’re still a family. We all are part of the same cause, and the enemy is not in this room. And it’s not just you. Until both the radicals and moderates start acting like grown ups instead of middle schoolers, and learn to be able to agree to disagree, the movement will never go anywhere.

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    For everyone who is interested, I just launched a new blog, Free New World (http://www.freenewworld.blogspot.com).

    My first post lays out what I think the LP needs to do to become successful.

    Six interconnected points:

    1.) Change the LP’s name
    2.) Finish fixing the platform
    3.) Draft candidates with name recognition, political skills and common sense policies
    4.) Learn to balance pragmatism and principle.
    5.) Look towards both moderates and the Left.
    6.) Realize that the enemy is not in this room.

    The second is talking about why I dislike all the current choices for the LP and why I think the LP should draft either Nick Gillespie of Reason, or John Mackey of Whole Foods/FLOW Project.

    Please check it out and leave your comments. Thanks.

  • http://darianworden.tripod.com D Worden

    “It is my responsibility to make sure anyone visiting this site for the first time understands you are marginalized here for your outrageous, Chomsky driven drivel and you are outed for what you really are.”

    lol God forbid people find out libertarians have different opinions and use different words from each other! What will they think of us then?

  • http://www.ReformTheLP.org Nick Wilson

    Sorry – “The second post is about how I dislike all the current choice for the LP presidential candidate in 2008…”

  • Pavel

    FWIW, there are perfectly good discussions of how private roads would work in a free society. It’s not an issue that’s likely to be achievable in the near future, but I really wish people would take the time to read the arguments and discuss the matter intelligently. This stuff about mass violence and million dollar toll charges is absurd, but seems reasonable on the surface because we are so used to state-controlled roads. It’s no different than people in communist countries who genuinely believed that everyone would starve and die if the free market was allowed to handle farming and food production.

  • paulie cannoli

    (yawn) Julian. From the top:

    I’ve read history and would love to hear you let us know about the “chaos” private roads created.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regime
    Regime is technically accurate. Also, they use it themselves, when talking about other regimes. Are you calling dubai-ya and faux news far left socialists?

    For about the twentieth time yes, I have balls and a cock and no, you still are not allowed to suck them.

    Why should my gender concern you so much? I’m not attracted to you, no matter how much you burn with a desire to meet me. Or are you saying that women’s opinions are not valid? Personally, I think Michelle makes a lot of sense – way more than you, for example.

    It is your responsibility to entertain us by dancing like a monkey to the organ grinder’s tune.

    Thanks for being so responsible.

    Nick:

    That isn’t a proposal to change the LP. It’s a proposal to start a different party. Or you might like the Moderate Party:

    http://modparty.net/

  • http://www.freenewworld.blogspot.com Nick Wilson

    Paulie, if you went to the site you see that I mentioned the Moderate Party as a possibility if the LP doesn’t change. But I’m not calling for a different party – it would be the same organization and probably most of the same people, just with a different name. The other reforms I support might not matter as long as there are the de facto barriers associating the name “Libertarian Party” with failure. The average American always saw us on the ballot, but they know we never win. (Ok, the average American doesn’t vote, but that’s not the point.) The name change could be a bylaws change after platform reform is completed. Starting from scratch would be starting with a website and then actively recruiting LP members to join. It will require getting 2/3rds of the LP to agree that the barriers associated with the old name are too high to overcome.

  • paul i.e. cannoli

    Go ahead and start your new party, but one of the things you’ll have to do is get 80,000 voter registrations in California, something the LP already did. They will not transfer if there is a name change. There are many other states where the LP is already qualified.

    Since you don’t like the name or the views of the LP, it would be logical for you to start a new party or take over an old one such as the Reform Party.

  • http://www.hammeroftruth.com/about Stuart Richards

    Nick:

    Why, why why WHY would you leave the LP after you had your largest taste of success both within and without it?

    The LRC is in the driver’s seat of the party. The party is kicking ass like it never has before, proving us and our ideals right.

    So why leave? Because of the name?

    I’ll tell you what I’ve experienced. People that used to write us off as nutcases have taken a second look after I said that we dropped the extremism. They’ve then gone on to register Libertarian, join the party, donate, etc.

    Just because we HAD poor name recognition/approval doesn’t mean that we will always have it. Are the Democrats known as the party of slavery? Or the Republicans as the party of the Filipino occupation?

    It’s possible to turn the word “libertarian” around, and it’s happening right now. We shouldn’t fight an intra-movement struggle without a good reason. Reform was a good reason but fighting over what we call ourselves? That’s silly.

  • http://www.reformthelp.org Nick Wilson

    “Why, why why WHY would you leave the LP after you had your largest taste of success both within and without it?”

    Whoa whoa whoa WHOA (just kidding). I’m not leaving until at least after the 2008 convention and even then probably not.

    My idea was that the delegates pass a bylaws change to change the name of the party. My position is that the name is a hindrance, not a benefit, and that even with a huge turnaround, the name carries the yoke of failure and extreme radicalism. We chose reform over secession because we wanted the party organization as intact as possible. I think the reform has already begun to speak for itself in the strides we’re seeing electorally.

    But I question if it would be easier to keep the name and fix America’s impression of us, or to change the name to something else, deal with the few barriers (like regaining ballot access in states where we already had it) and get media recognition for a brand new face and fresh ideas on a great idea that went stale.

  • http://www.reformthelp.org Nick Wilson

    If the name holds us back (as it has done repeatedly by the proof that it is much easier to get elected as an independent than as a Libertarian), isn’t it worthy to debate whether it is compromising the progress of the movement?

    It’s not just a name – it’s the identifier that we all carry – with all of its plusses and minuses. When I was 12, I asked my very centrist father what the LP is, and he responded “They are a bunch of wackos” and outlined the things that the party used to advocate and thankfully doesn’t anymore. If average Joe thinks Libertarian Party = kooks, we have a problem. Reform helps immensely, but history makes the hurdles higher than they need to be. If it is just “a name,” why not dispose of it for something without widely negative connotations? Positive recognition and election barriers are good reasons, but are they good enough to overcome the negative recognition the average American with any recognition of the LP has?

    I’m open to debate.

  • http://www.hammeroftruth.com/about Stuart Richards

    Well, I wouldn’t change the name because I don’t want to confuse anyone. We’re starting to make headway, and I’d say that one more election cycle of strong, electable candidates like we’ve been seeing and the Libertarian “brand” will have a positive connotation. We’d spend at least that long developing positive name-brand recognition for a new name anyway, so why change it?

    Anyway, what would we change it to? Libertarians have had this debate before, and I’ve never really seen an acceptable alternative advanced.