Stephen Gordon, the former Communications Director of the Badnarik campaign and political strategist for the Libertarian Party of Alabama, is(LNC), primarily because they don’t have any mention of opposition to the Iraq War on their site and seems to have been silent on the issue altogether.
I back Gordon, but I’m still skeptical of how this can be pulled off. For one it’s easy to say “we need change” without saying how to get to step two, and it’s not clear exactly what he thinks should be changed, or what the priorities are for getting things changed.
There’s been a myself included) and a lot of the finger pointing is directed at the top brass for being part of what I like to personally call the Washington consulting class. However, one of the biggest hurdles has been publicity (earned and free media coverage) for the causes of the LP.recently about the future of the LP (
One of my major concerns is that the LP doesn’t actively work to get libertarian policies into the national discourse on “off years” between presidential elections, and instead tries to use their money and efforts to increasing membership totals and occasionally reply to a policy issue with a press release. Instead of being the typical libertarian who complains about the status quo, yet offers no tangible solutions, I have come up with a five-point plan that the LP can work towards to accomplish higher media visibility while also increasing membership and donations:
- MARKETING – Start a strategic marketing program designed to put topical libertarian response ads on the television, the radio, on billboards and in newspapers. Show supporters that their donations are actually being used to respond to bad policies in the public forum. Ads should be professional and on relevant issues in the current political discourse. “Viral” Internet advertising can also be used to push smaller issues that can be directed at specific groups.
- COMMUNITY – Redesign the LP.org website to be a portal for libertarian information and activism. The site should have the tools to link all the state parties into the national party so that a visitor can put in his zip code and get information on what’s going on from the city level all the way up to the national level (right now regionalization does not work). Blogging should be an integral part of the site, as well as RSS feeds and forums. Include a special section for dissemination of information to the press. Utilize email campaigns more effectively and more targetted for needs.
- FUNDRAISING – Set donation goals for certain media/advertising campaigns, build excitement for reaching these goals but be sure to have backup plans (print advertising instead of television) if they aren’t met. Realistically we should be running one national ad campaign per month at a minimum and funnelling leftover money to states that effectively use it to run advertising on a local scale.
- MEMBERSHIP – Distribute membership enrollment responsibility to the state parties, create a competitive atmosphere by showing new memberships in the last 30 days as a percentage of state population. Create postcard template brochures for targetted mailings and do away with the large information packets.
- PLATFORM – Create a simplified version of the libertarian platform for people who are curious and do not want a detailed explanation of every facet of the platform. Link to a detailed explanation for those who would like more detail on certain issues. Explain what the end goal is for a certain policy, and what intermediary steps would be used to get there. Offer competitive answers on national policies, push these hardest when the topics are already in the national debate.
Most importantly, we must learn from the strategies of the other parties and adapt and innovate as necessary. We are always one or two steps behind our competition in terms of technology and implementation and we have so many intelligent people in the Internet community who could catapult us to the forefront. We need to take advantage of the resources we have.
I hope the LP can start to move in this direction, and I hope either the current leadership or a future team will be able to tackle these issues in a manner that would truly bring the LP into being a party that is a real contender for votes and a loud voice in the national debate.
UPDATE: Here’s the guy who should have a strong hand in writing the foreign policy and War on Terror doctrine for the Libertarian Party.