Libertarian Party: Time to Stop Barking at the Moon

I’m normally very proud of my Alabama libertarian homies. Despite egregious ballot access problems (link from an archived site), the Libertarian Party of Alabama still manages (major call and result, impactful call and result, and most recent call and still working on the result) to score significant political victories and has an activist base second to none. As home to the Ludwig von Mises Institute, small-l libertarianism is incredibly important locally, too.

Politically, I’m the sort of whore that will only bed the guy who turns me on the most, and I generally want free market cash (lots of it) for my actions. I’ve worked Libertarian, Republican and Democrat campaigns. I’ll take money from the cause I believe will take us closer to a state of liberty than what the competition has to offer. While I’m an outright anarcho-capitalist, I strongly push for short-term minarchistic solutions, as I believe that there are but two solutions to affect true freedom: outright and bloody revolution or incremental political change. As I’ve spent years in the military, for the moment I’ll choose the latter option. To the best of my knowledge, Thomas Knapp is my primary (and perhaps only) anarcho-capitalist ally actually engaged in realpolitik.

Very recent debate (view one, two and three) has surfaced over how libertarians treat the very people they wish to persuade.

Below are two significant quotes from the most recent arguments on this topic:

West:

Your post is only the latest in a string of posts and emails recently by various libertarians that talk shit about the voting public, which is the same voting public that we have to convince to vote libertarian, and the vast majority of them are NOT libertarians. This continues the “insult them because they can’t understand our principled greatness” attitude that is SO SMARMY it reeks of contempt for anyone outside the LP. You cant ask people to vote for us and then in the same breath call them stupid and sheeple.

We can’t win elective office when we as a party, our candidates, or our writers and thinkers in the LP have a attitude of contempt for the very people — the voters and the press — that determine the fate of our candidates.

VanDyke:

He’s absolutely right. Many Libertarians still don’t realize that the key to winning the political popularity contest in today’s society is the same method used by any company that sells a product well. Apple didn’t make iPods fly off the shelf by calling Walkman owners dumb shits; Instead, their marketing angle was to make their product a pop-culture icon desirable to anyone who was already on the MP3 bandwagon.

Libertarians my not realize it, but the goal of liberty is already a pop-culture icon, and all one has to do is push the marketing and branding of libertarianism. Liberty is already one of the easiest products in the world to sell, but some just need to learn how to not call the customer an idiot.

This brings me back to my compadres in Alabama. I recently posted a new poll on the updated Alabama LP site about medical marijuana. At the time of this posting (with a very small sample size and understanding the even international influence of the Internet) 17% of people currently think that “No, the government should have no control over what substance someone takes” is the preferable approach to a medicinal marijuana bill being passed in Alabama.

My belief is that a serious medical marijuana bill is preferable to absolute state prohibition. Apparently, some people would prefer the death of another Peter McWilliams to prove their point. I’ve put a lot of time, money and effort into this issue. If almost 2 of 5 think it should be dropped, perhaps I should quickly step down from the issue. If not, kindly please quit beating up on me.

The Libertarian Party has but two options. We can either be an evangelical body or a politicial player. My view is that antiwar.com, reason.com, and lewrockwell.com are doing their jobs just fine. Please let us continue with our part of the mission.

Stephen Gordon

I like tasteful cigars, private property, American whiskey, fast cars, hot women, pre-bailout Jeeps, fine dining, worthwhile literature, low taxes, original music, personal privacy and self-defense rights -- but not necessarily in this order.

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