Screw the LRC

Stuart Richards just posted an interesting article about public acceptance of the idea of a third party. He then spun it into a puff piece for the Libertarian Reform Caucus, linking us to their stance on immigration.

Let’s see how libertarian the LRC’s stand on immigration is. Here’s a quick excerpt:

  • Requiring migrants to pass background checks…
  • Requiring migrants to be self-sufficient…
  • Requiring migrants to seek…

“Require” doesn’t sound very libertarian to me. Who are these LRC guys again? Aren’t they the guys that want to remove the principle that people have to sign to become a LP member? So if the LP removes the priniciple, they’ll just be “The Party of ________ “!

The LRC says:

However, the legitimate role of government is to protect the rights and property of it’s citizenry.

This may be the “legitimate” role as described in the constitution, but no libertarian could agree that government is good at protecting anything! Remember, these are the same people who can’t keep drugs out of their own prisons! What libertarian could have the hubris to believe that they can make government work? If you catch yourself feeling this way, I suggest you review Harry Browne’s “Seven Never-to-be-Forgotten Principles of Government”

What I want to know is, who wants to be a citizen of a government anyway? Considering that the “supreme court” has ruled time and time again that the government has no obligation to protect citizens, why would anyone consent to be protected by these people?

FTL_Ian

85 Comments
  1. Good post Ian. My take on the LRC is that it is full of a bunch of disgruntled Democrats that really don’t understand libertarianism.

  2. Believe it or not, some Libertarians actually want to ” do politics.” If you are an anarchist who has no interest in poltics or being a citizen of the government-then don’t.I find it rather simple.

    I guess the LRC doesnt want to keep the LP in complete obscurity. Many Liberarians enjoy earning 0.3% of the vote and being seen as fringe nutjobs. Some don’t. While other libertarians who don’t want government go off and live their lives as they choose and let others do the same.

    I believe people who are in a political party and attempting to engage in politics. It’s not about principle. It’s about either being a political party that engages in politics or not.

  3. Why don’t you people go start the Politics Party? “The Party of Compromise”

  4. I am not a Democrat, but to me Republicans are no better. A lot of “Libertarians” are/are seen as basically ‘republicans who really hate taxes.”.. I think calling Libertarians who want to do politics “Democrats” is a slur akin to so-called conservatives who call everyone who doesnt hate gays or support the war “liberals.”

    As I said, you admited you have no interest in actually doing politics, so don’t. Go be an anarchist. Leave politics to people who want to do it. And I will as well.

  5. This is the sort of absolutism-over-progress that has crippled the LP for twenty years. Let’s review our current state of immigrant affairs right now.

    -millions of illegal immigrants come into this country, making our border highly insecure
    -immigrants don’t pay taxes, yet go to public schools and collect welfare
    -the current LP plank on immigration stands as a major impediment to greater support, from both conservatives and liberals

    So tell me which is better-our current system, or a compromise system CLOSER to yours? There would be numerically unlimited immigration, they’d just have to pass basic background checks. I’d rather have immigrants pass background checks than barbed-wire fences, and I’m fairly certain they’d agree. The welfare ban and the English clause ends the major conservative objections to immigration, and since they all end up learning English anyway, what’s the difference?

    Realize that your plan is too radical to ever be adopted; this is the best we’ll get.

  6. -millions of illegal immigrants come into this country, making our border highly insecure

    Oh gawd! Another libertarian buys the security farce. The Bush regime has learned you well.

    -immigrants don’t pay taxes, yet go to public schools and collect welfare

    Then get rid of taxes, public schools and welfare. Problem solved.

  7. Yes, you’re right Ian. Let’s just build on the string of successes we’ve had since the 70’s. We’ll just ask all the Libertarian Senators and Representatives to pass this idea of yours in Congress. Why didn’t I think of that before?

    The fact of the matter is politics is compromise. A political party engages in compromise on a regular basis. The difference is that when the LP compromises, it compromises in an ideologically-principled direction, whereas the other two are just out for power. We compromise to move policy in a libertarian direction-after this compromise, we can continue to gradually lift some of the provisions and grow closer to the libertarian ideal.

    Besides, not all the libertarians in the LP agree with your conception of freedom as regards the border issue. What about national sovereignty? What about property rights? It’s not as clear-cut as you pretend it to be.

  8. -the current LP plank on immigration stands as a major impediment to greater support, from both conservatives and liberals

    I have always thought the LP platform is too large and disenfranchising. Now we have nutjob socialists infiltrating the party via the LRC trying to make it even worse.

  9. Oh gawd! Another libertarian buys the security farce. The Bush regime has learned you well.

    …so having a thousand-mile insecure border doesn’t mean anything to you? al-Qaeda has already made plans for slipping agents through the Mexican border. Liberty always trumps security, but if we provide a legitimate way for them to enter, I don’t see the damage done to liberty by securing our borders.

    Then get rid of taxes, public schools and welfare. Problem solved.

    Yes, that’s a platform the voters will line up to support. It’s going to take incremental reforms in EVERYTHING. We won’t get rid of public schools and welfare overnight, or probably even in the next fifty years. And we’ll probably never be fully rid of taxes, nice as it would be. We don’t live in libertopia… so help us realistically arrive there instead of proposing “solutions” that act like we’re already there.

  10. Note that none of my questions have been answered:

    1. Doesn’t the LRC want to remove the principle that people have to sign to become a LP member?

    2. What I want to know is, who wants to be a citizen of a government anyway?

    3. Considering that the “supreme court” has ruled time and time again that the government has no obligation to protect citizens, why would anyone consent to be protected by these people?

    4. Why be so defeatist?

  11. …so having a thousand-mile insecure border doesn’t mean anything to you? al-Qaeda has already made plans for slipping agents through the Mexican border. Liberty always trumps security, but if we provide a legitimate way for them to enter, I don’t see the damage done to liberty by securing our borders.

    For the love of lard! Are you really a libertarian? If we would stop pissing everyone off by meddling in their affairs, we might not have anything to worry about! Besides our border has never been secure and we have never been attacked besides by air and there are a lot of questions about who was repsonsible for those attacks…

  12. 1. Doesn’t the LRC want to remove the principle that people have to sign to become a LP member?

    Yes, because that “principle” is just that we won’t forcibly overthrow the government, but it’s been interpreted otherwise. So says the guy who actually WROTE the pledge.

    2. What I want to know is, who wants to be a citizen of a government anyway?

    What I want to know is, who has a choice? It’s better to work within the system to make it better than to pout in the corner until libertopia magically arrives.

    3. Considering that the “supreme court” has ruled time and time again that the government has no obligation to protect citizens, why would anyone consent to be protected by these people?

    It’s not about consent, you’re “protected” by them whether you agree or not.

    4. Why be so defeatist?

    Why be so unrealistic? The LRC is working to change things; that’s hardly defeatist.

  13. The theory seems to be that if you make everyone a criminal before they actually commit a crime, then we will all be safe little subjects of king george. Nonsense.

  14. My bad, the first WTC attack (bombing) was not by air.

    Your right, lets stick our heads in the sand and dismiss WHY anyone would even want to attack us and turn everyone into criminals. Problem solved.

  15. For the love of lard! Are you really a libertarian? If we would stop pissing everyone off by meddling in their affairs, we might not have anything to worry about! Besides our border has never been secure and we have never been attacked besides by air and there are a lot of questions about who was repsonsible for those attacks…

    I’m a libertarian; I’m also a REALIST. As such, I know that in the here-and-now, the short-term, we have to militarily deal with al-Qaeda and this proposal of the LRC’s actually INCREASES liberty while improving our antiterrorism capabilities. And I also know that a lot of VOTERS are worried about terrorism. What’s the problem anyway? THIS INCREASES REAL ACTUAL LIBERTY. Support it and then we can squabble about the details later, when we’re freer.

  16. What I want to know is, who has a choice?

    We all do. Are you a slave?

    It’s not about consent, you’re “protected” by them whether you agree or not.

    This is a group of strangers enacting force on others. I cannot support this violence.

    Why be so unrealistic?

    Freedom is unrealistic?

  17. I am a Libertarian- more of the anarchist type,at that. I am not a Republican or a Democrat, nor a “compromise’. Show me a Republican or Democrat that believe 10% of what I do ( ok, besides Ron Paul).

    A “pure” Libertarian political agenda gets the support it deserves. Less than 1% of people agree with everything We do. Why commit political suicide? If we campaign on Open Borders, abolishing the IRS,legalizing crack,etc all at the same time as major issues, there will be no support. Very few people see or will see all those issues as being politically/philosophically the same. People think in more nuanced ( and yes, irrational and inconsistent) terms.

    I for one, can support someone who will end the war- even if he doesnt support legalizing crack(and all the other issues).I think the point made in the LRC post is there are a few issues to compaign on that people will support. Campaigning for the whole LP paltform in 1 swift move is not politically viable.

  18. The only terrorist I am afraid of is the US government. I am not sure that arresting all the folks that cross the border to do jobs that Americans don’t want to do is going to do anything to stop “terrorism”.

  19. The theory seems to be that if you make everyone a criminal before they actually commit a crime, then we will all be safe little subjects of king george. Nonsense.

    Yes, as my posting history confirms, I’m quite the Bush lover.

    I’m a realist who understands that to be credible, we have to address some of the fears of the Republican security voter.

    Your right, lets stick our heads in the sand and dismiss WHY anyone would even want to attack us and turn everyone into criminals. Problem solved.

    Oooh oooh! I know! Why doesn’t the LP launch another EDUCATION campaign, where we educate the voters on the history of CIA involvement in the Middle East, and grab another solid 0.3% of the vote again! One day, maybe our great-grandchildren will see the LP break 1% of the vote if we keep on keeping on!

  20. Oooh oooh! I know! Why doesn’t the LP just shit ALL of it’s principles out of it’s ass faster than explosive diarhea. That way we get everyone’s vote and we will procede happily towards fascism-topia.

  21. The only terrorist I am afraid of is the US government. I am not sure that arresting all the folks that cross the border to do jobs that Americans don’t want to do is going to do anything to stop “terrorism”.

    WTF? Where in that plan does it support arresting anyone? It just mandates background checks before they enter the country is all so we don’t have to waste taxpayer money on deporting criminals after the fact.

    We all do. Are you a slave?

    So let’s see you choose to not be a citizen of the American government. I hope they have internet access in federal prison.

    This is a group of strangers enacting force on others. I cannot support this violence.

    Do you vote?

    Because by voting, you morally endorse this system of “strangers enacting force on others.” Now, you have a choice-you can either stop voting, or come to grips with reality and change reality to fit our ideals.

  22. Maybe I do vote, maybe I don’t. You wouldn’t know, as it’s a secret ballot.

    I could be voting as damage control, or to simply help publicize an idea. Just because you say I endorse force doesn’t make it true.

  23. Oooh oooh! I know! Why doesn’t the LP just shit ALL of it’s principles out of it’s ass faster than explosive diarhea. That way we get everyone’s vote and we will procede happily towards fascism-topia.

    We’re not compromising principle by being incrementalists! The LRC proposal will do more for Ian’s ideas than Ian himself; it’s a credible idea to the voters and if implemented, which is a distinct possibility, it will cause voters to think “You know? More liberty worked out this time… maybe we can try even more liberty next.” This sets the stage for Ian’s ideas to look credible to the average voter.

  24. Maybe I do vote, maybe I don’t. You wouldn’t know, as it’s a secret ballot.

    Well, seeing as you have a radio program whose point it is to influence people to vote in a more Libertarian fashion and I’ve never heard you denounce voting as “morally supporting strangers enacting force on others,” I’m going to guess that you do. Even if you don’t, you ADVOCATE it, which is the heart of the matter.

    And since you advocate voting, and therefore you advocate morally supporting that system you rail against, I don’t see why moderate proposals that would increase liberty are so unfathomably bad in your book. Hell, even the secret ballot would have been denounced by you as “unprincipled compromise” back when it was first passed.

  25. Yeah, government itself is a compromise on freedom, and I don’t appreciate it being foisted on me. I’ll help beat it back politically, but I’d rather people just disobey.

  26. We’re not compromising principle by being incrementalists!

    Balogna. Then why do consider immigrants a problem because they take advantage of the welfare/nanny state instead of considering the state a problem for providing such incentives for mass immigratioin?

    Wouldn’t another solution be to simplify the hugely tedious/complex process of becoming a legal citizen so as to not discourage immigrants from even attempting the process?

  27. Well, if you’re going to play the game of politics, then you might as well play it well. As I’ve already pointed out, politics is compromise. You don’t get everything you want right away, if at all… so you concentrate on what is feasible.

    This plan of the LRC’s is feasible. In fact, I would wager that the LRC has already helped determine public policy. One of my state’s Senators, Chuck Hagel, seems to be taking some of his cues from the Libertarians-he came out against the Iraq War right after the IES was released, and his immigration proposal mirrors the LRC’s almost perfectly. Now, certainly you can agree that the LRC proposal, though not purely libertarian, is MORE libertarian than the status quo? Therefore, to play politics well, supporting its passage is logical-after you do that, you can move onto more ambitious endeavors with much stronger support than you would otherwise have.

  28. Wouldn’t another solution be to simplify the hugely tedious/complex process of becoming a legal citizen so as to not to discourage immigrants from even attempting the process?

    Did you even READ the proposal? The LRC proposal streamlines the immigration process. Background checks for criminal activity and health are FAR less invasive than what immigrants currently have to deal with. Also, this chips away at the nannystate a little bit-all those welfare incentives are taken away. I’d love to end the welfare state totally, but that’s not politically possible at the moment. This is. Will you help us chip away at the nannystate until we can find a bulldozer or idly just propose we find a bulldozer while our rights keep dying?

  29. I said I’d help, not “play politics”. I despise politics.

    Well, just answer this. Is the LRC plan better or worse for liberty than the status quo?

  30. If I have a proposal to obtain 10% more liberty than we have right now, does that mean I have no principles, because I didn’t go for 20% or all 100%?

    Absolutely not.

    If I can succeed with a 10% proposal, but anything more is doomed to failure, then why the hell shouldn’t we claim that 10% and get the other 90% later. The alternative, at least as far as the LP/LRC goes, is to keep obtaining 0% all the time.

    Or you can just not partcipate in politics at all, and leave it to those who actually do want to work toward a more free state.

  31. Maybe, Stuart. But I think you should just go start your own party, one without a principle.

  32. Bleh… the compromise/politics crap will have little effect IMHO. We are too far into the game turn the ball around. The next time you will see liberty is after the next revolution – and it won’t be via compromise:

    Democracy -> Socialism -> Fascism -> Revolution

    It is a vicious cycle. Hopefully next time we will create a Republic soley focused on limiting government instead of a Democracy — so that we can put this cycle to an end once and for all.

  33. Ian, you’re dodging my question and offering the LP version of “I’ll buy all you liberals a plane ticket to China since you hate America so much!” Stop copping out of the question.

  34. Believe it or not, some Libertarians actually want to ” do politics.”

    I agree; I’m one of them.

    If you are an anarchist who has no interest in poltics or being a citizen of the government-then don’t.I find it rather simple.

    Some of the best political consultants (for Rs and Ds) that I know are closet anarcho-capitalists. I’m a consultant and an anarcho-capitalist. The two are not mutually exclusive.

  35. I agree that the LP should be doing politics. Efforts should be made to make the platform more supportive of candidates, etc.

    But those individual things, like the platform and pledge, are not the reason we are losing, and it doesn’t follow that the LRC is the answer to those who wish to ‘do politics’.

    What we need to do is start marketing the parts of our platform that are marketable to those who will benefit from it. We need to build a set of constituencies. We need to go out and do stuff. We need to get people excited about doing stuff. Until we do that, no amount of platform tweaking is going to do a damn bit of good.

  36. Jim,

    Make that 200%. But of course I agree with my homey and fellow Liber-bamian.

  37. Actually, I think the most objectionable part of the whole thing is requiring English language skills and some sort of historical knowledge/philosophical background test. This is using the government to indoctrinate. English is not superior to other languages. It might not be bad if poor old US Citizens were forced to come into contact with other ethnic /language communities with their own history and their own ideas. Actually, US immigration patters have included many ethnic groups that came here speaking their own language that eventually lead to assimilation. If they are going to assimilate anyway, why write it into the law?

  38. Ian, your friends, the anarchists, have effectively run the LP since the early 1980s. In that time, our country has grown steadily LESS free, not more free. The only aspects of freedom which have grown have grown either from government neglect or from the action of non-elected judges.

    It is abundantly obvious that the LP’s longstanding call for total anarchy has NOT succeeded in protecting our liberty.

    If you don’t like politics, fine- get out. You have that choice. But if you do want to participate in politics, I tell you this: you are one of the best friends the Dems and Repubs have. By fighting all efforts to make Libertarians electable, you ensure that the D-R monopoly on power continues unchallenged.

    If you really like freedom, GET OUT OF OUR WAY, PLEASE.

  39. I’m not in your way, Kris. I’ve done more OPH booths than anyone I know. I’ve paid for them out of my own pocket. I’ve invested thousands of dollars in my radio show, which is essentially an outreach project. I’ve managed campaigns, contributed to campaigns, and I’m a life member of the LP.

    As a life member of the LP, it saddens me to see it losing grip on its principle. It disturbs me to hear “libertarians” calling for the abolishing of our principle.

    Don’t act like it’s the free marketeers’ fault that the LP can’t get traction. You should know as a candidate that the R&Ds have stacked the rules against us, and that the media doesn’t give a flip.

  40. I am a Libertarian. In fact, I am The County Chair of a very successful Libertarian affiliate in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We have 40 dues paying members and another 70 people who are interested and sitting “on the fence.”

    I think the National Libertarian Party is completely LOST when it comes to illegal immigration. I am not a supporter of The LRC. That being said; I am far more with the LRC then with the National Libertarian Party on this issue.

    We need to increase legal immigration and crack down HARD on illegal immigration. And I mean HARD.

    Another point:

    The pledge not to use violence is STUPID. The National Libertarian Party should change that for good. It is one of the reasons The Libertarian Party has had a hard time growing…

  41. Hey Mike Sylvester, why don’t we just abolish welfare, abolish the immigration bureaucracy, open the borders, and try Liberty?

    If we get rid of immigration laws and control, then we’ll just have immigration. It will no longer be “illegal” or “legal”.

    How do you propose to pay for this “HARD crackdown”? I presume you’d like to tax me. How positively unlibertarian.

    If I were an immigrant, I’d rather swim the Rio Grande than climb the mountain of paperwork. People should not have to ask anyone’s permission to live life in a free country.

  42. I’m too lazy to read the other comments, but here’s my take. The LP should NOT bill itself as the Party of Principle, because political parties by definition aren’t concerned with principle. As much as we libertarians might abhor that notion, it’s true. In America, the two major parties (both about equally successful over the course of time) could care less about principle.

    The point of a political party is to get its members elected. Political parties are stupid (they force everyone to subscribe to some prepackaged “platform”), but in America today, they are effective.

    Obviously, the in the ideal case there would be no political parties. Everyone would run as an individual and be judiciously evaluated on their own competencies. That’s not going to happen, so our only hope, politically at least, is to suck it up and form a moderate, electable party.

    Ian, a “Party of Principle” will never win a major election.

  43. In the above post, the sentence, “In America, the two major parties … could care less about principle,” should read, “In America, the two major parties … couldn’t care less about principle.”

    “could care less” should be “couldn’t care less”

  44. What’s your excuse going to be if the LRC gets in control of the LP and continues getting nothing done?

    LRC controlled or not, the campaign restrictions continue to get tighter. I don’t know if our Liberty can be won back politically. That’s why I’m a member of the Free State Project. We have a shot there.

  45. Mike Nelson typed:
    “Bleh… the compromise/politics crap will have little effect IMHO. We are too far into the game turn the ball around. The next time you will see liberty is after the next revolution – and it won’t be via compromise:”

    “I said I’d help, not “play politics”. I despise politics.” – Ian Bernard

    So libertarians are supposed to just give up and wait for our nation to collapse? We’re supposed to support people with similar views and put them in leadership positions within our own national, state and local libertarian organizations? Maybe we should change the “Party of Principle” to the “Party of Pessimism”?

    Ian, your post has inspired me…to donate money to the Libertarian Reform Caucus in hopes that we can replace people like you and Mike who have “thrown in the towel” with people like Dr. Carl Milsted and others in the LRC working towards incrementally restoring our freedoms in this country.

  46. Ian also wrote “What’s your excuse going to be if the LRC gets in control of the LP and continues getting nothing done?”

    Excuses shouldn’t be made, and another strategy should be tried. Speaking of excuses, I’ve seen a lot in this particular thread, especially the “If we didn’t have so many ballot access roadblocks, the past LP efforts would be much more successful” type. Hopefully a party can admit after over twenty years of poor results when it’s time to try something different.

  47. Umm… I’m not really on either side of this argument… but it’s sort of apparant to me that “Reformers” all ready run the national party.

    0 dues, Iraq Exit Strategy… both pushed by Reform organizations. Look at the LNC, divide it up… more “Reform like people” than “Purist like people.”

    Of course, none of this matters. The only way to success is hard work, sweating in the sun campaigning, running elections.

  48. Umm… I’m not really on either side of this argument… but it’s sort of apparant to me that “Reformers” all ready run the national party.

    If that were truly the case, we wouldn’t have a pledge and we would have a more realistic platform. Hopefully those things will finally be ditched in Portland this year, but until then we’re just a caucus-the caucus that SHOULD be in charge.

  49. Stuart,

    The Platform is in the process of being changed. Change was made in Atlanta, will continue to be made in Portland… but changing the Platform is a difficult process – and for a damn good reason too.

    No “caucus” should be in charge of the LP. There’s a reason for Reformers and there’s a reason for Purists. Neither side should be “in control” – and currently I’d say the LNC is about 55-45 Reformist. (If you don’t believe me, look at the votes.)

    As for the pledge, good Lord, I don’t see what the big deal is. All the thing says is that you’re not going to shoot first, and frankly, we haven’t – shots have all ready been fired.

    If you want to see huge change in Portland – get the Reformists there. If only 100 Reformists show up, don’t expect your message to be successful.

  50. None of you actually want the LP to succeed in any fashion at all beyond the capuchino drinking philosophical bullshit that hasnt moved the party much in the last 10 fucking years. All you non-compromisal anarcho-fascists can take the LP and shove it up yer asses. Us pragmatic libertarians will take our shit elsewhere. You make me puke! This is the reason why the LP doesnt get anywhere because you refuse to open the party up for the “not-so-purists”.

  51. Trevor:

    No “caucus” should be in charge of the LP. There’s a reason for Reformers and there’s a reason for Purists. Neither side should be “in control” – and currently I’d say the LNC is about 55-45 Reformist. (If you don’t believe me, look at the votes.)

    I misspoke-I should have used my earlier terminology of “leading” instead of “being in charge.” “Leading” is more inclusive, more embracing-the purists do have a role to play, basically in making sure that the pragmatists don’t lose sight of the end objective. But I do feel that for the LP to be successful, all the various caucuses need to be led by the pragmatists, directed to the ends of building a successful political party.

    I know that the reformists have had successes, and knowing the exact numbers is good, but I’m not certain that it’ll be enough to enact the changes necessary. Hence, we need more.

    You’re right, it ultimately boils down to who can be in Portland.

  52. If the “reformed” LP gets a clue and buys ads with FTL, I’ll be changing my tune. The RLC gets it.. they are a sponsor.

  53. Maybe I do vote, maybe I don’t. You wouldn’t know, as it’s a secret ballot.

    There is no such thing as secret voting or secret registration. A ballot is one thing, registration and voting are different things. If you vote, and if you are registered to vote and did not vote, everyone knows or can find out by looking at the very public record.

    If you are not registered to vote, everyone knows that too, or can learn.

  54. Isn’t any libertarian getting elected better than none? So even if you don’t agree with every goddamned idea that another Libertarian has, they’re still a better option than any Republican or Democrat, except sometimes Ron Paul. Do none of you know of the Dallas Accord? Shut up and do something, we’ll clean up the hard questions later. Sounds lazy, and perhaps is lazy, but at least it isn’t the Spanish Inquisition.

  55. Chris Bennett

    Well said. If you wonder why I have been so caustic with libertarians, it is because the radical fringe of the movement does not want to make room for anyone but those that think and believe exactly as they do. Now that is true facism disguised as anarchy when those that disagree with their position are ridiculed and all stops are out to silence them.

    I know I have been extremely volitile and controversial and have been guilty of personal attacks on this site (and others) but damn them, they need to either help get libertarians elected or get to hell out of the way.

    They do more harm establishing a third party that is electable than good. There needs to be a power grab by those like you and the crazies can migrate to other really loony movements. I do not believe they are really libertarians but crazies.

    I may become a libertarian after all if those like you and some others commenting here can make a difference.

  56. I invested 15 years of my young life thinking that the LP was going somewhere, which is longer than most who visit this site. The Libertarian Party is a joke…it’s should really be the Anarcho-Fascist Party. If the future of the LP is reduced to this anti-compromisal idiots then I say we pragmatic libertarians start a new party. I want more freedom now too but I’m not going to argue with those who are standing in my way!

  57. Chris Bennett

    You have paid your dues. Maybe some of the visitors here should open their minds and become more pragmatic. They need to give you some respect and carefully read what you and other pragmatists have to say about success.

    It is better to have a slice of pie one slice at a time than try to grab the entire pie all at once. By taking one slice at a time no matter how small the slice, soon you will have the entire pie given time.

  58. Chris Bennett:

    Give it until at least the end of 2006 or 2008. The LRC should be leading by then… and if not, we can join Tim West in founding a new party.

  59. Chris Bennett:

    You’ve made two comments, yet neither one has substance.

    The first one was a rant where you make yourself and the party look stupid. The second one you make slightly less a fool of yourself, insulting the party you above say you’ve invested 15 years of your life in, but yet, you hate its guts.

    By the way, you’re not arguing with those who are “standing in your way” — you’re insulting them and making yourself look foolish.

  60. “Jim Greenleaf wrote: What we need to do is start marketing the parts of our platform that are marketable to those who will benefit from it. We need to build a set of constituencies. We need to go out and do stuff. We need to get people excited about doing stuff. Until we do that, no amount of platform tweaking is going to do a damn bit of good.”

    And of course I agree 300%.

    A real world observation is that in a party, the Platform Committee provides a home and focus for those not willing to go outside and play. Bill Evers wrote much of the LP’s planks. His last gig was running the public schools for Bush in Iraq.

    One’s committment to Liberty is not to be found in ANY book, nor with any author. Authors can show committment by what they write. Reading isn’t activism and shows NO committment.

  61. Julian

    I like your pie analogy. The socialists, and I include both democrat and republican leadership in this category, have this down to a science. They have taken little pieces of pie from us more freedom loving people and we have just sat by and let it happen because it wasn’t the whole pie. Now we are looking back and are finding that the whole pie is almost gone. The only way we are going to start gettin our pie back is by taking little pieces at a time. The only way we can do that is by getting freedom-minded people elected. And the only way to do that is to have candidtates/party that have ideas that are electable. As it stands now the Libertarian party does not offer that unless candidates veer away from the national platform and only look at incremental ideas to gain back our freedoms. Even if a candidate does this, overcoming the baggage that the party brings to the table is a huge obstacle.

  62. Um, the LRC was not founded by socialists, republicans or democrats. It was founded by Libertarians. In particular, I, who am a founder, have been an LP member for over 25 years. The LP is less powerful than when I joined it. I am sick of watching government GROW.

    I listed to FreeTalkLive’s coverage of my latest LP News article. It was the most juvenile load of ___ that I have heard in a long time.

    As for the immigration proposal being discussed, you should note that it is one of five currently being debated. It is not the LRC position. Great reporting dude…not!

  63. Oh, and regarding Harry Browne’s 7 principles, number 6 is ludicrous! Government works. I got my mail today. I drive down government run roads frequently. The police often catch actual criminals. We haven’t been invaded by a foreign army in a rather long time. We are communicating on the government-designed Internet.

    In many, if not most instances, there is a better private solution, but that doesn’t justify spouting obvious nonsense. It makes our side seem stupid when we spout hyperbole as if it is literally true.

  64. I don’t think what Ian and the other radical types understand is that we moderate libertarians don’t necessarily disagree with you on the issues, we just believe that it’s too radical of a leap for average American voters to make (the past 25 years have proved that) – so we want to see the LP to take smaller steps towards liberty, with the ultimate goal of being in more of an aracho-society.

    Like I said in another comment, “the Reps never act as conservative as they’d like to, and the Dems never act as liberal as they’d like to – and the LP can’t act as libertarian as we’d like to if we ever expect to be taken seriously and get elected.”

    BTW Ian – glad to see you’re writing on HoT!! Keep it comin’. Some of my favorite libertarians: you, Carl, and Stephen…all in one place!

  65. I got my mail today.

    Yay. The government is successful at what should be done by private industry. Maybe because they granted themselves a monopoly at mail delivery for years?

    I drive down government run roads frequently.

    Yeah, after the government built them at millions of dollars over budget, years over planned schedule, using money STOLEN from people by threat of fines or prison (who might not even ever drive on those roads) to build them. I guess that’s a government success…

    The police often catch actual criminals.

    After the crime has been committed. And again, after creating a quasi-monopoly in law enforcement by crippling the ability of the citizenry to protect itself.

    We haven’t been invaded by a foreign army in a rather long time.

    We also haven’t been attacked by alien invader. The government’s anti-Martian strategy must be working swimmingly!

  66. I have always thought the LP platform is too large and disenfranchising. Now we have nutjob socialists infiltrating the party via the LRC trying to make it even worse.

    Ah, reasoned debate within the Party. Time to organize the circular firing squads. Hail Eris and pass the ammo!

  67. Actually, I think the most objectionable part of the whole thing is requiring English language skills and some sort of historical knowledge/philosophical background test. This is using the government to indoctrinate. English is not superior to other languages.

    If a non-citizen applies for the benefits of American citizenship, should those benefits be given to them with no cost whatsoever? Should a non-English speaking non-citizen be able to walk into a consulate and say (in a foreign language), “I want to be an American citizen,” and be handed naturalization papers and a passport?

    I’m not a big fan of government, but this seems like an area where their actions are justified.

  68. Carl makes the valid pont that there are things that the government does effectively. Perhaps not as effectively as they could be done by other actors, but effectively. The examples he gives are the same examples that Joe Sixpack will give when you tell him flatly, “Government doesn’t work.”

    If you can’t concede facts when you’re wrong, people won’t listen to you when you’re right.

  69. Sorry, I had to counter such badly made arguments…

    >

    Yes – like that guy who was brought into Fulton County (GA) Court, grabbed the gun of a deputy, shot the Judge, some officers… managed to escape the Fulton County Court House and hide from Atlanta and Fulton Police for quite a long while. Yes, yes… glad things are going so well, I feel safe…..

    >

    No, not invaded by ground troops… but does the date September 11, 2001 ring a bell?

  70. Trevor Southerland

    Are you saying the 9/11 attack was not a huge government conspiracy? You need to convince Rick Rajter of that. He is of the opinion that 9/11 was a huge act either directly or indirectly performed by the United States Government.

  71. Are you saying the 9/11 attack was not a huge government conspiracy? You need to convince Rick Rajter of that. He is of the opinion that 9/11 was a huge act either directly or indirectly performed by the United States Government.

    Which it was.

    http://www.911truth.org/index.php

  72. It is ok for a libertarian to support incremential change, so long as he admits that the eventual goal is as outlined by the current LP platform. However, the LRC wants to replace these principles with compromises that replace the goal of total libery with that of partial (which will eventually become non existent) liberty. For this reason, I am glad the LRC has mustered little support, it goes to show that libertarians are principled.

    In the meantime, heres a little Ayn Rand: “In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit.”

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