Our rights do not originate with government, but they are to be "secured" by government.
Formerly: Libertarian Party of Citrus county

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Image and Effectiveness of the Libertarian Party

The last election is over, we have given ourselves enough rah-rah cheering and phony congratulations, as Libertarians now is the time to take a good look at ourselves and ask critical questions. If we wait until the next election we will be to late. Are we effective as a party? Do we present something the American people want? Do we have effective leadership? Clearly the answer to all these questions is no. The rise to power of TEA Party and its effectiveness cannot be discounted. The TEA Party clearly embraces the Philosophy of Liberty and more than ½ the country associates itself with the TEA Party movement. The Libertarian Party (LP) claims to be the party of principle, specifically the Philosophy of Liberty; yet unlike the TEA Party which has no real structure or leadership, the LP with decades of structure and elected leaders is not effective.

The Libertarian Party has two major problems it must overcome to effective. First we must end the elitist attitude of the current party leaders or remove elitist snobs in leadership who don’t want to change the LP. Second we must change our militant anti-moral image dramatically. If the LP doesn’t change and maintains the same elites at the top, and embrace the current amoral image, the LP will continue to produce the same results it has for decades; An American Populace that doesn’t trust or want the LP to have any power.

The LP is no different that the GOP and Dem’s when it comes to the elitist attitude of the people at the top. Those at the top truly don’t get it. I have personally heard and seen the people at the top getting mad and upset because of new people trying to motivate and make real progress in the Libertarian Party hadn’t “put in their time”, or “didn’t understand how things are done”, or other variation on the theme that they as elites have earned and deserve a place in leadership. Even in our state, Florida, we see a snobbish elite attitude by Libertarians at the top. The current Libertarian Party of Florida (LPF) Chair person who whenever she feels challenged always lectures on her pedigree, not her accomplishments. Her primary accomplishment seems to be getting into a leadership position in the LPF, not actually setting a vision and goals for the LPF, nor articulating to the membership what the LPF is nor what it does, nor improving the membership of the LPF, nor getting Libertarians elected at either the state or federal level. As a regular person, or a regular member of the LPF, or even Officer in an LPF county affiliate, can you name any of our current chairperson’s accomplishments? Can you state her vision for the LPF? Can you articulate any of the goals for the LPF she has presented? Do you even know her name? Anybody? The LPF executive council acts like a snobbish super secret club whose activities and actions remain a mystery to the average lowly LPF member, much less the people of Florida.

Obama’s and the Democrats general perception of the last election is that they failed to articulate their message, and the people just didn’t understand. That is crap, we do completely understand the message of Obama and company, and reject it. It’s not that the people don’t get it, they just don’t agree with Obama’s message. Like Obama, the leaders in the LP think the same way, that In a recent discussion a mover and shaker in the LP, Daniel Williams, who says he is someone who was as responsible as anyone for putting Wayne Alan Root on the 2008 Libertarian ticket, says: "It's true Libertarians have been their own worst enemy - but it's been a problem of articulation, not ideology.”

He is wrong; we have planks in our platform that we articulate very well which the American people soundly reject every chance they get. These planks contradict the Philosophy of Liberty, and clearly contradict the LP claim to being the party of principle.

This leads to the second major problem the LP must address if it wants to become relevant. The image of the LP is militantly anti-moral. "Atheistic Anarchists" is a term I’ve heard to describe the beliefs of the LP. Consider a recent poll that asked, "What is our greatest hope for the future of this nation?" The most popular answer was, "Return to traditional moral values." This response was selected 3 times more often than the next most popular answer and was selected by 49% of the people polled. The clearly articulated message and values presented by the LP, "Atheistic Anarchists," is a message America understands and rejects.

Wayne Alen Root’s (WAR) bid to be head of the LP typifies both the elitist and image problems of the LP. During the first balloting he garnered 43% of the vote for Chair of the LP. Virtually double every other contender, a clear plurality and nearly a clear majority. The other old guard elitist Libertarians, worked together to insure that this new upstart who quit the Republican Party would not become the LP Chair, the mantra appeared to be “anybody but Root.” They were successful and after a few more rounds of balloting, Hinkle was selected. Hinkle is a not a bad man but is among the old school LP elite. He is not the visionary leader that WAR is. Members of own LPF leadership, said that “I was hopeful that time on the LNC would bring Root inline with core party principle.” If the core party principle is unacceptable to the vast majority of Americans then maybe we need to look at the core party principles. Daniel Williams also says, “I'm of the belief that re-creating libertarianism, as Wayne believes is his calling, isn't what's needed. “ Mr. Williams is wrong, if the LP is to be something other than a home to extremists, and to be a viable alternative presenting the Philosophy of Liberty in a way that is palatable to the entire nation, Libertarianism must be recreated as WAR suggests. If it isn’t and the LP continues on the path it has for decades, it will continue to garner the same results; rejection by the American people.

The fact that half the population of the US believes the best hope for the country is a return to traditional moral values is not surprising. The rise of the TEA Party, a true grass roots uprising of the American People, is a prime example. As J. Farah of WND.com suggests, both of the major parties, pragmatically present nothing buy materialism to the American people. Both fail to accept and realize that Americans are a people who still believe in principles. At the polls Bush was rejected over principles as was Obama. The majority of Americans believes in the Liberty, and in the writing of our forefathers. Including that fact that they believed that the constitution was not sufficient for an immoral people.

The LP platform starts “As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others.” LP Platform section 1.3 Personal Relationships which reads "Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the government's treatment of individuals, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws. Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships." This platform position legitimizes the unequal treatment of individuals under the law and throws homosexual behavior into the face of America, a behavior which most Americans tolerate, but don’t condone. The LP is basically saying if necessary we will condone the use of the full force of the government to make everyone accept homosexual relations as morally equivalent to traditional heterosexual relationships. A belief that the American people do not accept, and if not for political correctness run amok, would clearly be articulated. But when the people can vote in secret outside of the politically correct boundaries of the media and ruling elite, the American people clearly support traditional Judeo-Christian values. The people of Iowa, generally considered a liberal state, did something in the last election that rarely if ever happens. They fired three of their state Supreme Court justices who suddenly discovered a constitutional right for men to marry men and women to marry women? Also think about the fact that state initiatives to ban same-sex marriage have been approved in all 31 states where they faced voters, even California. The vast majority of Americans, even the religious right, don’t want to outlaw or make homosexuality illegal, but the people also don’t want the immoral values of a few forced down their throats by the government. Homosexuals are a powerful and vocal minority of people, who are willing to use force to make all of America change the definition of marriage, hardly a libertarian ideal.

A marriage is between a man and a woman. Homosexuals want to change the definition of marriage sacrificing the traditional values of Americans for their benefit, because it is not fair that the types of relationships they desire do not receive the legal benefits of marriage. The real problem isn’t that homosexuals don’t receive the benefits of marriage; it’s that people are not treated equally under the law. Why should anybody be given special rights, privileges, or treatment because of any personal relationship, including marriage? To be true to libertarian principles and to allow a moral America to embrace the LP, this platform position should be re-titled “1.3 Equality under the Law” and read, "Every person should be treated equally under the law. No laws, not even tax laws, should exist that grant anyone a benefit or punishes anyone differently for any reason, including but not limited to their sex, wealth, race, color, creed, age, national origin, personal habits, political preference, office, or personal relationships." LP Platform plank 1.3 would then protect minorities like homosexuals, yet embrace the high moral standards of the American people. The LP can take a stance that protects the rights of homosexuals, by taking the higher more principled stand of upholding the rule of law for everybody equally.

Can anyone give me any reason that doesn’t compromise an individual’s liberty that tax laws of any kind should be based on a person’s personal relationship such as marriage?

Now consider LP Platform Plank 1.4 Abortion which reads, "Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration." If you believe that the most fundamental right of any person is their right to life, and if you also believe that life begins at conception, then you cannot support this LP platform plank, as this plank says does not recognize as it says “people can hold good-faith views on all sides”, but embraces the idea that the government should allow people to decide that it is acceptable to take another’s life if that other is not sufficiently developed; Completely ignoring those people who hold good-faith views that consider abortion a form of infanticide. This plank totally ignores the idea that “individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others” as it grants one individual the right to force another to sacrifice not only their values but their very life for the benefit of another. Consider the fact that more than half of all Americans would restrict abortion to cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother, and that 80% of Americans are ready to limit it to the first three months of pregnancy at most. The LP platform plank on abortion is at odds with 80% of America.

To be true to libertarian principles, and to the constitution and since “people can hold good-faith views on all sides,” the LP should either remove this plank entirely, or at least take a pro-tenth amendment stance and say that it is outside of the enumerated powers of Federal Government.

The natural home for people, who are a part of the non-partisan TEA Party, should be the Libertarian Party, it is not the home of the TEA Party because of the LP’s image. The American people believe in the Philosophy of Liberty, but the image of the LP is not the Philosophy of Liberty, but that of “Atheistic Anarchists” an image which must be changed. The elitist snobs at the top of the LP embrace the image of they have carefully cultivated, an image the American people have continually rejected. I am and will remain a member of the LP, I believe it is the political party best represents both Christian principles and the principles this country was founded. As such I will work at making the LP successful and a true bastion of liberty in the US. But to be successful the LP must be true to libertarian principles not its traditional immoral anarchist roots. Its current leadership at both the state and national level are elitist snobs, who protect their positions, actions and vision. Actions and vision that have lead the LP to become the home of crackpots, anarchists, and immoral people, whom the American people have soundly rejected. We need new visionary leaders that will remain true to principles of liberty and re-create Libertarianism, so that the vast majority of Americans who are fed up with both the Republicans and Democrats have a real viable alternative.

I believe that the Libertarian Party can reform its image and remain principled and steadfast it's support of Liberty. As Libertarians if we continuing to do what we have been, and continue to embrace values which most Americans think of as immoral, we will continue to garner the same results. We will continue to lose at the polls, and have little or no acceptance by the population at large. To keep doing the same things and expect different results is the very definition of insanity; most of America thinks the LP is insane, we must change that image.

5 comments:

  1. I agree totally.

    How we've been portrayed as "out there" is our own fault for not being able to clearly state who we are, and what we're about.

    We must remember that a simple message is is the best one to communicate to a mass audience, who can basically fall for anything that they're told.

    Our truth is more closely based on "the truth" than either party, so our message should be one that's easy to understand.

    More freedom, less tampering with our pursuit of happiness.

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  2. in your article you state "Consider a recent poll that asked, "What is our greatest hope for the future of this nation?" The most popular answer was, "Return to traditional moral values." This response was selected 3 times more often than the next most popular answer and was selected by 49% of the people polled."
    Do you have a link or reference to this? This poll is being touted on this page and in a World Net Daily article, and yet I can find no evidence that such a poll ever existed. So if you do have a link, I'd be most grateful.

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  3. The Libertarian party leaders must understand that no one supports 100% of all issues. This is why the democrat and republican party are still around, as long as there is transpartisanship they can get work done in DC, or at least some of the time. We should not as a party condemn everyone who is not 100% in line with the libertarian platform, since our values and principle tend to vary within each individual. We should focus instead on commonalities and work within those common ground to accomplish libertarian goals.
    As to your second statement of the Libertarian Party being militant anti-moral I disagree completely. By whose standards do you judge that they are anti-moral? As I understand history, morals have been around and borrowed from all religions long before they came into existence. Does the party not support a peaceful proper character, manners and behavior in our personal lives and demand it from government?
    The LP doesn’t move forward due to the elitist who imposes an anarchist government with no proper replacement or offer solutions to the political realm however they are hardly amoral. Politics should be about reform and removing unconstitutional government power and returning it to the people, not about abolishing the whole system without an offer of how things would work without the current system. That’s why the party is not successful, because they don’t comprehend that Americans are so addicted to government and will only give it up if you provide solutions supported by facts and sound planning, not philosophical ideology. That is what the party needs to work on, to embrace those who offer solutions and tell them you disagree when you disagree, not ousting them completely for not being 100% libertarian.

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  4. When people claim they wish to return to traditional moral values much of them do not understand what they mean, or why they say it. The fall of morality( or change thereof), of the family, is not due to the slow acceptance of gay marriage, or a rejection of god or of abortion. It’s the complete destruction of the extended family which has not existed in America since the Industrial revolution. Its nobody's fault: once the industrial revolution came to America the production of economic commodities were no longer made in the home, where extended families lived together in order to accomplish their tasks of maintaining a productive home.
    Now families were separated, aunts, uncles and grandparents no longer contributed to the raising and education of the children, children became a product of child labor until states created education systems. Single family homes now traded home production for wage labor and found it hard to raise and educate their children on their own, so they succumbed to the public education system created by our government not by choice, but by the fact that extended families no longer shared the responsibility of raising children as they did for thousands of years.
    The LP platform on personal relationships is correct in its defending of personal freedoms, it does not force acceptance of behavior of those who do not accept. Governments should not provide entitlements to those who wish to enter into a relationship contract and it should not define marriage. Marriage is an ever evolving institution so when people say we should defend traditional marriage one must ask, what traditions, whose traditions and by whose standards? Traditional marriage was for the acquisition of property, inheritance, controlling of resources, polygamous and done without consent. These traditions are not the ones Christians cry over when they wish to impose legislation against gay relationships. It certainly was not between one man and one woman and it certainly was not done for love like it is now. Morals are relative to our current time and morals change, not for the worse as Christians claim but for the adaptation of our current civilization. Marriage is a benefit for all those who wish to enter into these contracts and for the estimated 8 million children who live in a productive gay 2 parent home. It should not be defined nor regulated by governments. Nor should governments strip anyone of their freedom of speech to speak out against it for their own personal reasons. Society has been good in the past at stigmatizing immoral social behavior, as it did after Loving vs Virginia struck down interracial marriage prohibition as unconstitutional after a moral majority did not accept it. As it did with the DOVE church who almost burned the Koran, as its slowly doing now with gay marriage.
    As for abortion the majority do agree that at some point the fetus should be protected, perhaps at the 12 week period. Maybe then people can focus on creating legislation that protects the fetus from then forward? Americans should also focus on their moral code when it comes to abortion. Why is Viagra and other men libido drugs accepted and even covered under insurance plans while women contraceptives and preventative measures not? We only have ourselves to blame for not educating ourselves on the truth of sexual activities and its consequences rather than an ancient moral belief of a dirty animalistic sinful pleasure. Proof of this is in the failed abstinence only education that focused on morality rather than consequences. You don’t need to teach children how to wear a condom, but you need to teach them of the consequences of their actions rather than focusing on a wait until marriage for moral reasons that are not relevant in this day. If our goal is to prevent abortions why would my view not be moralistic over those who want to prevent it with measures which do not work?

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  5. When it comes to moral there is much to learn from history and its evolving civilizations. It is why the philosophy of liberty makes sense and why democracies have failed in the past.
    Much work is needed to establish the Libertarian Party, and fighting over issues we don’t agree on rather than the ones we do is a start to creating a party which advocated a limited government and personal freedoms. When the need of these principles is seen by the people is when its leaders will emerge. Hopefully we can see lots of change for 2012!
    Sorry this is in 3 posts but it wouldn’t accept it as one!

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