I’ve been saying for quite a while that to be successful the Libertarian Party has to change its image. The image that most of America has of the LP is that of extremist pot smoking adolescent atheistic anarchists. There is hope for the LP, not because we are doing anything to change our image, but at least our convention had real debate and showed that we are a party of principle. The hope comes from the fact that even we in the LP aren’t extreme enough nor stupid enough to boo God. This video is why the Democrats will lose big in November.
Depending on the poll, between 80 and 90% of Americans believe in God. Throwing God out of your political party tells that 80 to 90% that they are wrong. Telling 90% of the population "Go to hell" three times, and having to have your ruling elite ignore your voice, is not smart politics.
The LP tries to have the most open tent of all the political parties; we embrace atheists, anarchists, secessionists, people of all religions, all races, all persuasions, all beliefs, yet denounce God and the beliefs of most of the country. This is part of why the American people don’t trust and rarely elect Libertarians. Political parties exist for one reason; that is to elect people to power to lead/run government.
Functions of Political Parties
1) The main purpose of political parties is to join people who hold similar points of view about the government together. These groups work to participate in and influence the government by having its members elected to a government position. Even though many people choose to be associated with a certain party, they don't all share exactly the same beliefs. However, the core beliefs about how government should be run are shared.
2) The United States is a two-party system. Although there are minor parties, none have been able to gain the support needed to win a national election. In America, we have a two-party system where the Republicans and Democrats dominate the political scene. However, there is a growing trend in the United States for voters to be registered as independent. This group votes for different parties in each election. An independent may vote for a Republican for president and a Democrat for senator. The Republicans and Democrats work hard to understand this group of voters.
3) Parties must promote a broad set of core beliefs to reach their members as well as independent voters. Even those voters who choose to be affiliated with a certain party tend to choose candidates who hold a middle of the road view. For these reasons, parties tend to form their platform based on reaching those who hold a moderate viewpoint. This is beneficial to our country in many ways. Most importantly, it keeps our government from taking on an extreme point of view that would appeal only to a small portion of the population.(emphasis added)
So with that in mind why does the LP embrace anarchists? Anarchists are against the very reason a political party exists. This is basic logic that makes the LP appear irrational to most Americans. Adding in terms like minanarchism to try and placate people who believe that government is necessary. The result is adolescent psudointellectual crap that America sees as “anarchist”. Regardless of what Wikipedia says about minanarchism, what most of America thinks can be found in the Urban Dictionary. Extremist ideas will not win elections. Legalizing pot is not an extremist idea . . . . . anymore.
The Democrats denying God three times in this year’s DNC, is extreme, Biblically extreme. That gives hope to the LP as we now look more mainstream than do the Democrats. If the LP is ever to become more than a 1% joke for late night comedians, we have to eliminate those parts of our platform that are not libertarian and extremist. I’ll use one extremely controversial issue, which the Democrats were dumb enough to add to their platform that has been in the LP platform for decades; Abortion.
This is not about being pro-life or pro-choice or promoting either side of the issue. The fact is Abortion is a divisive issue that if you’re a libertarian you must either totally embrace or totally reject, there is no middle ground for Libertarians. The reason is that the heart of libertarian thinking is the idea of basic unalienable rights. The most basic is the right to life. On moral and scientific grounds people can believe that life begins at conception, and that creating a life was started because of a choice, and as such there may be consequences. If you believe life begins at conception, then you have no other choice than to consider abortion as murder of a less developed person by a more developed person. If however you don’t believe that life begins at conception, then you must support abortion as the right to life is embodied by the concept of self ownership, and means that a person can and should be able to do with their body as they see fit, and the government cannot and should not force people to do with their body what the government wants.
As a Libertarian you cannot have any middle ground on Abortion; if you do, you aren’t really a libertarian. This issue divides America more than any other. Picking a side alienates a huge part of the country. The LP should eliminate all references to Abortion in its national platform, to support the pro-choice side of the argument, tells all those who believe that believe life begins at conception that the LP endorses murder. To support the pro-life side tells all those who don’t, that the LP endorses slavery where the government can dictate to women what they can/can’t do with their bodies. The issue is a political loser, and to half the country makes the LP not look like the Party of Principle, but look like the party of anti-liberty; Pro-murder or Pro-enslavement but not pro-liberty. The Abortion plank in the LP platform makes us unpalatable to almost the entire country. The Democrats have adopted this same divisive plank for their party.
We could however rethink the idea of the LP. Rather than being a party whose purpose is to elect people to office to run government, we may consider ourselves something else. The idea of legalizing pot is no longer extreme. It was at one time considered one of these extreme planks of the LP that was justification for dismissing the LP as a place for “Republicans who want to smoke dope.” Legalizing pot is now being considered a mainstream idea. If we in the LP don’t consider it our goal to win elections, then maybe it is to direct and force the country to look at the other parties and their ideas on Liberty and Freedom. This is the direction that many leaders in the LP think should be the purpose of the LP. If not for the LP the RLC (Republican Liberty Caucus) wouldn’t exist. Our candidates may get only 1% of the vote, but our ideas are permeating society.
From the Cato Institute, to John Stossel, libertarian thinking and ideas are now mainstream. But the more extreme factions of the LP, like embracing anarchists, make the Libertarian Party unacceptable to most of America. To be truly libertarian, we must look at our platform in a far more critical way. Embracing extremist positions that alienate those who love Liberty by embracing what many find as clearly un-libertarian ideas, is not going to make our party stronger. Compare the national LP platform to that of the LPF (Libertarian Party of Florida), and you will see that the LPF platform embraces liberty equally as well as the national platform without embracing extremism. This may be a model for the future and a more powerful LP.
Maybe we should start with the same purpose statement that was used to create this great nation:
” We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”