Are Libertarians Up To The Task?

libertarian-party-sealAs with the “Direction of the Republican Party” thread, this one has been extremely active so I have moved back up towards the top of the page. This was originally posted February 20. Many of you know that I started this blog as a way to ferret out my beliefs and start providing some viewpoints that I feel are important. The “Direction of the Republican Party” post has been far and away the most read article I have written. So now I want to discuss another option that is out there on the table. The Libertarian party easily has the most solid platform of the bigger parties. So I want to talk with everyone about whether they are up to the task of really operating on the big stage. So far they have progressed only as far as AAA in the minor leagues. They show promise. But will they find that they need a little more movement on that fast ball if they want to make it in the big leagues?

So far I have to say the answer to that is yes. We called them up recently and the big boys were hitting their best pitches out of the ballpark. But I compare politics to the American League East. That is the division that houses my tampa-bay-raysred_soxBoston Red Sox, along with the Yankees. For a long time it was a two team division. No one else in the division really mattered that much. The Yanks and Sox could outspend them and outplay them. But a weird thing happened in the AL East last year. The upstart Tampa Bay Rays jumped up and won the division, and the AL Pennant, with tons of young talent that wasn’t supposed to be able to play with the big boys. And they are here to stay. The AL East just became a three team division. Can the same happen to politics?

I don’t think anyone would argue that the Libertarians occupy their own space. They are far more prominent than any other third party. Regardless of the Green Party or Constitution Party claims, they are still in AA (high school for the Green Party… Cynthia McKinney? Really?). So the Libertarians are well above all of them. But they aren’t nearly up to the prominent status of the big two either. Why is that?

If you don’t think that the Libertarians have a better platform than the Republicans or the Democrats, you haven’t read their platform. May I suggest you click the “Libertarian Party Platform” page up top and read the reviews we gave on their platform. They are closer to the intent of the Constitution than the other two. And more important, they are more in line with everyday Americans. When I discuss their platform with people I don’t find that much of it is disliked by any of the people that I address. Sure there are some touchy things, like the hard right folks don’t like their position on Abortion or National Defense. And the Hard Left folks don’t like the position on Gun Control or the Environment. But they are more in line with middle America than anyone else. So the platform is not the issue.

Their visibility is definitely an issue. Many people won’t even look at them because they are a third party. And for years our two big parties have both agreed to tell us the third parties are crazy. The media certainly won’t give them much play. The media is too busy kissing the Democrats ass and finding ways to undermine the Republicans (and for all those that claim the media isn’t liberally biased… zip it, you are living in a dreamworld). When they do give them air time, they make sure to cast them in a bad light. Let’s not forget that the the media has chosen a side and they don’t want any Democrats jumping ship to the Libertarian Party. 

 

This Really is the Sign on Paul's Desk

This Really is the Sign on Paul's Desk

The big boys are working hard to make sure the American public doesn’t get to hear the Libertarian’s message. They have been intentionally excluded from the national debates. Check your ballots, folks. There were 3 candidates for President to choose from. So why were only two of them permitted to participate in the nationally televised debates? I will tell you why….

 

The Democrats and Republicans have a very public battle between them. But behind closed doors they have a silent agreement that they won’t do anything that might weaken the two party system. They need us divided to retain power. BlackFlag wants you to believe that it is violence that keeps the government in place the way it is. He is dead wrong. “Legalized violence” is absolutely useless without control. The government can’t use violence to stop 300 million pissed off Americans and they know it.

 

So their biggest fear is that the country would come together and form a united front against the government. They don’t possess enough tools to be violent enough to stop that. So they agreed to split the country in two and use one half to control the other half. 150 million can’t raise up because the other 150 million would oppose them. Brilliant plan. And let’s be as clear as possible, if a Libertarian was allowed to participate in the nationally televised debate, the majority of Americans would all of the sudden go “these guys aren’t crazy….and they are better than the other two”. Talk about the two big party’s worst nightmare. 

But the Libertarian’s biggest problem right now is not the other two parties. It is themselves. They are disorganized and splintered. There are several competing factions within the Libertarian party that refuse to come together for the greater good. There is the conservative wing of the LP, from which Bob Barr hails. There is the liberal wing of the LP. There is the moderate wing and the radical wing, even an anarchy wing.

 

Ron Paul

Ron Paul

Go to the Libertarian websites and you can see it. Whichever site you are at will be bashing other Libertarians. It is amazing. They can’t get together on a candidate. Half the registered Libertarians out there did not vote for their own Presidential candidate, Bob Barr. Even Ron Paul, a longtime member of the Libertarian Party, did not support him. He instead endorsed Chuck Baldwin from the Constitution Party because Barr trashed Paul for not committing to one candidate. 

 

So those wishing to learn more about the party are left wondering which branch is THE branch. Are the conservative Libertarians the voice of the party? It would seem so on the basis of the selection of Barr. But his selection really further splintered the party. So the Libertarian Party, already up against massive obstacles, continues to be its own worst enemy. 

 

So then the question becomes is a Libertarian better off running with Libertarian ideals as a candidate in one of the other two parties (most likely Republican)? Ron Paul obviously thinks so. He is a member of the LP but ran as a Republican for the Senate. It is clear that the constitution that the party loves is set up in a way that makes it a physical impossibility to have a Libertarian win the Presidency. Hence why Paul ran as a Republican in that race as well. 

But I will leave it at that for now. I look forward to hearing from all of you what your thoughts are on the Libertarian Party. Are they wasting their time? Would better organization really give them a chance to compete on the big stage, not at the Presidency, but for Senators and Congressmen. Do you think the Libertarian Party is up to the task?

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Comments

  1. Wow. You’re spot on. As a registered Libertarian, I certainly see the exact sects of our party you had mentioned. I was ecstatic when Barr was nominated as our POTUS candidate, as I come from said Conservative sect. It’s a fact that we tend to shoot ourselves in the foot, and I know many a Libertarians that went out and voted for one of the two major parties. It’s a truth that will continue to plague our party until we finally band together, and simply embrace whomever our party chooses, as they will certainly be a better alternative to the two morons we get stuck with on the Dem/Rep battlefields. We have a platform that can compete, and you’re right. It would certainly align perfectly with the majority of Americans. But, we have to unite and let them hear our battle call in unison. It is time we take back our voices, opinions, rights and get government out of total control.

  2. With the current corrupt and non democratic way in which elections are run and funded and given press, I don’t think the Libertarian Party can make a play for the big leagues. Obama had an unprecedented grass roots movement, but also had the backing of hugely wealthy donors (probably many foreign) and the press, and an enormously unpopular Republican party to run against, and yet he won by not a huge margin in the popular vote. Even with a similar grass roots movement, I believe the Libertarian Party would at best, split the popular vote (probably taking away from the Republicans) thus ensuring ongoing Democratic rule. I would like to see the Republican party embrace more of the tenets of the Libertarian party, because if it does not, it will become irrelevant in our ever-changing culture. It has to get back to Constitutional values and forget some of its ridiculous ideologies, so that it can attract the centrist American. By the way, love that the Red Sox are your team!

  3. WorriedaboutU.S. says:

    I’d like to ask folks’ opinion of the http://www.goooh.com movement. Seems to fit right in with this discussion, albiet not directly pertaining to the Libertarian party. Having followed your link, I must admit I agree with about 99% of the Libertarian platform. I have to agree with MadMom, there need to be changes in the media coverage (debates, equal lines of print, airtime, etc…), for the party to be able to make a difference. I sense that the time is upon us to be able to get the support of the overwhelming majority of Americans if we can find a way to get this message out. I am going to go over and become more involved in the Libertarian party. I ahve decided that enough is enough, I have talked and complained about things long enough. I am going to become active and try to initiate the changes needed to return our country to the people.

  4. For the Libertarians to have a shot at getting elected, the following would have to happen:
    1) Changes to the ballot approval process. It would have to be easier to get on all ballots accross the nation. In other words, if more than half of state requirements are met for ballot placement, then ballot placement should be granted accross the board. For state-wide elections and smaller elections, this is not as much a concern.
    2) Major political campaign events, such as the Presidential debates, would have to be required to include all candidates on the national ballot.
    3) A lot of alternative media (since large scale funding us unlikely) would need to be used, and the platform explained in detail and with great articulation.
    4) Available funding would need to be spent solely on advertising and getting the message out, not legal battles to get on the ballot, something point one would help with.
    5) Voters would have to think of the future, not just the immediate election and the following 4 years. Even with the steps mentioned, a libertarian win would likely take 2-3 elections, at least for national office. The exposure, however, would assist with visibility at state and local elections, populating the state governments and the congress with libertarians, again taking 2-3 elections minimum.
    3) Libertarian voters would have to actually believe in what they would doing enough to not vote for the major parties, or worse, boycott the vote altogether.

    For the LP to be able to handle the job:
    1) A here-to-there plan would be needed, not just and idealistic platform. There are too many changes needed to tackle them all at once, and too many steps between here and where we need to be to think that a couple of terms will fix everything. We need a clear list of baby steps that head us in the right direction, and a clear understanding of the full path toward the long-term goal.
    2) A relaxation of the idealism. This is not only to assist with the above, but also to decrease the fragmentation in the party. Libertarians need to stop quibbling over thier ideal world and ideal party and unite on the major stuff that we do agree on. The major problem that plagues third parties is that they are usually started by idealists with enough conviction to go to the trouble. However, these same people tend to be too stubborn for mass appeal. That affects electability. But it also means that they would be unable to accomplish anything in the political system. We need to have people good enough at long-term strategy to get something done. Not to violate one’s principles, but also not to hunker down and refuse to move. Change is not accomplished by throwing temper tantrums and refusing to do anything that is not ideal. Its getting something done that moves in the right direction. Even the greates journey begins with a single step and all that.

  5. Good thoughts so far. I believe the LP is a party who’s time has come. So to continue the discussion some… How do we get more people to know the LP and act. An unbelievable stat for the day… Since I posted this last night, 178 people have clicked on the LP link in my blogroll.

  6. Explain how Bob Barr is “libertarian”. I think he is about as “libertarian” as John McCain is “Republican”. (Funny how there is no similar “Democrat” example to point to, isn’t it. They are all pretty clearly Democrats.) I look at it as a case of a Trojan horse gaining access and then blaming the target of the invasion for not supporting him.

  7. Tony Piotrowski says:

    Your posting a comment and providing link to this web site on a FOX news blog, brought me here.
    You ask what will it take…why not study what Obama did, and simply copy that process. After all, he was a relatively unknown nobody, without credentials, no experience, and he is now holding the most powerful position in the world! Don’t reinvent, just duplicate…if they could do it, why can’t your LP do the same. Obviously the key, is no deviation from the plan, and no disenters allowed, once you start rolling!

  8. Wow! This is probably the best and most informative blog I’ve read concerning these Libertarians. I’ve been doing quite a bit of research on this third party, and feel that it really IS the path to a better America. Government is not the solution to our problems… it’s obvious that Government IS the problem. Anyway, as I’ve read more about the party, I find that its platform, as has been stated, is by far the best of any out there. I’m from upstate New York, one of the worst places to live if you favor people taking responsability for their actions! There is a Libertarian organization here, but it is very weak. The current news has been revolving around our 20th Congressional District, left behind by Kirsten Gillibrand. There is a Libertarian trying to run, and he made the news today stating just how difficult it is for a third party to even have a chance. I was suprised he made the news, but he did! In any case, back to the point… I feel like unless you’ve got MILLIONS of dollars, or can organize a million man march on the capitol, you’ve not a chance. I watch this Libertarian candidate up here getting squeezed so hard by the big two, it’s very disheartening. This also formulating due to the fact that I’m a registered Republican, and pretty much totally ashamed of the party. Between the sub par national campaign, the lack of “gonads” to go after Obama’s real intentions, and the Big Government Republicans up here in NY, it seems the Libertarians are a fantastic choice. Well, I say that now, although I’m reading how they are having problems joining forces so to speak. I truely wish they would, and get this country back to the vision of the founding fathers. As it stands, they are most certainly turning over in their graves! Young blood needs to be recruited, a more agreessive stance must be taken, and big money needs to be persuaded to join the party. When you have a populace that’s been hand fed by big government for years and years, even generations, it’s hard to convince them that personal responsability is the best option.

  9. WorriedaboutU.S. says:

    I think Jon Smith has the right idea. I believe, if we could simplify the “message” (for the media) down to 5 or fewer major issues, each with 3-5 steps identified from which a real plan of action can be developed, we would get better results with the limited exposure available. When requested for more details, then the plan’s actions steps could be identified for each issue. Again, keeping it simple and direct. This does not mean that the details of each action item step should wait until later to be developed. This should be actively pursued, reviewed, evaluated and adjusted continuously. We should use good factual information for all basis of discussion, be open to differing opinions and be able to compromise. We didn’t get into our current situations over night, it will take a considerable effort, over a long period of time to correct.

  10. Exactly, WorriedaboutU.S. There has to be a combination of the detailed information for those who are willing and able to pursue it, and a sound-bite-size version that is understandable and clear. Strong logic, and even some of the emotional reasoning. It has to be clear that the steps being taken are for the good of people and the country. It is not just good for the economy, it’s good for helping people and allowing them to be free and to be the best that they can. It also has to be made clear that, no matter how good the intentions, something that will not work is a bad idea, and it usually ends up hurting those it is supposed to help.

    Kent,
    Bob was a bit too conservative for me also, but I still backed him because most of what he said was in line, and most of what the LP platform is toes the line I am looking for as well. It is a strategic move. I do not believe in voting for the lesser of two evils, but I am ok with voting for an imperfect candidate that has a better shot at accomplishing something than the “perfect” one. If Ron Paul had been the guy, I would have preferred that, but he is not the “perfect” candidate in my view either. Basically the closest thing to a perfect candidate I can think of is me, except that I am under 35. However, I don’t expect most other people to think I am the perfect candidate.

    The LP flopped in this last election, but most of it was due to heavy idealism, and a ridiculous amount of time and money spent in court trying to get on the ballot. Also, I found Barr to be a little silly with the third person references. His statements when he would actually make them were good, but he spent too much time on branding himself, and to a lesser extent the LP, and not enough on explaining the what and why of his platform. People need to hear what and why, not who.

  11. revolution2010 says:

    All right, so here we are. I am also of the mind set that both of the major players need to go. I am a Libertarian. It will be a long road and yes, baby steps are the way to accomplish the goal. Damn the microwave, we think dinner should be ready in 7 minutes or less, but it is never as good, often soggy and doesn’t stay hot as long. Here is my plan, or at least part of it.
    I found the Lib Party and gave it a serious look about this time last year. The platform makes more sense than any other out there. What would happen if….

    1. Everyone switched his or her party to the Libertarian Party RIGHT NOW! What do you think the other 2 Parties would think if they saw mass numbers of voters switching out of their party into the Libs? I think it would scare the SHIT out of them!
    2. Once the weather breaks, and you would have to be strong on this… start walking your neighborhood. Knock on every door and talk to all of your neighbors. Let them know how concerned YOU are and if they are as well, there are other options out there.
    3. Start finding out what your precincts are and find people who want to be a liaison for their precinct. Precincts are small neighborhood sized areas, which are much easier to manage. If you have several precinct captains, the word is easy to pass along through phone or e-mail chains and all of a sudden, our world gets much smaller.
    4. Run for office if you are able. I am probably going to try this personally for my State Delegate office. To accomplish this, my goal will be to visit every house in the district. Big goal, but I think I have no choice. Everyone says you can’t do it with out a bag of money, and I think they are wrong, in fact I would love to prove that to them. If we can get people to ignore the message the media is putting out, it would send a huge message. Regardless of what people say, if someone knocked on my door, I would be a lot more impressed than watching them slam the other candidate for their views.

    Let’s try out the plan and see how it works. Any action is a good start, so switch your party affiliation now, it can’t hurt anything… it isn’t like there are tenure issues! The funniest part would be to see monster numbers of Libertarian voters cropping up in every state… it might scare the other parties straight until we can oust their bureaucratic butts!

  12. I’m going to stick my two cents in over here by recommending George Marlin’s “Fighting the Good Fight” A history of the NY Conservative Party. As a youth, I was involved in the and in YAF. the whole purpose of the party was to exert rightward pressure on NY’s Republicans who under Rockefeller & Javits consistently out liberaled the democrats. They were also a counterbalance to the very left and Socialist NY Liberal Party.

    Until Bill Buckley ran for Mayor in ’65 they did not get that much traction. Buckley put them on the map. Five years later, in a three way race, they put Bill’s brother James in the Senate and destroyed the liberal party. Six years later the NY dems were forced to nominate Daniel Patrick Moynihan to win back that seat, something they really didn’t want to do.

    What we didn’t realize at the time was that liberals have a lot in common with vampires in 1940’s B movies. No matter how many times you drive the stake into their heart, they just keep coming back. So, you can never stop being vigilant.

    I would also like to remind you all how close Ross Perot came before he deliberately self destructed. As annoyed as I was that him main focus was to destroy Bush 1, he showed what an attractive, on message candidate can do. Not a handsome guy, would not send shivers up the leg of Chris Matthews, but well spoken talking about things people wanted to hear about. I figured the press originally covered him because he was going to pull from Bush but in the end he took from both.

    So, from a libertarian point of view, you need attractive candidates who can either win on their own like Perot could have and Jim Buckley did or who will exert rightward pressure by piling up votes against left wing republicans like Snow, Collins or Spector. That will force them to become more conservative, force them to retire or let them get beat. That, to me is a win, win, win combo.

  13. To Worried,
    I am a member of GOOOH, sent $100 in and hope something changes. I can closely identify with the Libertarian Party, but feel a independent might have an equal or better chance of success. Many voters are simply fed up with both parties, so adding a third or forth party is just more of the same thing.
    To Jon Smith
    I like your points, but wonder if it would work. Tony suggests copying what worked for Obama. I can’t see that happening. The majority of the media CHOSE him and all but lied to the public to get him elected. There will not be a Republican or Libertarian candidate the media will give honest, much less positive coverage.
    The internet is the only media they do not control, so none of this can happen unless enough attention is generated on the web.

  14. http://www.selectsmart.com
    This site is running comparisons for 2012. Obama is a 7% match for me. I list this just for example. Seems to me we need something like this to identify and promote candidates. We also need to get all the conservative and independent blogs to pick and link one site. If Bob Barr leads Obama by 74% on the internet, you might get that reported on a network.

    • That is a good point Life of Illusion. I will check out the site when I have a moment later tonight.

  15. Cooper Corbin says:

    USWeapon,
    I just finished reading the Libertarian Party platform. I had read it before but it had been awhile. I was looking for an alternative before this last election, but couldn’t remember why I felt like I couldn’t choose this party.

    I could go all the way but for 1.3, 1.4, and 3.5

    Many folks I know would probably say the same.

    Red Sox? If the pitcher doesn’t bat it isn’t real baseball.

    Go Cubs! (yeah, i know)

  16. G. A. Rowe says:

    It seems to me that the choice is either Conservative or Socialist/Communist. The libertarians still have way too many far outside the norm views. The Democrats have been far too successful over the past decades since Kennedy was assassinated in dumbing down the voter into believing that only a very large government(socialistic)can help. They have reversed Kennedy’s “Ask not what your Country can do for you – ask what you can do for your Country” motto. Those of us who are actually thinking for ourselves are the minority among the voting public. All any other “party” will do is move the voting public further away from conservatives and deeper into the socialist/communist quagmire.

    In my personal opinion, which doesn’t matter one iota, those of us with a conservative bent need to get it together and hold firm. We need to get vocal, stand up and get into the socialist/communist face and stay there! In the history of mankind, no one has ever followed a wimp. Conservatives need to quit whining and start yelling.

    Just my opinion, that’s all.

  17. Mr. Rowe,

    Excellent points, we must yell, loudly and sanely. Letters to the editor, call in shows, community meetings and town halls. For years I’ve said you have to go for the jugular but with respect. Plan your moves, make sure your facts are accurate then strike. You will be criticized, more often, the morons will say “Whatever” (which makes me want to kill them) but grin and bear it. We can win, we’ve done it before, one vote and voter at a time.

  18. revolution2010 says:

    The problem I have with resurrecting the Republican Party is that it seems it is just the same round robin. If there were a third major party in America it would temper the other two. It seems they have an agreement of sorts, not to call each other out on too much of their crap.
    When the Congress started, a lot of the members were farmers and teachers. There were doctors and lawyers as well, but it was a part time job, not a full time career.
    If we put our trust back in the Republican Party, what is to say that they are just waiting for their turn and then the daisy chain starts all over again?
    The corruption is just too deep and while I consider myself a good Christian, I am not interested in doing business with the “you gotta be kidding me Christian Conservatives” that have highjacked the party. Part of the problem with them is that they are WAY TOO ORGANIZED and in that way, much harder to combat.
    As far as I am concerned both of the big parties have had their shots and they have both blown them. Much of their posturing seems to be aimed at re-gaining control so they can fund their agendas as opposed to resurrecting our lost Constitution.

    • Revolution,
      I think that you are absolutely correct in two of your statements. One the Christian right is far too organized. Which makes them a bit too high on the priority list for the Republican party. Any party that says they are interested in resurrecting the constitution has to start with “we are hereby relinquishing our ties with any lobbyist groups or special interest groups”. It won’t happen, but that is where it would have to start. Because you can either serve the people you are representing or you can serve the christian right. You can’t do both. Second, both groups posturing is absolutely aimed at regaining control, not better serving the constitution. So then the question has to be answered, and this is a golden question for folks like you and I who may seek positions, do you run as a Libertarian on principle and take your chances in overcoming that obstacle AND your opponent. Or do you run as a Republican and simply have all the Libertarian principles because there are so many who don’t even want to acknowledge the LP? Ron Paul is a member of the LP. But he ran as a Republican for a reason, he knew regardless of his views, having that LP in front of his name was a death knell for his campaign in Texas. So he became a Republican in name only and retained his LP principles. Right strategy or wrong strategy?

  19. revolution2010 says:

    Ah, an interesting question my friend! Last year, even several years ago, I might have to have said this was true. The game has all changed. There has been so much corruption exposed in the last 4 months that I cannot keep up with it and I try. I saw a list the other day about Obama’s cab picks and such and between those and the Blago scandals, not to mention so many Mayor indictments they are hard to count, I think people might be OK with the idea of a fresh start… even if they are a bit radical.
    Most of the stuff previously mentioned happens to include almost all Democrats. The Reps seem almost more smarmy to me they are just better at hiding it, though I am curious to see what comes out of the 19,000 US citizens involved in the Swiss Bank Tax Evasion Scandal. I am going to guarantee there are going to be some tainted government officials in there.
    The bottom line is that 2 years is a long time to watch the scandal play out and I am betting on the fact that the Dems and Reps are going to ruin each other in the struggle for power.
    Given the choice, I would prefer to clear myself of any previous scandal and stand proud on principle. I don’t think people will know how to react! There is something oddly attractive about someone who stands on his principle, regardless of whether or not you agree 100%. There was this fellow named Obama who stood on his principle… need I say more. Sure he had a bag of money and a couple other cards up his sleeve but all I kept hearing was how he “looked” presidential and how he was a charismatic speaker… so when we look at those statements, ask yourself the same question again.

    • Interestingly that number in the Swiss bank scandal has grown as they are now being asked to disclose 52,000 names. Thus far they have given up 250. I thought this would be your answer. I just had to ask though! I will continue to mull it over in my head and see where things go.

  20. revolution2010 says:

    In this time of great unrest in our Nation, I would ask one simple question of you? You say that you have read the Federalist Papers and I would say to you read them again if you have any doubts about what is right.
    Where so many see us standing on the precipice of disaster I find us to be standing on the precipice of the greatest opportunity that has ever presented itself to us in our lifetime. Now is not the time to choose the lesser of two evils in hopes for gaining an inch where a mile is needed. I would say that the patriotism, which we so profoundly profess embody us to create the possible from the impossible. Refuse to succumb to the ideals of others and create the ideals, which you choose for our nation. That is the challenge of our present day and God help us that we can muster a scarce morsel of the courage our forefathers exhibited.

    • I think that you are absolutely right. As I have said sometimes I need reminded of where my principles lie. I appreciate that you never let me forget that. You are, of course, very right. The course that I began months ago was based on an inherent unhappiness with the party itself. The party left me behind. This site has espoused to everyone to take a stand. It would not be fair to not take the same one. Interestingly enough it makes me sad. I feel like I have lost a friend. The party I embraced for the majority of my life is no longer embracing me. It is hard to walk away. I think there is a post in this story. It is formulating in my head already. Which is the difficult thing for me…. I have three posts already written and they keep getting pushed off because of current thoughts. Tonight I vow to post at least one of the already written ones! No new writing for me (ok maybe a little bit of a start on the next topic…)

      At any rate thanks for the push back on track. The challenge going forward is to forge a new trail… now where is my machete?

  21. Cooper Corbin says:

    Am I not, as an individual, entitled to representation like anyone else?

    Are Christians not entitled to representation, or is it only reserved for agnostics,atheists,buddhists,islam,etc.?

    Maybe instead of complaining about the power and the organization of the “Christian right” in the Republican party the question should be asked, “How did they do that?”

    And then use any applicable principle or strategy found to strenghten a third party.

    As I said before, I could go but for 1.3, 1.4, and 3.5 And so would many others.

  22. Hey Cooper- this is not an attack-just my opinion, but part, and only part of the reason some of us feel like a new direction, is that we have become tired of the intrusion into private life by our government. This is something that I have always gone round and round with my father-in law,who is a hardline Repub all the way. Unfortunately for the “Christian right”, this is how most of them feel, which is why they turn off so many people:
    1- Abortion must be banned- You and I probably agree that abortion is wrong in 95% of instances, but why is it right for us to take away their choice? In the end, this is a “between God and them” issue,one we have no business getting involved in.
    2- Don’t pass any more regulation on guns(i.e-quit trampling my RIGHTS to own a gun). Self-explanatory, right?!
    My inlaw & I will go round and round with these, as it’s like who gets to decide what kinds of morality or rights are the ones to be enforced? Government IMO has NO business being involved in legislating morality!And please,b4 you even think about it,those that are into,shall we say, even stranger and wierder stuff,the percentage is very small,and again,an issue between them and GOD!Basically what I’m saying, is that what we need, and yes,to make sure we can attract the most support for, is a party that will run the country,concerned only with the overseeing of political and military issues,and leave all the other things to God to deal with.

    • Wow, so much activity while I was at work. I will attempt to begin going in and answering these comments one by one. Matt L. I think you hit point one on the head for me. I despise abortion. But I don’t presume to have the moral authority to tell someone else what to do on this issue. Furthermore I don’t think the Federal government has the right to legislate a religious position.

  23. revolution2010 says:

    Corbin,
    I appreciate your views as a Christian and yes everyone deserves representation. The problem is that we have lost sight of the Constitution. The far right Christian wing would seek to have people live within their God’s law, which often they cannot even agree on. While I consider myself a Christian, my stance is that if God gave me free will, who do you presume to be to take it away.
    The voice of the Libertarian is, in my view, the closest voice to the forefathers. Is it perfect, no, but it reverts back to the responsibility of society (churches in many cases) to affect moral stability rather than the rule of a controlling tyrannical government. The idea that anyone can practice whatever religion they choose is a right. You site section 1.3, which deals mostly with gay rights though it is not worded exactly like that. I am sorry that your God tells you that you must control this, but my god tells me that everyone has the right to choose their own path and through ministry we may encourage people but if we control them by force than we are tyrants. God lets you choose, you have more knowledge than God?
    Next is the section on Abortion. You have the views because of your religious beliefs. You have those beliefs because the freedom of religion was fought for and won. How do you presume to take those rights from others? There will be a day of reckoning and I do not think the Christian Right form of tyrannical control will be considered less of a sin than the soul who took a life. Is there a place in the bible that you can point to that says one sin is greater than the other?
    The last section you mention is, of all things one on bigotry. While I find some mild humor in this, I would assume that you are mainly opposed to the part that infers that gay people can raise their children in any way they see fit. While you picked that part out, I like to concentrate on the fact that the government should not have any say in what is right for any individual regarding sex, wealth, race, creed and a slew of others. The laws have to fit all, not just the some in power. If you want to look at this in a Christian view, you merely need to ask how Jesus would treat all of these people.
    Inside of all of these things you must keep in mind that above all else, you may not cause harm to any other human being while taking advantage of your personal liberties. The Libertarians don’t want to turn all of the pedophiles loose, which would still be a crime. They are simply putting everyone on a level playing field. The government should hold the position that EVERYONE has the same rights. Anything beyond that is none of their business; it is the business of the societies.
    The problem with the far right is that they want to restrict others rights, and that is not the role of government. That is why the far right Christian movement is just as dangerous as the far left. Tyranny is NOT ok, even if it is in God’s name.

    • Revolution,

      You said “Tyranny is NOT ok, even if it is in God’s name.” I completely agree. I don’t have a single issue with the views that the christian right espouses. In a free country everyone has the right to practice a religion of their choosing. What I don’t think they have the right to do is impose that religion on others who practice a different one, or none at all. Abortion is tough to reconcile because the determination of where life begins is a major factor. If at conception, abortion is infringement on the rights of the unborn. If at birth, taking away a woman’s right to one is an infringement to her. I don’t know the answer. But I do know that I don’t feel like I get to be the judge. God will take care of that.

  24. I lot of what I am reading here is becoming very theoretical. As I pointed out earlier, there is a roadmap. A strong third party which clearly differentiates itself from the two majors can win on a local or statewide level. Study the NY Conservative Party. In addition, while it is struggling it will push at least one party (the Republican) to a more traditional position. It’s been done. We of all people should be aware of our history as conservatives.

    Goldwater said it all, “A choice not an echo”. It seems that every 20 or 30 years we have to take back our party. All factions in that party have to understand that we are a big tent party and we listen to everyone. If you are a single issue voter, then you just don’t want to win, ever. I have three or so issues that I would almost die for but occasionally will support a candidate who is not strong on one as long as he is willing to keep an open mind.

    The old Hubert Humphrey, Scoop Jackson, JFK Democratic party was subverted and taken over by the loons after 1968. That’s where McGovern came from and they haven’t gone back since. If you want to seize control of the republican Party, it has to be on the local level first that’s what the dems did. If it can’t be done inside the party itself then the libertarian party can be used as a lever on the outside.

    I urge you to read George Marlin’s book “Fighting the Good Fight”. It is a battleplan for what you all want to do.

  25. I was excited when Bob Barr announced he was running for President. I first heard him on Glenn Beck’s radio show. What followed was a half-hearted attempt to campaign. I saw his VP running mate on TV every few days but where was Mr. Barr? I know there were opportunities for him to get airtime. I’m not sure why he didn’t appear to put his heart and soul into the campaign, but I was very disappointed by his efforts. Many of us were looking for a great candidate, but I did not see that in the Libertarian candidate.

    • Kristin,

      Unfortunately Bob Barr wasn’t a very good candidate. There are no perfect ones but he was not even a good one. The Libertarians will find their ground swell of support when they find a candidate like Obama who can articulate the party platform and make people understand that it is not radical craziness. If people were as scrutinizing of the Dems and Reps platforms, they would find equally egregious flaws.

  26. Kristin,

    There are no “great” candidates, or, if they are, they tend to be an Obama or a Hitler and part of the wonderful cult of personality. Remember the old biblical line “It is easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven”? Well, in the case of a handsome, attractive, articulate political candidate raise the bar to the tenth power.

    The only way this thing works is on a local or statewide level. A third party candidate can only succeed on a national level after groundwork has been laid or if the people are just so totally disgusted with the major parties that they will elect an “outsider”. However, remember, for every Ross Perot out there, there are five Huey Long’s.

  27. Larry Wallace says:

    For several years I have toyed with the idea of becoming more involved with an alternate party. Of course that would depend on the platform. The Libertarian Party has a platform I could see supporting, BUT 1.2 and 3.4 would not work for me or for many others I would think. Drugs and Borders. I would never support a party that stated we should have unrestricted borders. Nor would I support opened ended use of drugs. Recreational drugs lead to addiction and crime. Other than those 2 I could see supporting a Libertarian Party movement in this country.

  28. To US Weapon, et. al.: As some have indicated here, a third party movement needs to start at the bottom. That is because local and state election rules favor 2 parties. That has to be changed first. I think it would be more prudent to take over the Repubs, but this depends on the answer to one key question. Are there enough liberty loving people to make up a majority in the party? If so, then become a Repub. because the election machines and processes are in place. If not, then we have a very long row to hoe, building from the ground up. I beleive one of the reasons the Lib Party has not succeeded is that folks who believe in original American values, as described in the consitution, tend to be very independant and prefer to be left alone. In my state the Lib Party became two then three groups. Platforms are OK but we also need to present solutions to modern issues. I would posit that gov’t is not the problem, it bad gov’t that is the problem. We can not limit gov’t to military and treasury and ignore environmental (not global warming), social and other problems that are real. We need to show the general population that our approach would actually solve the problems.
    P.S. I love your site. Nice to have discussions without the ignorant rants and name calling I find in this blogosphere.

  29. What I keep seeing in these “everything except….” endorsements is a basic misunderstanding of “liberty”.

    Everything in the LP platform comes down to the fact that it is not within the government’s authority to control non-coercive behavior between free people. All the different points are just different ways of expressing the same thing. That’s it. If the LP were to get rid of the different points that the commenters are personally opposed to then they would not be acting consistently and might as well be Republicans or Democrats.

    Should “immoral” = “illegal”? I don’t think so. Everyone does something that deeply offends someone else. That is just how it is. Unless we stand up for the rights of “those people” too, our own liberty is a fleeting vapor.

    I LOVE guns. I think using dangerous chemicals internally is stupid. I am revolted by the thought of having sex with another man. My opinion has no place in formulating “laws” that force everyone to live according to my beliefs and wishes.

    As long I believe it is OK for me or “my representatives” to control other peoples’ non-coercive behavior with laws, they will obviously believe the same about controlling me.

    Then there are things that are coercive, like theft, murder, kidnapping, rape, aggression of any sort…. those things can be resisted with force, up to and including deadly force; no “law” needed. In fact, “laws” are more likely to impede reasonable resistance than to “allow” it.

  30. Cooper Corbin says:

    Don’t get me wrong here, folks. I’m just trying to work toward a solution. It seems that USWeapon believes we can actually accomplish something positive. I’m just saying that the things I mentioned are some of the same reasons why more people that I know personally might not migrate to the Libertarian party.

    I don’t really fit the Republican party mold either. If I were sold on it, I wouldn’t be here talking to you all.

    When it comes time to vote, myself, my family, and many friends, have two questions that we ask first. Most political candidates can’t get past them, but if they do, they get our vote, based on their stance on other issues.
    1) Is the candidate pro-life (unborn child, sick, elderly)?
    2) Is the candidate pro-gun?

    We are hunters and sport shooters and I suppose one could make fun of us and say we “cling to God and our guns.”

    I don’t want to waste time arguing about abortion, so I’ll explain my stance so that you understand me, and then I’ll move on. I believe that life starts for a person when the sperm meets the egg. At that moment the mother has another human being inside her and has no more right to end that person’s life as I do your’s. I also believe that saying it’s okay to kill an unborn child is a door to killing sick people and the elderly. There have been many people who have inconvenienced me, intruded into my life, cost me money, etc. I would have liked to end many of their lives, but I didn’t. When I was a teenager my girlfriend became pregnant. I was young and stupid and didn’t know how to defend that child’s life. My girlfriend didn’t want to kill our child either, but caved in to pressure from her parents and her doctors. I can assure you there is not one day that goes by that I don’t think about that child, and the horror he/she suffered as he/she was sucked apart by a vaccuum cleaner. When I look at family photos I see a white space where that child should be. I will go to my grave defending the rights of the unborn, unlike I did for my own child. Rape (wasn’t the baby’s fault any more than the mother’s), mother’s health (a mother will give up her life for her born children, unborn should be no different), birth defects, etc. are not valid arguments for me. If my mom can kill me, though she chose not to, I can kill my mom today, though I’ve chosen not to.

    The Libertarian party platform refers to the rights of individuals. I agree. I also believe they apply to the unborn.

    So, how could I ever be a Libertarian? Thinking out loud here… well, we can agree that a person has to answer to their God/god for their own actions, or no god if that is what they believe. We can have our own opinions on the matter. We can agree that the government has no place in abortion, especially taxing us to pay for abortions overseas and funding organizations like Planned Parenthood here at home. The government should not be in the abortion business. I am extremely upset with our new President’s actions. And yes, I am aware that some Republicans have slipped money quietly to abortion providers. I see nothing wrong with a law protecting the unborn or partially born. We have a law against killing the born. People will violate both if they so choose, we cannot stop that I know.

    Why not eliminate the language about abortion from the party platform? Say nothing. If asked, why not say “we leave it to the individual,” or something like that. That wouldn’t satisfy some, but it would be sufficient for many.

    You are right in that I added 3.5 simply for consistency because it went with the prior number about homosexuality.

    As a Christian, I believe in a Creator. That Creator has given me an operator’s manual. That manual tells me homosexuality is not the Creator’s plan. As with abortion, I don’t want to fight about it, I’m just saying. I have/had family members who chose a homosexual lifestyle. Some of them have died from aids contracted from their lovers.

    So, you can see I’m not just shouting from my high horse. I have been on the ground wrestling with these issues.

    So, could I be a Libertarian? I could if the party didn’t promote a homosexual lifestyle as normal and equal to heterosexual marriage. As with murder and abortion, those who want to practice homosexuality will.

    As far as I can recall with the quick read, I agreed with everything else I read in the platform.

    Based on my personal beliefs expressed on the issues above, you probably don’t want me.

  31. revolution2010 says:

    As far as the biblical reference, it is a great comparison, but that actually refers to a passage into the holy land in a mountainous region. There was a passage that was carved through stone and was very low. For you to get your camel to pass, you had to get him to get down on his knees and essentially crawl through the tunnel. Camels weren’t really excited about it, but it could be done. With that said, there are some great rich folk out there who have not let their money taint their values. I believe part of the reason they may not have joined the Libertarian cause is because they are wise and recognize that there is much work to be done before they want to throw their hat in the ring, or their money. No reason to throw good money after bad and they may as well save it for the time it will do the right good. I think we will see more support for the Libertarian Party in the coming years and hopefully the in fighting will lose its destructive edge.
    As far as the personal privacy issue, they are not saying condone and advertise drugs, they are merely stating that should you choose to have those things in your life, let them be legalized and let them be regulated. They in many ways are less destructive than alcohol or gambling. Everyone has a vice; most people are not put in jail for it. The flip side of that coin is the jail space and police presence that is spent on controlling it. You have to look at how many people are in jail on the taxpayer dime for nonviolent offenses. What would gangs have to fight over, because it wouldn’t be a turf war they were fighting? How many police officers would be unnecessary or better used by this one thing. If that is what is holding you back, I would tell you not to worry. That can be their long term goal, but it is not going to happen ANY time soon though those pieces of the puzzle did make me take pause.
    As for the borders, I think you have misunderstood that as well. There is nowhere in there that it describes a free coming and going. It does provide an easy path to citizenship. I cannot figure out why we would not want to allow these people to come and participate in our country. Everyone with the exception of the Native Americans immigrated at one point. It wasn’t hard to gain citizenship so people did the right thing and came in, registered and we could keep track. Isn’t that better than having a bunch of people sneaking in and not being able to track them or their movements? That being said, you also have to think that the Lib Party promotes small government, so the fear is not there to support people using the excuse that they come in, get on SSI, are welfare recipients, use our school systems without contribution… etc.
    So if you look at the big picture of what they are saying, in the perfect Libertarian world, these things work. It would take decades to accomplish all of the goals stated in the Libertarian platform; together the ideas in that platform support each other in a very cohesive way.
    People are talking as if the Lib Party has a shot of gaining 100 house seats, 30 in the Senate and a Presidency in the next election… while that makes me giggle a bit, that is at best decades off. If there were 10 Lib Candidates that could sneak into the Congress as a whole, they would do no more than be able to vote their conscience without the pressure of a major Political Party telling them that they will not be supported in their next candidacy if they don’t vote for a stimulus package that they haven’t read. We need a few of those in there. The Libs aren’t looking to take over the world…. they just want to bring some sense to it!

  32. See, this is where we have to go big tent and agree to honorably disagree. My question on these issues always comes from my basic connect the dots type of logic. I ask questions like: If for the 6,000 years of recorded human history abortion was wrong and homosexuality was wrong. Why are they now, for the past 35 years or so suddenly right?

    I can see the legalization of drugs issue with a lot of caveats. For example, you peddle to kids, you die, you get behind the wheel of a car, you die but drugs were only criminalized recently and we can argue that that should have not been done. Abortion and homosexual marriage, sorry, can’t see that. Both are contra survival.

    • SK,

      You stated If for the 6,000 years of recorded human history abortion was wrong and homosexuality was wrong. Why are they now, for the past 35 years or so suddenly right? I don’t think that they are suddenly “right”. For many people they weren’t wrong for 6,000 years. Some religions have zero issue with either one. In a country where we espouse the freedom to practice any religion we choose, how can we justify telling people which religious practice they can legally choose. Legislating a religious belief such as abortion seems unfathomable in a country that claims to embrace all beliefs. Even now almost no one I know thinks that abortion is “right”. They just don’t think that the government should be able to impose a religious belief on the entire population who may or may not believe the same thing.

  33. revolution2010 says:

    The question is not if you disagree or agree with it, it is the fact that government can’t legislate on your faith. Gays get the same rights as everyone else, people get to choose what to do with their own body according to their religous (or lack there of) beliefs. There should just be a separation of church and state. And those 2 issues should never have legislation attached to them.

  34. Abortion and gay marriage (and homosexuality in general) may have been “contra survival” when lots and lots of offspring were needed to ensure the survival of the species. We have long since passed that point, now overbreeding is more “contra survival”. If humans are almost wiped out as a species by disease or disaster, we can debate ways to increase offspring numbers again, but until that happens I think your argument will find few rational sympathizers.

    Homosexuality hasn’t been illegal for the past 6000 years, even when it was frowned upon. It was often simply ignored. Abortion was the province of herbalists and was common.

    You are focussing on a very narrow part of the world when you make these statements: the judeo-christian world-view. It isn’t the only one. Not saying it is right or wrong, just that it is only one of many points of reference.

    Both might be moral issues, but shouldn’t be within grasp of government.

  35. Yeah, its that damned Western, Judeo-Christian way of looking at things again I suppose. But,it has worked rather well.

    This is the fun part of the debate which I saw back in the ’60’s with the YAF folks. Most conservatives tended to be of the “Don’t tread on me” libertarian type, including myself. Having said that we then have to figure out where we fit on the scale.

    AUTHORITARIAN——————————————ANARCHIST

    I kind of always felt I was at the 85% level and could go no farther. It’s not like I haven’t wrestled with those issues but I just see them as being harmful and destructive to society. They cheapen life and the the cohesiveness of family society needs. It’s not that you are wrong it is just that in my way of thinking, this works for me.

  36. I have no problem with Judeo-Christian ways of looking at things, but they do need to realize it isn’t the only way. Not that they have a monopoly on that. It should just be taken with a grain of salt and shouldn’t be imposed by “law”.

    I made a chart showing the different political outlooks: Political Hierarchy Chart

  37. We need to find and train like minded citizens who will participate in government and not worry about their party. Then one day there is a vote on an important policy or law and bipartisanship happens out of nowhere, rolling up all the traditional elephants, donkeys and what nots.

    Must start at the grass roots level.

    • Citizen,

      I agree that we need to find a core group of beliefs we can agree on and go from there. Abortion obviously cannot be one of those issues because we can never get a consensus on that area. But I don’t mind sharing a party with those who believe strongly one way or the other from me. I don’t think the issue is going to change in America.

  38. Kent,

    A good chart. I tend to agree with your last point the most vibrantly active win. Communism, Soviet or Maoist come to mind. Nazism a little less since they had broad support before the Russians woke up and the 8th Air Force got going.

    I always just stuck with the circle. At 12 o’clock you had communism (left) and fascism(supposedly right) converging. Six o’clock was for the anarchists and we all fit in someplace on that clock.

    Back in ’67 I remember an enjoyable two weeks at a student convention where, after hours, us Goldwater right wing extremists sat down with the SDS types and mass quantities of beer. That’s where I really woke up for the first time realizing just how much we all had in common.

    Heinlien, Good choice, “To the everlasting glory of the infantry shines the name, shines the name of Rodger Young”.

  39. Larry Wallace says:

    EXCEPT is what we have now and it by and large works. LPs will not draw a following if they do not have some excepts. Drugs are not good for any society. Open borders attracts people we do not know are here and are many times criminals. LPs or any group has to address these concerns. A platform of common sense is always needed to draw people into an alternative party. Governments are needed to keep people safe. Allow open ended drugs and not knowing who is coming across the border are 2 things that will keep people away from this LP platform. Nothing the moderator says will make it less so. People want their government to keep them safe. Yes, government. Does the governments provided by the Ds and Rs do that?. Mostly yes. Sometimes when we shop we should not buy the first item we see. I can see (with respect) that me shopping here for an alternative would not be a good purchase. I will check back in a few years and see if this LP party wants to address serious flaws in their platform. Was fun though. I did learn much from the site and I thank the moderator.

    • Larry Wallace,

      You are correct, nothing that I say will make true that many Americans will accept open borders and open ended drugs. Similarly, nothing you will say can make that the true intent of the LP. The question I ask is: you are looking for an “Exception” from the LP but not the others? Even if it were true that the Libertarians wanted to distribute heroin to school children, that will never happen in America, so why would you let it turn you away from a party that more closely meets your needs than any other party out there? It is much like the abortion debate for me. We are never going to see abortion outlawed in this country. It just isn’t going to happen. So why would you let that determine your affiliation. Instead of asking the party to change its stance, perhaps you can change yours. It is much easier to say I am a Libertarian but I don’t support their immigration or drug platform pieces. When someone says then why are you in the LP, you can say “because other than those two issues they better represent my views than any other party out there”. Much like there is no perfect candidate, there is no perfect party. When I was a Republican, I clearly disagreed with several of their platform positions, but they seemd to be the best choice. Over time we agreed on less things and I saw them no longer holding a morally superior position to the Dems. In the end the Dems and Reps have shown they don’t care about us. Even though there are parts of the LP platform I don’t like, I am much more in line with their beliefs than the other two. And isn’t that what should determine which party we choose?

      I respect your choice to find another avenue for you. Thanks for stopping in and giving the site a look. I hope you will continue to come in and read and participate. Only about 10% of what I cover here really involves the LP at this point. The rest is just a hodge podge of everything.

  40. Larry,

    The whole idea is for you to stay here and work with us on a platform and plan we can all support. When I teach Citizenship in the Nation to my Boy Scouts, I urge them to watch 1776. There was a group that could really disagree on fundamentals. So, hang around, shoot your mouth off from time to time. Give thanks to USWeapon out there for the opportunity and for God’s sake, Clash!

    • Thanks SK… I couldn’t have said it better myself. I think the idea is to get in here, mix it up with people with different ideas and do so in a respectful way. We can learn a lot from each other and in the end we all want to make the country a better place. No two people will agree on everything. My wife and I disagree on stuff all the time and I love her. But we agree to disagree respectfully and find a better way forward for our marriage because it is important to us. I see this as the same. This country is important to us. We will all disagree, but we can together find a better way forward so long as we can discuss our differences respectfully. That is what is lacking on so many sites out there… respect for other opinions. I won’t allow that to happen here. Whether you are an anarchist or an authoritarian or anywhere in between, your opinion is valid and worth discussing.

  41. Gentlemen: The conversation seems to have gotten off track a little. The question is “are Libertarians up to the task?”. I maintain that right now, today, they are not. The reasons have been exposed in the comments made yesterday and today by many others. Now, can the Libertarian Party become an effective and competitive third party? I suggest it might be possible but will take a lot ow work. Therefore we first see if we have enough like minded folks to control the Rep. party. If not then we go for a third party. I do not believe that the public is dead set against the Rep. party just because its been around a long time or because of recent transgressions. Americans are a forgiving lot, if the sinner admits their mistake and asks for forgiveness. So! I aske USWeapon and a couple of you who it seems have been active in the Republican party at one time or another; Can the Rep. party of Goldwater/Regan/Gingrich etc. be resurrected or are those that control the party to strong and numerous???

  42. I’m still telling you guys that the Libertarian party is to the Republican Party what the Conservative party was to the NY Republican party. A mechanism to force the Repubs. back to their roots and keep them honest.Even better, you don’t have to start from scratch. This is a golden opportunity.

    I guess I would point to the Parliamentary systems like Israel where the two main parties constantly split the vote and it is the largest 3rd party that forms the coalition to govern. The mechanics here are somewhat different but the results the same.

    In answer to “Just a Citizen”. Yes they are ready but not on a national level. If you study that NY Party you will see how the conservatives went from being anathema to being in a place where Republicans sought out the cross endorsement. So, as USWeapon says, we aren’t ever going to agree on everything but we can agree on basics. Let’s forge that coalition. If you want to start somewhere, how about Pennsylvania and Maine. there are a few Senators there who need primary challenges.

  43. SK: Are you saying that the LP has enough strength in the north east to become a major player, even winning? Or are you saying that we need to find a way to get the LP’s and some Repubs to form a coalition to knock the “mod” Repub senators off in the next primary? I don’t know that part of the country so I ask you: Do these states have open primaies? How strong is the Libertarian movement in these states? Any idea how many Repubs are more “traditional” or “libertarian” in there leanings? I do agree coalitions is the most expedient way to go. This may mean working with conservative democrats where we can find them. Your thoughts??

  44. SK and USWeapon: re; agreeing on basics. You are dead on with what is needed regarding building a platform that a majority can rally around. One of the key strategies of complex negotiation is finding those issues/principles/values, etc that each side shares. This forms a basis for trust and respect from which to work towards consent on other problems. I personally believe that the basis for agreement lies in Liberty and other values as described by the founders and as embodied in the thinking behind the declaration of independanc and constitution. I am finding however that the original intent has been lost due to reformist courts decisions that have flowed into our schools as “FACT” regarding history. Liberty as envisioned in the 1700’s meant freedom from coersion, especially from arbitray coersion by government. Never did it mean no government and it did not mean unrestricted freedom of the individual to do what ever they pleased. I have heard young people explain that this is what liberty means when spoken by libertarians, conservative, objectivists, etc etc. The left has been redefining our political and economic language for some time. We may have our hands full reaching agreement on core values if everyone is operating with different definitions. I would like to add some more thoughts but must run to fix dinner for my son. I will try to add some ideas later tonight or tomorrow. Thanks for listening.

  45. revolution2010 says:

    So the question lies in the fact that this may take several elections to accomplish real results. Inside of that time, I would expect to see more people hailing toward a third party and the Libs are a good bet.
    I agree with SK that local elections are much easier to win. When we talk about the common ground to unite people on I think it is easy. The one thing that I have not heard people say is “I am mad as Hell at those Founding Fathers!” People know that our Constitution has been shredded and driving home the point that it is imperative to resurrect it may be a good place to start. Your thoughts?

  46. Just A Citizen

    Going to drag my 27 yr. old son in on this to answer some of your questions, he and his buddies are more up on local politics than I and they were big Ron Paul supporters.

    Again. Hit google and look for George Marlins book.”Fighting the Good Fight”. Whatever has to be done will take time. There are no instant fixes. The conservative party in NY started circa 1960. IT really took them about 15 years to destroy the liberal party, I think that was always their main goal. After they did so, they thought they had restored balance to the system. You can never stop fighting or rest. They will, like those 1940’s vampires always come back.

    In a nutshell, if I were in my 20’s again, I would subvert the Republican Party. This is what the ’68 radicals did to the democratic party. How in the hell do you think they went from Hubert Humphrey to George McGovern in four years. For those not old enough to remember Humphrey, the change would be like McCain to Dennis Kucinich, that different!

    Regarding the strength of the LP up here, not very. I can only speak of NY & NJ. The primaries are pretty open. You need good signatures and good lawyers to knock down the challenges. I would imagine PA to be pretty good. We here in NJ have always thought you don’t get to the United States until you cross the Delaware.

    The LP like the Conservative party will be attacked as pot smoking, gun toten extremists. Not much different than the NY Conservatives when I was a kid. Believe it or not the media had a field day portraying Bill Buckley that way in 1965. Hard to imagine I guess but it shows you how far we have progressed. You need an articulate candidate who can think on his feet. When Jim Buckley ran, they tried to portray him as a nut too. The guy was bright, always polite to the press and when confronted with an “extreme” conservative position managed to keep his cool with lines like” well some people in my party think that way but others do not”. He kept the press off balance which is easy to do because they are so full of themselves they don’t realize just how stupid they are.

  47. Cooper Corbin says:

    My wife and I went out to eat supper tonight with our State Senator(Democrat). I told him that I had been discussing the Libertarian Party platform with some folks here.

    As I am atypical, he too is unusual.

    Surprisingly, his opinion was that a strong third party in our state would do everybody a lot of good. He felt that among voters in our state Dems were as ripe as the Reps for wooing. His first comment about possible hurdles in building a strong party presence here, was the drug legalization issue. He also thought that the current climate leans very much in favor of the “big two”, making the entrance of a third party not impossible but difficult, as the deck is stacked against it.

    Being unfamiliar with the LP, is this (drugs) one of the first things folks think about when they hear the word “Libertarian?”

  48. SK: We seem to be missing each other somehow. So let me try a different tact. Are the republican parties in Maine & Pennsylvania as far left as the three senators you mentioned? I noticed one commenter who said she was an R. from the NE and was fairly liberal on the social issues, although I am not sure what that means beyond the gay rights and abortion issues. The point of my question is this. Assuming there a bunch of us who share core values and want to make changes to our gov’t, do we put all our effort into building a new party, whether the LP or some other, or do we put it into taking over the Rep. party?

    If the LP is weak as you say, it would seem we need to recruit and train good “libertarians” for lack of a better term, to become active in the R party. We need to then get PACS and other mechanizms in place to get the right people to run and then get elected.

    By the way, I am old enough to know what a piece of work MR HHH was. For the past 30 years I have been working under those two great pieces of legislation that dolt pushed so hard, namely the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Forest Management Act. I have vivid memories of the loons taking over the Dem party. My family were western Dems (except Mom who was a NY Republican, and thought Rockefeller was an idiot)and my poor Dad never could figure out what happened to his party.

    Revolution: Your comment reminded me of one of the problems I have had with the LP’s for some time. Their unquestioning loyalty to the Constitution as the final say doesn’t square with the needed solutions to our problems. They seemed to have changed a little and become more firm on the principles but the fact remains that the antifederalists and some federalists who didn’t like the document in fact very accurately identifed the holes in the thing and predicted the situation we now find ourselves in. Electing Libertarians won’t fix the problem because the winds of politics change, as you know. We must fix the Constitution, plug the holes if you will to prevent further attacks like those that have happened over the past 100 years or so.

  49. Cooper: Last fall I was watching a major Media interview of Ron Paul when they asked him about the Libertarian views on drug use. He pointed out that in a true free society as envisioned by our founder that the gov’t wouldn’t try to regulate drugs. Once he said that they wouldn’t get off the subject. It wasn’t long before it was on all the major networks as a 30 second sound bite. That is why the general public has the opinions it does. They never got to hear the rest of the interview so DRUGS became the only issue.

    There is an important point here though. This and some other issues the Libertarians have are a bit Utopian in the minds of most folks and are not politically acceptable. This then raises the question of whether we stand rigid on those and probably lose or we are willing to compromise some in order to get others accomplished. This is why I think we need core values identifed that a majority of us, all americans, can agree.

  50. SK: I forgot one other point. When I asked if the primaries were open I was wondering whether Dems can vote for Rep etc during the primary election. In many states out west we do not register political parties and any one can vote for whoever they choose or they can select a specific party ballot in the primary. In Montana’s last primary the Rep and LP/Const. screwed up one of the Dem candidates for congress by voting for his goofy opponent. The Dems returned the favor against the Rep senate candidate. The net result was the incumbant Dem Senator and incumbant Rep Congressman were reelected.

    If the primaries are open in Penn and Maine there may be an opportunity to get votes focused on knocking off the three senators in question.

  51. revolution2010 says:

    Citizen,
    I agree that the Constitution was written long ago and could use some retooling. I do not believe that it would be possible to re-write the Constitution, nor do I think it is a good idea. The other problem with the amending, as I am sure you know is getting the 2/3 States to ratify in a timely manner.
    When you inquire about the Utopian nature of the party, I think that is a positive… I am actually considering a run for a local office under the LP and would love to discuss some of the issues as I think it would be good practice.
    The point of the matter for me is that there seems to be an incredulous amount of corruption in government at all levels. I know this is nothing new and perhaps it is just more pronounced because of the nature of the media outlets we have access to, i.e. Internet, 895 channels…etc.
    I want to run for office because I want to do the bidding of the people inside the constraints that I think legislature should be equitable. I believe the government runs every program save the military ineffectively and inefficiently. Private citizens could take over and create non-profits, not for profits that do the same job and would more likely be more effective. There could certainly be a program for small business loans for entrepreneurial types to take over some of the agencies.
    I am tired of throwing money at problems with no results… teach a man to fish for crying out loud! I believe the American people don’t need to be taxed to help their fellow citizens and government, if it could get back to the business it was originally intended for, could be much more effectively run. I am not some crackpot, I am a mom, concerned that her children won’t have enough freedom left to know what the word means and I feel compelled to do something about it rather than stand by and complain.
    I hope to have some productive conversation to help me achieve my goal.
    I do not see the LP as Utopian, just goal oriented. I don’t see the drug issue much different than any other. The same answer applies that SK was talking about… You will find in our party that some people feel that way and others do not, just like any other party.
    The LP seems like the most uncorrupt party that is viable and that is what I am hoping for. Up for some banter?

  52. Revolution: I am certainly up to some banter and would love to help you in your aspirations to elected office. First, let me clarify my comment about electing LPs is not the answer. I mean it is not the long term answer because parties change as we have seen with the other two. Today, right now, I also believe that the LP most represents what I call original American values, those outlined in the constitution. In my state and especially in my city, getting elected as a LP would be impossible. I attended many Ron Paul meetings here and those folks scared the hell out of me—conspiracies even I couldn’t dream up on my worst day. If the LP in your area is strong enought then I think you should go for it. If not, like here, that leaves the only practicle choice of getting the R’s on the right track.

    I am working with a group of college republicans who got fed up with the party these past few years and were very upset with what happened in the elections last year. They have started a new group to increase young folks involvement in local gov’t that is based on three principles that gov’t should be effective, efficient and accountable. I think that gets to your point about corruption. We have another effort going in the state to increase transparency. If you add this to the other three I think you have a solid “All American” platform to run for local and state office. One that has Libertarian principles behind it without having to raise many of those issues that might scare the hell out of folks.

    You will need to address the practicle matters of crime, safety, etc which I gather are important to you. The LP platform and past positions create a lot of unease among the average folks because they have never had to think through hard philosophical questions like those. They just want the drive by shootings to stop and to be able to walk to work without getting mugged.

    I suggest you track down the following book: “Values Matter Most” by Ben J. Wattenberg. It was published just before Clinton’s reelection but has a great summary of key issues that bother the majority of Americans, from a traditional Democrats point of view. Mr. Wattenberg predicted the downfall of the Dem party power in Congress and white house in 1980 by the way.

    Thats all for tonight. Past my bedtime. I will check back with you tomorrow. Best Wishes

  53. I toyed with the idea of switching to the LP about 5 years ago and there are two reasons I didn’t.

    1) If there is one thing that completely irks me it’s those who are dead set on ideology over practicality to the point of psychosis. I was really turned off by the fact that LP candidates were touting taking our troops out of Iraq after the war had started and it was still ragaing on with no end in sight. Whether they agreed with doing it to begin with is one thing, but once our troops were committed it would have been a total disaster to just remove them without winning the peace, not only for those troops who had already died, but also for the Iraqis. These things are real and cost untold lives, and it makes me sick that politics is played so freely with it.

    2) The candidates themselves were jokes. It’s too much to point each of them out, but many of them didn’t even appear to be principled in personal responsibility, which of course is the other extreme of not even really caring about “ideology” and anything goes. Some sounded more socialist than the far-left and others were just anarchists.

    Because of these two things, it just didn’t look like the place for someone like me who is seriously inerested in affecting the real kinds of change we need.

    Until these guys get their act together and can attract the mainstream avereage responsible person they will stay on the fringe.

  54. BC,
    Your issue with the LP stance on Iraq goes back to the over-idealism I mentioned. A libertarian leader might have a personal belief that meddling in the affairs of other countries is not justified and the removal of troops is needed. The implementation of such a policy would, however, not be so simple. IF a presidential candidate could, in fact, end the war in Iraq by executive order, then it would only be because the war was started by executive order, and represents an over-strengthening of the executive branch.

    More to the point, idealism needs to be tempered with practical application. Not only the limitation of a given government official’s authority to enact certain changes, but the mindset of that government official to choose his/her battles. This is why the LP needs to focus more on the next steps and the top priorities for the country. A sudden end to the war in Iraq would be no better an idea than a sudden end to Social Security. Both need to end, but yanking the rug to soon or too suddenly would be disastrous.

    The thing is, the media will always pull in the stuff that is easy to make fun of and show as extreme or hypocritical. The party itself shows off too much of the vocal minority who voices extreme views. The overall stance of the party is likely closer to your beliefs than the Republican Party, at least in practice. The Reps have enacted so many things that are against their own principles that I don’t trust the things they say, even when they are good. I would give the LP a shot just to end the madness of the Democrats and the hypocrisy of the Republicans. As far as I am concerned, even with the flaws of extremism, I would take an LP candidate over any other.

    The fringe stuff is an issue for most, however, and you are correct in your assessment. Just bear in mind that at least some of the extremism and idealism is what you see broadcast by those who hate the party and see it as a threat. I can show extreme idealists that would freak you out for the Dems and Reps too, its just that such things are not constantly paraded before you, and there are enough normal ones to eclipse the lunatic fringe. The LP just needs more normal people like yourself to help drown out the crazies.

  55. Good Morning Everyone

    US: Man you keep some wierd hours. I spent yesterday reviewing many of your old posts and noticed numerous very early AM discussions. By the way–thank you from the bottom of my heart for your service. And just as another aside. I once let someone swing first in a bar. By the time I took care of hime and his four buddies I had accidently broken the jaw of a female friend, had a fractured orbit in one eye, and four craked teeth that give me fits 30 years later. I still wish I had just decked him when I knew it was coming and ended it quick.

    As for the abortion issue you are dead on. This and the gay issue is driving young people and some of us old folks away from the Rep. party. I too started looking at Lib party as an alternative and have had same experience as BC. I believe another, new party, would be the cleanest way to go but it takes decades to build political infrastructure under the current 2 party system. Which leads full circle back to the who do we take over question. In my area it it the Repubs, at least for now. I have had more luck getting some of them to understand and agree with me than the Lib’s or Constitution party folks. As you well know by now, anarchists are not going to let a little thing like reality get in their way. They are philosopers not strategic or tactical thinkers (that ought to bring em out of the woodwork).

    From the big picture point of view. If we stand on a platform that ignores these issues, at a minimum, or states its not the gov’ts business, at the maximum, then there are those who will not support any of us. These are the hard core 2 to 3 issue people (abortion, gay marriage, guns—-period). If we lose them, will we attrack enough of the disenfranchised to form a majority? I believe it may be possible as many Repubs and traditional (western type) Dems could be pursuaded. I could be wrong but I think the key will be how we describe “smaller government”. The rhetoric of Reagan was good but stopped short of a concrete answer. And comments by the likes of Lou Dobbs “doesn’t America deserve a government that works?” don’t help either. I know alot of people in the govt who work their butts off and are honest, honorable people. Hell some of them even vote Repub. Apparantly most Americans today believe the govt should have a large role in social support programs, even though they know instinctively it won’t work in the long run. In the west we love to bash the gov’t and complain that it owns most of the land. But just try and sell that land or even give it to the state and all hell breaks loose (remember Sagebrush Rebellion?). So, if we start ranting about eliminating all gov’t except the military, treasury and courts (per Constitution) I think we may get our butts kicked.

    This is where Ideal and Real must take different paths (at least for awhile). For example: The young Repubs I mentioned earlier believe in the ideal. But they know they can’t get there directly from here. Thus the platform position we developed is that gov’t must be effective, efficient, transparent, and accountable. Who is going to argue against that? That is their starting point in a town controlled by Progressive lefties. Some people are starting to take notice so who knows.

    A national party should probably go a little farther in defining itself but I think it needs to be much simpler than the Lib platform. This is the marketing side talking. We have become a sound bite society. We need to speak in those terms to most people. It also gives the other side less to attack. This is what happened last year aka., hope and change you can believe in. Lets knock around this: Freedom and justice for all. We all have the right to live free of coersion by others, including the gov’t, crooked business execs and bankers, and the drug dealers and gangs roaming our streets. We all have the right to equal treatment under the law, tax cheats don’t get cabinet seats, black drug dealers get the same sentence as white, etc, etc.

    There is the simple. I would like to know your thoughts on the more complex issues that do need to be fixed if we are going to save this country. For example, I think the mission of the federal reserve needs to be changed to simply handing out the money the treasury prints. Fiat money is not the problem, it is an economy based on lending, fractional reserve lending specifically. We need to provide safety from outside terrorist attack but not stomp on our liberties, how do we do this?

    There are many more you have kicked around on this site. Lets start working up some answers to those questions.

  56. Jon Smith: Dead on except for the problems with the LP at the local levels. I also come back to the practicle point of how to get people elected. The Repubs have automatic access to all local and national elections. The LP does not. Don’t get me wrong, this is no reason by itself to dump the LP out of hand. I just think we need to go at it with open eyes. Which stands the greater chance of success in your mind?

    1) Take over Republicans
    2) Take over the Libertarians
    3) Take over the Democrats
    4) Start a new party
    5) All go independant, no party

    I think good arguments can be made for each, although getting the Dem party out ot the hands of the progressive movement would be tough, but with USW covering our back it could sure be a hell of alot of fun!!

  57. A lot of good questions raised last night. For what it’s worth, here is my take.

    1. NY and NJ do not have open primaries. You have to be registered in the party you vote in. I believe PA is the same, The rest of the Northeast I don’t know but it is not that hard to find out.

    2. I love subversion, had the opportunity to do it once in college with the National Student Association. It is sort of like swashbuckling piracy, very Errol Flynn. The NY Conservative party did it also. Ah, there are stories…

    3. If you are EVER interviewed by the press, sit behind a desk and have a BIG CLOCK directly behind you with a large second hand sweep. It prevents them from editing or, if they do, you can easily point it out blowing their credibility.

    4. Pennsylvania, regardless of Spector and Murtha is blue collar democrat conservative outside the cities. Remember, Rick Santorum was a popular Senator. To knock him out they had to bring in a blue dog democrat and of course the ever “popular” Arlen Spector sat it out. Santorum didn’t help himself by being a lap dog of Bush and most annoyingly Don Rumsfeld. The state is bracketed by Pittsburgh (a success) and Philadelphia (a disaster). It would be fun to run a conservative with libertarian leanings for mayor in Philly. You might win by accident.

    4.Maine, I think is just a case of they have been there forever. When Snow and Collins retire they will probably be replaced by democrats. This theory of mine is referred to as “Refugees from Boston are screwing up all of New England”. In New jersey, in my old CD, we had a liberal Republican Marge Roukema that was repeatedly challenged by a conservative (Scott Garrett). She finally got tired of having to deal with the primaries and stepped down. It was predicted that the Dems would walk away with the seat (a variation on Refugees from NY are screwing up NJ and Pennsylvania). Garret won by being hard and fast to Reagan principles and has been re-elected in ’06 and ’08. Another case study or, actually two are Former Sen. Al Damato and current sen. Chuck Schumer. While not being physically attractive candidates, they knew how to run, were never off message and had the reputations as “Senators Pothole” for their willingness to deliver grassroots services.

    5. For some reason, the Republican Party in NY, NJ, Conn, Mass and the rest like table scraps. I think most party leaders are too small minded and focused on judgeships and appointees. As long as the dems promise these tidbits to them, they are happy to roll over and have their bellies rubbed. Over the last 20 years in NJ we have a huge number of attractive qualified candidates who have won primaries and then been victimized by their primary opponents who have sat out the election. Is it just poor sportsmanship or something else? Off the top of my head I can think of Pete Dawson USMA’59 and Bret Shundler, a very conservative 4 term Mayor who turned around Jersey City. The first elected republican in that cesspool in 100 years.

    5. Don’t mess with the constitution. No matter what changes you might envision, some wise ass lawyer will tie it in knots.
    2nd Amendment is the best example. What exactly is so hard about understanding the meaning of the word “people”? Apparently a great deal. These are the kind of people who brought you Clinton’s “It all depends on what the meaning of is is”. You don’t want to go there.

    6. The big three: Abortion, Drugs, Gay Rights.
    Last two first. I am all in favor of rights for everybody in this country legally. But, if you want to have “gay marriage” (an oxymoron I think), you have to convince the majority of the country it is a great idea and will not have negative repercussions. Somewhere along the line in the past 40 to 50 years we have gotten away from what I was taught in 6th grade civics, majority rules, minority respected. Today it is the squeeky wheel first last and always thanks to an overreaching court system. Drugs are pretty much the same. I am neutral on legalization. Having spent my entire career in the inner city I have seen 1st hand what drugs can do. Three best friends from my school days are dead from them. So, I believe one of two things, either make them totally legal and allow these hooples to overdose themselves (Darwinism at its best) or have a real war on drugs and use those lamp posts in the city to hang ’em high. In between has not worked. Abortion, Wow!. I have never come at it from a religious point of view, “My God Says…” I come at it as a humanist with a developed Western (sorry about that)point of view. It is wrong to kill babies. We live in a society that has freed women and men from personal responsibility via birth control. Yet, these dummies are too stupid to use it. Please don’t argue with me about that, that is still the number one cause of abortion and for that matter the continuing plague of AIDS. Instead, the baby pays for their mistakes. Sure there is incest, rape and the mother’s health and even I can excuse abortion for sure in one and maybe in the other two. I cannot excuse it for sex selection, I have former friends who have a girl and aborted #2 because it was another girl. We no longer expose babies on the mountainside that we don’t want like the Spartans did. We should all try to come together and at least agree that partial birth abortion is bad, delivering a live baby through an abortion and then letting it die is murder. Then work it back to a general consensus on when life begins. Again, majority rules, minority opinion respected but does not prevail.

    I’m just about thunk out at this point. So, folks, enjoy the rest of the day.

  58. Cooper Corbin (and others who shy from the Libertarian Party for religious reasons),
    I used to hold a similar stance. I changed for the following reasons:

    1) The path of a country involves far more than moral issues. Granted, moral issues can be everything to a society, or at least it can seem that way to those who hold their moral beliefs dear, but it cannot be denied that with an overbearing and intrusive government, the door is always being opened a little wider for a loss in religious freedom. A big government which controls all of the money and social interaction is a dangerous thing, and there are non-moral issues at stake that must be considered. A pro-life socialist candidate is still a socialist, and stills send our government on a path towards totalitarianism where it has the power to control things we don’t want it controlling, including moral issues.

    2) If you have control of your own money and your own life and your own social standards, then you have religious freedom. If you lose control of these things, you only have religious freedom so long as the government holds the same beliefs as you.

    3) Theocracy is dangerous both to a society and to the religion that it supposedly represents. The Founding Fathers, being largely men of faith, sought a separation of church and state, not only to protect the freedom of its citizens to choose their own religion, but to protect their faith itself. Consider the demise of Christianity when it first became the state religion. Emperor Constantine created the Catholic church in the process of making Christianity the state enforced religion of the Roman Empire. The Catholics did great things for the faith and used their power and funding to spread Christianity. They also did attrocious things, and presided over many wars, inquisitions, and various other acts of corruption and evil against the human race. The innocent deaths during the Inquisition surpass even the Holocaust, and the methods were horrifyingly grotesque and torturous. The state of Christianity under Catholic church was far enough from the origins of the faith to inspire the birth of the various Protestant denominations. These were the foundations of America and part of the reasons for the First Amendment. Government and Church don’t mix. There is too much opportunity for those in power to use religion to manipulate people into toeing the line and putting up with control, or even evil by their government. This is the case in some of the Middle Eastern countries where Muslim governments are doing things in the name of Islam that don’t even match the Muslim faith.

    The point is, legislating morality is a slippery slope towards intertwining government and religion, which always tends towards corruption of the faith itself.

    4) If a people follow the tenets of a faith because the law requires it, do they really believe it? Is the church even influencing people or winning hearts if it is just following the law? Religions are always at their strongest when the holders of faith act in a manner that is different from what is required. When one goes above and beyond, then they are an influence on their fellowman. When a society changes because it wishes to, it means a great deal more than when a society changes because it is compelled to. What victory for faith is it when people become moral simply to avoid jail? Did faith really score a victory or is it simply the government that scored the victory?

    The issue of abortion is really the only one that can be considered anything other than a moral issue. The issue of homosexuality has no business being a part of law. Marriage itself has no place in a law book or in government. A civil union or life-long contract has a place in legality, but such a thing can be between and gender and any number of adult persons. There is no place for restriction outside of this that is not a direct violation of separation of church and state. What place is it of the government to dictate the sexual acts or life commitments of individuals?

    Abortion is also a moral issue, the only reason it has even a shot at a place in law is that we are talking about a life. Human rights should apply to all humans, and if a human life begins at conception, then so should rights. Some argue that life begins at breath, when the breath of life is breathed. Before then it can be considered that a child is still part of the mother’s body. Some argue that life begins when the heart starts beating, that life is in the blood and when blood begins to course through the body of the child then it is alive. Some argue that life begins when the fertilization is complete, when the two halves of two lives come together to create a new life. This is where the core of the question lies, and until it is answered with certainty, there will continue to be debate from a legal standpoint.

    Even within this context, there is the question of the right of one life or one human to affect another. While the child is not intentionally affecting the life of the mother, it is doing so. An adult would not have the right to force another to feed it and nurture it. That would be a violation of freedom. The act of an adult in a coercive act that initiated the life inside the mother could be construed as reason to terminate the life inside. It may not be the child’s fault, but neither is it the mother’s fault in the case of rape. The child may be innocent, but the mother is as well, and I would fault no one for such a thing. Those who has sex willingly but had a failed contraceptive are a less extreme example of the same thing. The mother was not forced, but she also did not make an error or act a fool. She and the father made a conscious choice to not have a child despite engaging in something that relates to reproduction. Many believe sex to mean more than just reproduction. It can be a form of communication, an expression of love, etc. This is part of the beliefs of the people involved, and there is no place for government to restrict this. So is it legally ok to end the life of a thief? A child is not an intentional thief, so it is hard to say yes, but it is also hard to legally say to someone who did everything correctly that they must now suffer the burden of an unwanted person in their life. Certainly the argument is not that simple, nor is it that detached and free of emotion, but it remains that there is no solid answer. There may be in one’s faith and personal beliefs, but such are not good enough reasons to create laws to rule a society.

    In short, while abortion is a major issue, the nature of the argument is such that I can no longer make it a deciding factor for my vote. I would like a candidate that believes as I do, but their actions in other arenas are more important and relevant. Essentially, I have found that a candidate that promotes freedom is more likely to head the country in the direction I wish. With a weak government, one that leaves the people with the most freedom, I can make my own choices and influence others to follow my example. With a strong government, I am always at risk of losing freedom to do things that may even be aspects of my faith. If the government has too much power, then all that is required for my freedom to follow my faith to be destroyed is for a person whose beliefs do not match mine to gain power. That is a high risk. With the right government, it does not matter who is in power, my beliefs and the actions they require remain safe.

    I support the LP because they have the best shot at heading the country back in the direction of freedom. Whether they accomplish this by being a mechanism of influence over one of the major parties or by actually winning elections themselves, they are the best place for my support to go. Even when their stance on issues do not include things that match my personal beliefs, they are far more likely to create a government that does not meddle in my faith, making the faith itself stronger than if it supported it, and not requiring me to act illegally to continue in my faith.

  59. Oh, and on the drug issue, here is the thing.
    1) If someone wants to destroy themselves, they should be welcome to do so. I have no issue with a substance being somewhat controlled, meaning that consumption is only legal by adults, much like alcohol and tobacco. This simply means that the government is assisting parents in keeping substances away from them until they are of an age that they have a right to be as stupid as they wish to be.
    2) Organized crime in this country gained the most power when alcohol was made illegal. Organized crime now lives mostly on trade of illegal drugs. Much of the destructiveness of drugs has more to do with the people that are being dealt with than the affects of the drug itself. I used to live in a rough area, but I discovered that most of the shootings were between members of the drug scene, and had to do with theft of drugs or with drug dealing territories. Essentially, legalization would have saved a lot of the lives in that area, just by removing the criminal element. The worst effect drugs have on this country is that it feeds the criminals, and creates a subculture that operates outside of the law. It makes users criminals, it makes sellers criminals, and it makes a place for those who choose the criminal life to operate with relative safety and success. The best way to win the war on drugs would be to remove the funding of the criminals. The best way to do that is to introduce competition to them that is legal.

    That said, I find drugs stupid at best. I think most people, including most libertarians feel the same way. The fact that it is all illegal is simply an indication that the government does not trust the people to be anything but stupid fools, and they prey on our own beliefs that people are stupid in order to dupe is into following along. Maybe we are stupid if we fall for that crap.

  60. Jon Smith: A question regarding you very last point on the LP.

    How can the LP make a difference by influencing the Repubs? It seems to me that to build one dilutes the other, in terms of seats in legislative bodies. Unless both sides move in unison the third side wins every time, because majority rules apply. If they move in unison they are the same and should be combinded. I can’t yet see clearly how the LP can get the Repub to move as it wants on key issues without giving up something to the R’s, if they are in fact different. Since this is real politics, what are we willing to give up and what do we want in exchange, the non-negotiable stuff?
    Your thoughts?

  61. The primary way that the LP can influence the RP is by pulling a significant portion of the RP’s votes. Many of the stated goals of the RP are good. They are supposed to be the fiscally conservative party. They are supposed to be the capitalist party. They are supposed to have a grasp on defense that does not involve bowing to the U.N. or playing nice and hoping the evil people stop being evil. They are supposed to be the party that shrinks government and reduces the financial burden on the citizenry.

    They are not. They have proven that they are no longer that party, but they still talk that game, and many, if not most, of their supporters are still buying into their empty words hoping that they will actually do at least some of it. They prefer the liars who might do at least some of what they say to those who do exactly what they say, which is to make this a socialist nation.

    The LP is the party that is actually wanting to do all of those conservative things. They are also not supporting some of the other Republican things, like some of the conservative aspects of social freedom. This is an arena that they RP needs to back off, because they are losing support for strict social laws. The thing is, however, that they are not losing most of it due to that, they are losing it due to their fiscal policy and government growth.

    If the RP loses enough supporters to the LP, they will start to wonder why. When they find out why, they may decide to start being fiscally conservative again. If they do that, they will win back most of their support, as well as strengthen the support of those who did not leave. If they shrunk government successfully, they might not win be back, but I would not fight them, because they would at least be working on the stuff that I care most about. If the religious right stayed a major influence, I would still resist the constrictions of freedom that entails, but I would be a vocal supporter of the fiscal changes.

    Such changes would be accomplished far faster by this method than by building the LP up to a point of having actual majority power. The RP could be what they say they are and do more good in less time. This is the reason that some LP politicians are more apt to choose to run as an RP candidate and act as a libertarian than they are to run as an LP candidate. They have a better shot at a win and at getting something done. It is not so much that a few LP congressmen could influence the RP, its that enough LP voters might make the RP start to act right again. The influence comes from the voter, not from the elected representatives. The successful election of LP congresspersons would simply be the smack in the face that wakes up the RP.

    I personally would prefer to see the LP go all the way, I think it is a better platform than the RP, even if the RP were not hypocrites. I just know that the sooner the government starts to shrink, the better off we all are, thus any mechanism for positive change is fine with me, as long as it is truly positive change, not just lip service or temporary stays of execution.

  62. Jon: I was cheering you on, then it struck me that kind of happened this last year. Many R’s defected to another choice or sat out. I know that disaffection for Bush and the R’s who supported him, economy etc created a wave washed many Dems along. But, if the Ls take votes from the Rs the Ds win until the Rs figure out they need to work with us and change their evil ways. So now, how do we limit the damage the D’s do to us while the Rs are getting religion, so to speak?

    Before you answer let me put this out there. If we focus on getting physcal conservatives elected in the short term, we don’t care what party they are in. More blue dogs (real ones) from D states could help us hold the lines until reinforcements arrive! Maybe—I hope!

  63. Just a,

    I have given up hope on the Blue Dogs. Just like the republicans, they got addicted to power and pork real quick. Seven held the line of that atrocity called the stimulus. Geez!

  64. I would have not problem with voting for true conservatives where they are available. If I were in Ron Paul’s district, I would vote for him even tho he ran as a R. Ron is an actual libertarian, but I would do the same if I felt a candidate was an actual fiscal conservative.

    I believe money is power and vice-versa. This is why I will support a fiscal conservative that wants to reduce the cost of government, even when their other stances are not in line with my beliefs. If a government is weak financially, then it cannot enforce the social restrictions it imposes. If it is socially free, but controls all of the money, then it is too powerful. So, any candidate that is for starving the government is a good option. I don’t think there are many cases where this sort of a choice will have to be made, most people are still doing the lesser of two evils. I can understand voting for the lesser good that has a better chance, but the lesser of two evils is still evil.

    As for the damage caused by the transition period, where the RP loses votes to the LP, then wises up and straightens up and flies right and then wins back support, it is simply a cost of change. Nothing is easy. We are in bad enough shape that the damage the Ds do during that time would only be more ammunition to gain support. We have slipped far enough that real implementation of full on socialist policies will be economically disastrous, illustrating our side’s points.

    In short, I say bring on the pain, there is no easy or painless fix. There is no quick fix, because a government that could change back to what we need it to be overnight would be too powerful. Sweeping changes would be damaging, and the resulting damage would turn many against the idea of freedom and small government. The transition cannot be too fast or too difficult or we lose support. The strategy is long-term and difficult. The damage during power shift on the conservative side is unavoidable, but can be used to garner support for our cause.

    Basically the changes we need would require revolution (which is bloody and violent and risky) or a lot of patience and perseverance along a very long and hard road to a level of government that is acceptable. It may never reach what we idealists (such as myself) are looking for, but it may reach acceptable parameters. A revolution could accomplish what I want, but at what cost? I just don’t think its worth that, at least not yet. But it is worth a lot of work and a lot of pain, and even a period of time where things get a lot worse before they have even a chance of getting better.

    • Jon Smith,

      Good to see you back! You raise some good points here, as do many of the others. I wish I had time to reply to them all tonight but alas it is 4:00 in the morning and I have to find my bed. I will be in tomorrow to tackle some of these thoughts that have been laid out. Thanks to everyone here for keeping the discussions civil and based in honesty. These are the kinds of discussions that we need to have in order to figure out how to get our country back. Different opinions talking rationally and debating ideas. I am quite happy to see it.

  65. Also Just A Citizen,
    realize that the Ls didn’t pick up many R votes. We got around 1/2 of 1% of the vote, within a few thousand of Nader, hardly enough to have stopped Obama’s victory. The Rs lost votes to those who sat out, either too angry, too disappointed in the party, too disappointed with McCain, etc. to even engage in the voting process. This is no surprise, but I would have preferred the relatively superior effectiveness of those wasted votes going to the LP or to any other third party candidate. Even if the LP got no more a percentage than they got, if third parties in general got 5 or 6 percent total it would still have an effect. Not voting is the only true wasted vote.

  66. Jon S: the vote swing for LP was interesting. Out west, it was a little different. The constitution party in Monata for example put Ron Paul on the ballot, they by the way are a group that splintered from the LP a few years back. Anyway, they picked up enough votes that it almost cost McCain the state. That could have been big if Virginia and a few others had gone McCain cause it could have come down to Nevada and Montana in the end. Anyway I think your perspective is correct in that most angry R’s stayed home. Out here not as much because the gun control issue is so huge and folks somehow thought Obama was outright lying on guns, so they got fired up.

    Also, I agree with bring on the pain. Real change can not happen when everyone is doing just well enough to not be bothered with paying attention. Although something could be said for moving under the cover of darkness, or complacency if you will. Have a great evening.

  67. Good to be back USW, and glad to see your audience growing. My blog should be back online soon as well, I am having to rethink some things so its taking longer to do a redesign than I first anticipated. I look forward to your input in the morning. 🙂

  68. Libertarians of Connecticut unite! Register as Republicans, force the party to nominate anyone vaguely right. Dodd is vulnerable big time. Oh, and be sure the nominee pays his or her taxes and does not have a sixteen year boy/girlfriend tucked away somewhere.

    The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

  69. revolution2010 says:

    I just want to shout out to all of you. I have been Blogging, talking, updating all of my friends and whatever else I could to affect change in the thought process or just to make people think about it period. It is great to hear all of the concerns and all of the viable solutions. It is nice to be in the company of folk who care enough to put in work changing it.
    John,
    Thank you so much for the great perspectives on the current situation. I do wonder though, of the several people who I have introduced the LP to and took hold of it, most have been Democrats. I think they are feeling quite a bit like they have been duped! I would not be surprised to see them try and distance themselves from the fringe Democrats by jumping parties. What do you think?

  70. Revolution,
    I agree that many Dems are just as likely to jump parties. As a reformed Republican, I have more insight to the republican mindset and the reasons that they might jump parties, but there are a great many reasons for Democrats to switch as well, and a great number I know that have.

    The LP represents a lot of the social freedoms craved by many democrats, and while they oppose many of the social programs, they are not particularly keen on the overuse and overspending in the military arena, so many Dems see little that they dislike. Also, not all Dems support social programs, at least not at the level that they are now.

    Also, I think the overall government, with the established lines of leaders that approaches royalty, and the rampant corruption, is frustrating people unilaterally. Corruption, lies, misuse of funds, and downright ineptitude is non-partisan. In fact, it’s the greatest area of common ground between the two major parties. It stands to reason that those seeking a new party for reasons of disappointment or anger at their own party’s actions is not restricted to a single political party. I think the Libertarian party, if we can stop bickering with ourselves, could be a draw on both sides, and has the potential to reach great popularity and power because of that.

    I welcome all comers, no matter their previous affiliations. 🙂

  71. patrick carter says:

    I have been a Rep. for most of my life but I have to agree that both major parties have lost their ways. The dems continue to move further left and suprisingly so do reps. As the Libertarian party gains ground I think that it should become increasingly important for them, in an effort to gain national ground, to increase the number of their state representatives. Until there are more senators, congressmen, and governors in state legislations there will never be a POTUS of the Libertarian party. the good news is that the current dems and reps in office make it easier for Libs to gain that important step in the next couple of years, if the Libs continue to organize at the state levels. By putting massive efforts towards the upcoming elections where current seats seem to be more precarious for the incombants important ground will be made. The key in local organization. Growing the base is the only way.

  72. patrick carter says:

    patrick carter said
    February 26, 2009 at 10:38 am
    I have been a Rep. for most of my life but I have to agree that both major parties have lost their ways. The dems continue to move further left and suprisingly so do reps. As the Libertarian party gains ground I think that it should become increasingly important for them, in an effort to gain national ground, to increase the number of their state representatives. Until there are more senators, congressmen, and governors in state legislations there will never be a POTUS of the Libertarian party. the good news is that the current dems and reps in office make it easier for Libs to gain that important step in the next couple of years, if the Libs continue to organize at the state levels. By putting massive efforts towards the upcoming elections where current seats seem to be more precarious for the incombants important ground will be made. The key in local organization. Growing the base is the only way.

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