The Freeman's Burden:

To defend the principles of human liberty; to educate; to be vigilant against the ever expanding power of the state.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Strategy for Freedom

I have spent a great deal of time lately debating the merits of the Libertarian party. I know both ideologically rigid libs and pragmatists and everybody has an opinion. For me it is a question of utility. Parties have only one purpose, to obtain and retain political power. Absent this, everything else is academic. Over the past 34 years, the Libertarian party has done little to accomplish this lone, solitary overarching and all-encompassing goal. Now it is certainly easy to point fingers and play the blame game. I assume that most people reading this have some background on these issues so I wouldn't rehash it here. For my part, it comes down to a simple premise, either the party is reformed so that it is less ideologically rigid and, hence, capable of appealing to a larger cross section of the population or we fold up the tent and go duke it out with the evangelicals for control of the Republican party. Since the latter is a far more daunting challenge that is systemically rigged against us, it seems that moving the LP away from its rigidity and towards more general guiding principles consistent with a maximum of personal liberty and a smaller role for government is the better option. The dynamic is set, the Republican and Democrat parties are moving constantly towards statism, each for their own reasons. The public must have a real choice and if the libertarians are all assimilated by the major parties, our voices will become even more drowned out in the din of demagoguery and cronyism that pervade our hopelessly corrupt political climate. We must be the shining beacon on the hill and a place for the masses to turn when they are ready to accept that the system, and the major parties, are no longer capable of serving their interests. This means that we must become a big tent party. We must accept that libertarians will disagree about some issues, but we must expect that the over-riding goal of the party is to be inclusive and persuasive. I am troubled that libertarian ideas are so pervasive, yet libertarianism is ill-defined and the party is currently to impotent to effectively make the case. We need numbers, to raise funds, to raise our profile and to elect libertarians. With America entering a dark chapter, now is the time to act, lest we be left behind and merely carried along by history because we were to proud to compromise and to invested in our ideals to move effectively for the changes that would stem the tide.


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