Welding The Establishment to the Libertarian Party
It has been interesting to watch the changing narrative surrounding the announcement by Gov. Gary Johnson that he is endorsing Gov. William Weld for VP. One could imagine my surprise as I see advocates for that union co-opting arguments that they - in many cases the exact same people - argued against vehemently earlier in the year when I employed them against the wisdom of a Johnson candidacy. I can't see people's faces while they are posting, but I can't imagine that level of hypocrisy being carried off with a straight face. At least I hope not.They have also adopted some new talking points. One of these is that the thing holding the Libertarian Party back has been the level of "seriousness" of the participants and the candidates with the party. I have written extensively on some of the forces holding the party back, and I disagree that this is even a small part of the issue.It is even more unexpected to hear this case made by Johnson-Weld advocates because the last candidate for president under the Libertarian banners was - Gov. Gary Johnson. I have had a lot to say about the Governor's fitness, or lack thereof, for winning office this year, but I would certainly never suggest that he is does not appear serious about running for office. There is no evidence that the American people just didn't find him serious enough in 2012.The same with Bob Barr. He may be a terrible representative of Libertarian principles, but if anything that makes the case even stronger. Here is a tangible example of the party diluting it's message and accepting compromise in an effort to capitalize on "experience" and "seriousness." At the time, Reason Magazine's senior editor Radley Balko called Barr "the first serious candidate the LP has run since I've been eligible to vote.";So as the last two candidates put forward by the LP have been entirely serious... what are these people even talking about? Just making it up as we go?Are they talking about the candidates for other, local offices? The other nominees? The rank-and-file? And if so, what is the proposed answer? Are we going to take every Libertarian that doesn't fit the mainstream mold - which is a pretty high percentage, I should think - and hide them in a closet for the duration? Exclude them from events? Expel them from the party? What?And if so, to what end?Make no mistake - there is a deliberate and studied effort to paint the Libertarian Party as a group of fringe whackaloons. A party of fools not worth paying attention to. Yes - they will take the strangest member of the group and gleefully plaster them all over the media as being representative of the movement and party. Does anyone believe this is by accident? Are there Libertarians out there that actually believe this is a level playing field?Before joining the Libertarian Party, Vermin Supreme ran campaigns within both mainstream parties. Did the parties go to shit and get dismissed as not serious by American voters as the result of his very public attention-getting efforts? Unfortunately, no. I wish it were that easy to get rid of the blight on our land that is the political machine. And Vermin is about as extreme a candidate as one could hope for, so clearly that isn't going to work.The stark, and for me quite obvious, truth is that the Libertarian Party is not welcome. It is a rigged game, and hoping to appease the tormentors won't work for the LP any more than it does for any other victim of ongoing, agenda-driven systematic abuse.But please take some time to dig and try to understand why that is. Realize that the principles of Liberty will never be welcome at the table of power currently occupied by two statist parties, whose representatives are compromised and beholden to the powers that be. They will make every effort to prevent genuine civic participation. Even if we wear our best suits, stand up straight and wash behind our ears.If your only goal is to see an "L" on TV next to your master's name, and you do not actually care what that "L" represents, perhaps pandering, diluting the message and trying to fit in is a good strategy. Because the Libertarian Party will only ever be welcome if the threat that it represents to power is neutralized. In other words, as a shadow of it's former self, consenting and undertaking to join and become the bullies rather than defeat them.My question to everyone with a vote at the convention is this:Is that why you joined the Libertarian Party?