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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

More Radical Than The Radicals

BH) I've now listened to several hours of Ruwart campaign appearances, and I don't think I've once heard her advocate or defend any of the radical principles that distinguish her from reformers/minarchists.  So far, she's saying many of the the vague and happy things that Rothbard viciously attacked Clark about in 1980.  Why nominate a zero-state abolitionist if she's not going to promote and defend that position?  If we want a middle-of-the-libertarian-road campaign, why not nominate a middle-of-the-libertarian-road candidate, like Phillies? (BH
AP) I want someone who can communicate our basic message to voters outside our party. (AP
Well, Alex, then I guess I may in the end be the more radical of the two of us, because I want a Libertarian candidate who is not embarrassed to openly and clearly advocate the same destination to both Libertarian audiences and non-Libertarian audiences.  I don't want any of us to have to always fear that the next question for our candidate will be one that boxes her out from offering the sugar-coated feel-good directional answer over her embarrassing honest destinational answer (e.g. zero government, legalized child prostitution).  I favor the Platform being directional to the extent that our candidates can't all agree on destination, but I think that each of our candidates should forthrightly and honestly explain her own preferred destination to every audience. Isn't that supposed to be the point of an ideological party of principle?
Maybe that will get me booted from the Reform Caucus, but I have a theory that goes like this: you can lead an anarchist to a general audience, but you can't make them preach anarchism to it.  I offer a challenge to every radical Libertarian reading this: nominate for us a YouTube video of an anarchist/radical LP candidate giving the most radical pitch you've ever seen offered to a general-voter audience.  It's easy to be an anarchist in the cozy little confines of Third Party Watch, but I advocate exactly the same sized government in PlatCom debates as I do in local League of Women Voters debates.  How many anarchist Libertarian candidates can offer video evidence that they do too?
I agree with you that each of Phillies, Root, Kubby, and Ruwart have proven that they are very good at communicating our shared Libertarian values to general audiences.  But I give Phillies and Root extra credit for having more of a full-disclosure pitch, with less detective work required of voters who want know how little government the candidate actually wants us to end up with.  I would love it if the LP Platform were just a transcript of the standard stump speech of a "plumbline" candidate like Kubby or Ruwart, because I can never detect any zero-state abolitionism in what they say to general audiences.