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Sunday, September 14, 2008

When Was the LP Much More Unified?
Eric, I’m no fan of a rah-rah focus on electoral victory, but I’d like to know when you think the LP was “much more unified”. The early 1980s had infighting far more vicious than now, the early 1990s had similar fights over SoP/Platform/mission, and a lot of the time since then was marked by either scandals or accusations of scandals. From what I can tell, the most harmonious era of the LP may have been from birth until about 1979, which happens also to have been the era of the LP’s most spectacular growth in its electoral results.

I’m not sure what size you mean by “big tent”. The polling data I link to above show a potential pro-more-freedom vote of 13% to 20%. How much of them would have to join the LP before you’d say our tent was so big as to undermine our job of being “factional and quirky”?

As for ideological branding, I only use it in self-defense, when people are trying to make the party’s fundamental documents say that their ideology is better than mine. I don’t see such self-defense as being exclusivist or divisive, but rather the opposite.

John Amendall, when concocting rationalizations for not facing my points, you might not want to hang a bell on the fact that you’re not facing them.

The singular verb in my title here tells you that what’s dumb/ill-advised is the _idea_ of multiple parties. No competent reader here would think that I was instead trying to say that the creation of a second freedom party makes them both individually or collectively ill-advised. Nor would any competent reader mistake what sense of “dumb” I was using — although each of multiple freedom parties might indeed be rendered effectively voiceless if all they do is drown each other out by offering inconsequentially different choices.