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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Why Have A Platform?

GD)  why should the LP even have a platform? a statement of principles, yes. but why a platform? (GD
Well, our current platform was billed as a "pure principles platform", so I would in reply ask: what do we say in the 2008 platform that the LP shouldn't be saying?  I agree that candidates should have their own campaign platforms and programs, and our current platform doesn't prevent that at all.
GD) doesn't electoral politics just boil down to the individual candidates themselves anyway? isn't that what people make their decisions on? should make them on? what we want them to make their decisions on? (GD
In competitive races, there's no avoiding it.  In a race like mine for Congress, a vote for Brian The Nice Guy doesn't help our cause very much.  (Of course, we want all LP candidates to be appealing rather than off-putting.)
GD) What purpose does a party platform serve anyway? (GD
GD) Be that as it may, I found a rather extreme position on the reform website arguing for an expansion in the definition of rights that was collectivist in nature, requiring some people to pay for others' "basic necessities" of life. (GD
Hmm, search engines don't find any page on the site with the word "basic necessities". The LRC site consists mainly of member-contributed content, and inclusion on the site doesn't imply endorsement. Endorsement of welfare may be something by Carl Milsted, who has resigned from the LP and LRC and now rejects the label 'libertarian'.
GD) Why can't a person hold radical views and yet recognize the practicality of molding the message of the day for what the electorate is ready to hear? (GD
Many, perhaps most, Reform Caucus members say exactly that.  I'm something of an outlier, in that most reformers have pretty radical principles but advocate strategic pragmatism.  I have moderate principles but advocate a radical-style strategy -- e.g., I run educational campaigns for Congress promoting minarchist principles. Our common ground is to make the LP ecumenical toward both radical and moderate libertarian principles.
GD) With all due respect I feel sick to my stomach every time I read an article on the reformer website. The intellectual quality is often lacking. (GD
Well, I hope that some of the articles make radicals queasy because of high intellectual quality rather than lack thereof. :-)  Grab your Pepto Bismol and try this one: