Brian Holtz // Feb 4, 2010 at 3:04 pm
AroundTheBlock, 80% of the sheeple will nod in polite agreement with any competently-crafted political pitch. The trick is to craft a pitch that can get people to disagree with the next 50 pitches they will hear from the nanny staters.
I contend that the way to do that is to reach out very explicitly to the subset of people who can recognize that they are ready to be unplugged from the Left/Right nanny-state matrix. I estimate that subset is about 5%-15% of eligible voters.
Others contend that our strategy should focus on those who are ready to question the need for the existence of the state. I estimate that audience is 0.1% of eligible voters.
Data on libertarian polling are at http://libertarianmajority.net/libertarian-polling.
From any Libertarian demanding to fine-tune what principles that the LP stands for, I demand to hear: what percent of eligible voters do you think would be willing to vote for these principles — right now, with no more persuasion that just to honestly state them — if Wasted Voting were not an issue?
My answer, for the 2008 Platform that the Denver delegates built for us, is 5%-15%, and I believe that LP returns in that range would significantly move public policy in a libertarian direction.
I have no interest in working within a Party who would consider it a success to double or quadruple in my lifetime the miniscule percentage of Americans willing to vote against the existence of government.
Michael @29, I have no idea what part of @28 you think you’re disagreeing with.
“Get back to”? For decades, we were “saying it is about” personal secession, completely open borders, and immediate non-enforcement of all tax laws. It’s only been 22 months since we replaced that with a focused and consistent message about protecting civil liberties and economic freedom on U.S. soil.
So should we get back to saying personal secession, completely open borders, and immediate non-enforcement of all tax laws? And if so, what percent of eligible voters do you think would be willing to vote for these principles — right now, with no more persuasion that just to honestly state them — if Wasted Voting were not an issue?
Brian Holtz // Feb 5, 2010 at 11:14 am
“For decades, we were saying it is about personal secession, completely open borders, and immediate non-enforcement of all tax laws.”
In your imagination, perhaps.
No, in the LP Platform. Open borders was first added c. 1976, non-enforcement of all tax laws was added c. 1980, and personal secession was added c. 1986.
Morey, I’m not trying to spoil the fantasy that every eligible voter is a potential future convert to anarchism. I just want to know what percent of eligible voters do you think would be willing to vote for abolition of government — right now, with no more persuasion that just an honest ~5-minute exposition of that position — if Wasted Voting were not an issue? Why is this question so scary to answer?
I assert that it’s about 0.1%, and that using the LP to grow that cadre is a waste of political effort. I assert that the cause of anarchism would in fact be better served by using a 5%-15% lessarchist voting bloc to move public policy in a libertarian direction, and thus create more examples of how competition works better than government ownership or control. I assert that “compromise and concealment” are the wisest electoral strategy for anarchists, and that anarchist candidates implicitly admit this every time they conceal their anarchism from a general-voter audience. I remain astonished that they then come back to the LP clubhouse and, once safe inside its walls, demand that abolition of all functions of government be the the platform that other LP candidates have to go out and campaign on.
Brian Holtz // Feb 5, 2010 at 7:44 pm
If cryto-anarchism in the LP platform was such a deep dark secret for three decades or so, then why does every pundit in America seem to feel entitled to dismiss any proposal labeled “libertarian” with a strawman about privatizing roads and police?
Your argument is reality-impaired. 0.0001% of the U.S. population is about 308 people. What’s a “fantasy” is to think that only 308 people have read the quotes below.
And these are just the ones I know about. How many thought leaders have read our old crypto-anarchist platform and then dismissed the LP as self-marginalized?
“The Libertarian platform is a prescription for anarchy.” Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 2000-07-14
Libertarians “espouse extreme views Like the cessation of all taxation, public education and government regulation.” Dallas Morning News, 1998-11-08.
“several citizen panelists agreed that they found the anti-government platform of his Libertarian party too extreme”. Philadelphia Daily News, 1997-10-20
“to these mainstream issues the Libertarian Party platform adds such problematic esoterica as jury nullification, a reliance solely on tort law and ’strict liability’ to govern pollution, and the right of individual political secession. When libertarianism is presented as an all-or-nothing bargain, interested voters are more likely to leave the whole package on the table.” Reason, 1996-07-01
“settle environmental clashes in court, permit open immigration […] if taken literally, the Libertarian platform is so far out of the mainstream as to be high and dry […]” New York Times, 1992-10-22
Consider a Libertarian?; Get Serious – “Standing against things is the Libertarian Party’s specialty. Its platform calls for government to cease and desist from almost everything except the repealing of laws […] Police and armies that keep bad people at bay, and roads that make practical the freedom to travel […] The Libertarians’ extremism (they oppose laws setting minimum drinking ages, or restricting immigration, and so on) makes them unelectable.” George Will, Washington Post, 1992-07-09. Also ran as:
* Libertarians? No, US Needs A Legitimate Fourth Choice. Chicago Sun-Times, 1992-07-09.
* Libertarians Stew On Fringe. San Jose Mercury News, 1992-07-09.
* Extreme Views Doom Libertarian Nominees. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 1992-07-13.
* From The Prison Of One Idea. Rocky Mountain News, 1992-07-12.