Life's Better Ideas

Occasional links to, and comments on, ideas that I think will make this a better world, and remarks about things that need fixing, too.

Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Friday, November 24, 2006

Reality Check

If you're a Libertarian Party member and you haven't read The Death of Mythos by George Squyres, Platform Committee chairman, please go read it.

Seems to me that maybe we've been aiming too high, right now. I've tried any number of times to get elected to public office at the state level, and once at the city level, all unsuccessful. No money, no organization, etc.

But I have been successful at the very local level - Home Owners Association. I've been elected 26 times (more or less (I've lost track)) as treasurer of our HOA. Yes, it's very small (6 units); Yes, no one else wants the job. Any yes, I did it before I knew what a libertarian was. I did it for a very practical reason - I wanted to make sure my money was spent wisely. But it has given me very practical experience about what's possible, and what's not, and how to deal with the public.

So, my advice to Libertarians, and libertarians, who want to get some practical experience winning election campaigns and learning to govern, is to get elected to your home owners association, or your neighborhood busybody group (maybe you can prevent them from doing something stupid by actually serving on the board as a voice of reason).


Blogger Walter said...

I've been thinking for a while that the reasons are mostly external to the LP. The LP is a radical party - even a moderate LP candidate is fairly extreme by major party standards. That doesn't mean LP candidates are wrong or that voters aren't shallow and philosophically naive.

But voters do retain some degree of rationality. The US is a highly successful nation by any measure, and has been successful under Democrat and Republican rule. Why should voters choose to abruptly change course when the nation is doing so well?

The best thing Libertarian candidates can do is to point out that it's been the libertarian elements of American society which has made it so successful. It's been our freedom of expression, of religion, of commerce, our respect for property rights, of the right to self defense, and universal rights which make the U.S. the most prosperous nation in history.

Instead LP candidates harp on our failures, on how we fail at attaining the above virtues. That rings hollow to most voters. Not that our country should be immune to critisism, of course. But as Reagan showed, optimism sells much better than pessimism, and the LP isn't good at that yet.

6:43 PM  

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