Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Libertarian Party Has It Completely Backwards
The Libertarian Party has it completely backwards. Instead of building a groundswell by pushing candidates for local and state office, it tries to accomplish the impossible by focusing on the presidency. I'm sorry to break it to my fellow libertarians (notice that I used a small "l"), but the presidency is not a realistic win for the Libertarian candidate in 2012. And the presidency won't be a realistic win in any election cycle until the Libertarian Party gets its act together and focuses on smaller races. Instead of whining about Gary Johnson not getting invited to the debates, the party should make its presidential candidates worthy contenders by actually getting Libertarians elected to office.
Despite the fact that the party has existed since 1971, few Libertarians have been elected to office of any kind. That's an absolutely pathetic track record. And the reason for the history of failure isn't because libertarians have been disenfranchised. No, there hasn't been a conspiracy. The reason is simple: in every single election cycle, the party focuses on national races. Earth to party leaders: you've tried that failed strategy for more than 40 years, longer than I've been on Earth. What's the saying about insanity? Something about trying the same failed approach over and over again?
I've been quite open about the fact that I've been severely underemployed since I earned my MBA. It pains me to see the obvious disconnect: The party needs someone to travel the country and work to actually get Libertarians elected to office, and I need another source of income. They should pay me a few bucks; I'll get some Libertarians elected. Only after the party has established a track record of emerging victorious in winnable elections should it worry about national elections.
Having said all of this, I'll probably vote for Gary Johnson anyway. But only for one reason: I live in SC, and the state's electoral votes are guaranteed to go to Romney. If I lived in a swing state or blue state, however, there's no way that I'd spend my vote protesting. And that's exactly how the Libertarian Party has positioned itself: as a protest vote.
Afterthought (10/16/12, 4PM EST):
Likes, Libertarian Party's Facebook page: 236K
Likes, Libertarian Party of California's Facebook page: 95
The Libertarian party of the nation's most populous state has NINETY-FIVE likes on Facebook. Tell me there isn't a horrible disconnect between the national and state parties. Tell me that the national party isn't doing something terribly wrong.