Moving the Libertarian party towards the Real World
The Libertarian party has become a haven for Idealists. Some LP members have written they would rather keep the party "pure" than win elections. That is not the definition of a political party, rather it is the definition of a self-help group.
Pure libertarians tend to think in absolutes. This is the same problem that George Bush has. "You are either with us or against us." This mentality ensures that the Libertarian Party will accomplish nothing. As long as the Party views the world in terms of black and white, the scope of government will continue to grow.
How do we change this?
First we need to adapt. It makes no sense to create an extreme and detailed party platform which can be used against local candidates. Neither the republican nor democratic parties have a platform which goes into such excruciating detail. Libertarians must realize that many of our ideals are taken to the extreme, and are presented as such. Until we adopt the idea that change can be incremental, we will never gain an audience.
We need to present oursleves as thoughtful and responsible thinkers. For example instead of proclaiming items such as "We would abolish the Department of Education." we need to state this in a professional manner: "We would transition The Department of Education back to the states. According the the Constitution that is its proper place."
Finally we need to realize that each person will find a differing degree of government vs private ownership acceptable. Would Thomas Jefferson be classed as a libertarian today?
"As to the new Constitution... Would it not have been better to assign to Congress exclusively the article of imposts for federal purposes, and to have left direct taxation exclusively to the States? I should suppose the former fund sufficient for all probably events, aided by the land office." --Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 1787. ME 6:395
According to the current "Pure" Libertarian stance on taxation EVEN JEFFERSON would not be seen as Libertarian. There is something wrong with the party when it venerates the founding fathers but would find they are not members by today's standards.