The Libertarian Party, A Failing Business
Today's Libertarian party can be summed up by Veruca Salt and her famous line from Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory : "I Want It Now!" Although the idealism and principles of the Libertarian Party is admirable, like a teenager they never quite seem to understand that the art of compromise is required when dealing with other people.
For 30 years the party has struggled, never altering its no compromise message, never wavering from its stance of "I'd abolish program X on day one!" To use a quote we are all familiar with "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result." Yet that is exactly what the Libertarian party keeps doing. Every election they send the same message, expecting that one day the people will suddenly wake up. The ONLY time that message will work is the day the system is so well and truly broken that voting will no longer be an option!
The one thing that has always struck me as odd is the contradiction between the Lib philosophy and the LP in practice. The principles of the free market are constantly brought up by the LP as the ultimate good. Yet in the political arena the LP has not learned that you MUST sell your product to the customer. If your product is not selling, then either:
A) your product needs revamping
B) your advertising message is off
Just like any MONOPOLY, the "purist" Libertarian camp has blocked the free market reform of ideas that need to take hold if the Libertarian Party is to become successful. Again we need to view the party as a business in the market of politics. If the business performs poorly, you either shut it down, or look for a new board of directors.
So how do we improve it? First I think we need to emphasize the general principles our party stand for. This means Economic Freedom, and Personal Liberty. Second we need to set our plank based upon the direction we would take the government, NOT the ultimate goal we wish to achieve. Third, we need to press those portions of our platform which the local voters will respond to.
For example, in a conservative district we need to OUT-conservative the standing republican. That means taking a tough stance on issues we support like the 2nd amendment, a balanced budget, illegal immigration. In a liberal district we emphasize our social positions. Drug war reform, gay marriage, anti-patriot act etc.
We need to be able to strip the incumbents of the very issues they run on. We hammer the republicans for passing big government. We hammer the dems for passing the patriot act or the war. But we give our local candidate the freedom to run on part of our platform without running on the whole thing.
Finally just like any business, we need to do customer research. Each local district needs to find what issues made the incumbent a winner, and see which of those promises he broke while in office. If we run the LP like a business, we will win elections. If not we need to declare bankruptcy and close up shop.