L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 306, February 13, 2005
"Another One Bites the Dust"
Exclusive to TLE
A few days ago, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Angela Keaton of The Liberated Space radio program (broadcast on KOOP-91.7 FM Austin). A copy can be found at
The topic: "Why Alan R. Weiss is dropping out of the Libertarian Party."
Do you want to know why?
Because, quite simply, it is in my opinion a waste of time.
Because in nearly 30 years they haven't done squat. We haven't won a significant election, and we have no real prospects for doing so. We're reduced to trying to influence a race or two, and even then its not worth spending one's time doing this when none of the other parties are going to actually pay attention to our issues and concerns. We including "me", because although I won my race and served office, I had no help from the Libertarian Party. Oddly enough, I found I didn't need any.
Because they are in the process of yet again watering down the principles to try and attract voters (which, as my dear friend L. Neil Smith has repeatedly and statistically shown, never works and only annoys the pigs). Pandering to anti-immigration and pro-war sentiment really just makes the LP a sort of Republican Party Lite, but without the fun of actually being successful at it.
Because they can't figure out that Americans aren't philosophical, and they aren't ideological, they're practical. Solving problems is ostensibly what politicians are "hired" to do, and yet Libertarian politicians have a real lack of practical solutions to everyday problems. Running candidates who aren't leaders in their own fields, and haven't demonstrated success in their own lives, is ridiculous. Why should they elect (and follow) such a person? Because they say the right things?
Because holding the next convention in Portland, Oregon, is like holding it in Moscowor Washington, D.C: yet another city that despises gun rights and practices victim disarmament. Portland may be OK for lesbian caffeine-addicted bookstore workers, some of whom are my friends (come to think of it), but it is terrible place for taxpayers, commuters, the environmentalists (really!), business owners, gun-owners, and practically anyone else who wants to live free.
Because the National LP office continues to drain funds from local and state parties that can better use it to win office, something National has proven to know absolutely nothing about. It certainly can't seem to run a simple poll and, er, ask its members where the next convention should be held. So much for being responsive to one's customers. Do what we say, not what we preach? Aren't we the Party that's supposed to understand customers? Wouldn't know it by the number of "povertarians", and you wouldn't know it by how capriciously the secret-ballot-loving LNC behaves.
Because when faced with a principled, extremely hard-working, and dedicated Presidential candidate in Michael Badnarik, they did very little to help the campaign, and yet they continue to kiss Harry Browne's assan ass that has proven to be nearly criminal in its disdain for the money of individual contributors.
Because they ignore or cluck at well-intentioned, exciting new liberty-themed efforts such as The Free State Project, providing little or no encouragement (let alone support). Apparently the LP can't deal with competition. Or cooperation. How ironic.
Because, in the end, we must change the culture of this society and individual opinions, and a focus on books, movies, films, music, and especially education of young people is far more important and likely to succeed than continuing to run well-meaning but unappealing candidates to an audience ill-prepared to accept our messages. Until our customers, the voters and citizens of this country, are receptive, we're trying to "sell" a product that no one wants to buy. Demonstrably so. We must therefore create demandor go out of business.
Does this mean I am all of sudden going to Vote Republican? Vote Democrat? Not on your life. It simply means that I am going to focus much more attention on cultural and educational projects. I organized The Ceres Project and The Ares Alliance to help fund books and films by L. Neil Smith, our leading libertarian writer today. I am participating in a new online radio and television network that is starting up, to spread ideas about liberty and what a better future can really look like. I am helping others, such as Angela Keaton, real on-air talent, get the word out. I'm helping individual candidates whom I think are worthy, such as the Steve Adams for Austin City Council race. By the way, has the local Travis County LP helped Steve very much? Nope. And yet, Steve has contributed substantially to the local LP. Sad.
Most importantly, in a system stacked against any third party, having a third party is not a particularly defendable argument, is it?
I am not going to pay to attend another Libertarian Party convention in another socialist hell-hole, and I'm not contributing another slug-dime to a National Party that treats its members like piggy-banks without any return on investment. I'm sure as hell not going to spend my most precious resourcemy timeon it.
Some have said, "well, Alan has left the LP for a few weeks. I've heard this before." Maybe. Maybe I will be back. I know that my good friend Steve Gordon is working on a plan to revise the LP big-time, a near total re-boot. A total re-boot, a Libertarian Party 2.0, is definately needed. Nothing we have done has really worked.
But until some things change, and until such a time as we can the hearts and minds of individuals so that a candidate has a fighting chance of winning, and until the LP realizes that pandering to anti-immigration and pro-war sentiment sacrifices some of our core valuesbuh bye.