Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 445, November 25, 2007

"The sound you just heard is the sound of the coffin
closing on the 'brand name' known as the Libertarian Party."

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The Bankruptcy of the National Libertarian Party
by Alan R. Weiss
Economics Editor, TLE

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

In "Instead of a Speech", L. Neil Smith proposed that most logical of analogies ("Ron Paul as the 21st Century's Eugene McCarthy") and then proposed that most logical of positions: disagree with Dr. Paul about a couple of issues if you must, but support him. Neil proposed, as I have a number of times, that the Libertarian Party should endorse Ron Paul's candidacy and wholeheartedly throw its support behind his campaign.

Given the history of the Libertarian Party, I was hopeful that, reason would win out. Given the history of the Libertarian PARTY (emphasis mine), I was pretty sure this would not happen, despite Neil's suggestion.

Guess what? Apparently it won't happen. No where on the national Libertarian Party's website is there any endorsement of Dr. Ron Paul. Despite literally tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of supporters, despite new liberty-minded blood flowing into the capillaries of the Tree of Liberty (which is, of course, the campaign of Ron Paul for President), the national Libertarian Party is holding the equivalent of an eBay auction to decide who their candidate will be. And hey, no offense to eBay.

The sound you just heard is the sound of the coffin closing on the "brand name" known as the Libertarian Party. Good riddance. Like the American Dollar, the American Libertarian Party has become a bad brand. Proctor and Gamble would kill it and relaunch the product under another name.

I say this as a former party member. I say this as a former member who joined in 1978 in the Ed Clark for Governor (California) campaign, who started a subversive little Students for a Libertarian Society (SLS) chapter at California State University Northridge, a hotbed of anarcholibertarian Economists (thank you, Dr. Gordon Johnson, for giving me a copy of L. Neil Smith's The Probability Broach!). Our merry, sexy band of Libertarians-with-long-hair met the Orange County Right-Wing John Wayne God Bless America Libertarians and broke bread together, working on Ed's campaign. We did it again in the Ed Clark for President campaign in 1980.

I say this as a Libertarian Party member who ran for the Second Worst Office in the State of Texas, and won—and slashed property taxes by 50%. I say this as one of three individuals who gave a Nominating Speech at the Atlanta 2004 Libertarian National Convention for Michael Badnarik, while being Vice President of the Free State Project ( I say this, darn it, as a libertarian who has fought this battle since aged 15, when I realized the lies being told about "free beaches" made no sense (having experienced them myself), and I started questioning the very foundations of our history (thank you, the late Bob White, who went to see Jesus when he was murdered in Panama. Before he did, he published that right-wing-wacko-conspiracy book known as "The Duck Book." That little self-published comic book exposed the Bilderburgers, the Trilateralists, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Panama Canal giveaway scam, and the horrors of printing-press money decades before Alex Jones (bless him)).

I say this, in short, as someone who has been on the inside. I knew some members of the Libertarian National Committee. I worked on Badnarik's 2004 Presidential campaign. I was never a real Party apparatchik, just on the radical fringes of it. But let me tell you, from not endorsing Ron Paul to practically ignoring the Free State Project, from holding national conventions in socialist cities to the utter corruption exposed by the late Publisher of "Liberty" magazine, R. W. "Bill" Bradford, the Libertarian Party is no longer useful as a gathering place for liberty-minded individuals, nor as a vehicle for influencing hearts and minds.

Why do I care?

I care because of a simple question: what happens after Dr. Paul's campaign is over? Either he wins the Republican (I can barely say the name without gagging, but there you go) nomination and goes on to avenge Barry Goldwater's 1964 campaign (not to mention Dwight D. Eisenhower's spirit!), or he goes back to Congress and the torch is passed to—whom?

What organization will exist to accept all this new blood, all these new—lets say it—libertarians? The corrupt, stupid, in-fighting Libertarian Party? A new third party with a new brand name? A revived Old Right Republican Liberty Caucus? The utterly morally bankrupt Demo-rat Party? Where do individuals go after Dr. Ron Paul's campaign?

Hopefully into the White House, of course.

I have two kids in university now—and the hottest little "happening" is the "flash mob." It is this generation's equivalent of streaking (running nude through campus). A flash mob is organized via email, Facebook, or text messaging. A large group of people gather, and then, given a subtle clue, behave in interesting and bizarre ways in public. YouTube it. What fun!

I hope the Ron Paul campaign is not a flash mob, though. I hope this really is the start of the Next American Revolution. Lets think deeply what vehicles we can each drive to get us into position to save a rapidly dying American republic, no matter the outcome. Because if Ron Paul wins, he is going to need a lot of ground support to carry out the return to the Bill of Rights. If Ron gets buried, we all need to keep the fire alive. The Libertarian Party could have been that place, but it has snubbed one of its own, just as it has snubbed any liberty-minded organization that is not part of itself (such as the FSP). The Libertarian Party must be relaunched, or must die.

Alan R. Weiss is a CEO of small, growing, very high technology company in Austin, Texas, where he divides his time between work, family, rooting for the University of Texas, and mumbling incoherently about "Bob White was Right" between fitful nights of insomnia. Married 25 years with three grown offspring, he's working on the Ron Paul campaign as an individual contributor.


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