Rhonda Jackson: ‘I am a Libertarian’

Video H/T Jerry S. in IPR comments

29 thoughts on “Rhonda Jackson: ‘I am a Libertarian’

  1. JimDavidson

    I took a look around using Google and did not find any particular bio data on Ms. Jackson.

    The video appears to be featured on a Denver open media site, and to be a part of a project about libertarianism.

  2. G.E.

    I didn’t say I didn’t find it worthy, Mr. Defensive. I was asking you why you did? Feel free not to answer me, but I’ll comment on any damn thread I want to, sucka!

  3. paulie cannoli Post author

    Why I feel it was worthy: I think the Libertarians have a shortage of materials like this – short videos where people explain their libertarian beliefs in an understandable way. There is very little outreach, and what outreach exists is aimed almost entirely at disgruntled Republican conservatives.

    The party is not diverse; there are far fewer women than in the general population, and hardly any black people. This creates an atmosphere where other people who are not white males often do not feel welcome, even though they may well agree with the party’s views. It also looks bad when people see the LP on television, such as the conventions on CSPAN. When they see an almost all-white group talking about opposing affirmative action and welfare, for example, it is far easier for them to write off the opposition as being based on racism.

    I’ll comment on any damn thread I want to

    Of course. It’s just that if you choose to comment on a thread, you must have some sort of interest in it – after all, there are so many that never get any comments at all, and here we are in double digits already.

  4. G.E.

    outreach exists is aimed almost entirely at disgruntled Republican conservatives.

    These are the notes she’s sounding, imo.

    It’s just that if you choose to comment on a thread, you must have some sort of interest in it

    Yeah. I had an interest in knowing why it was blog-worthy. Thanks for your answer.

  5. paulie cannoli Post author

    By the way GE, off topic on this thread, but I’m banned at the site where you posted this, and would not want to increase their traffic by posting there even if I wasn’t:

    I’m really getting sick of these whiny petitioners, whose livelihood is dependent upon the state and who are in love with communistic “public” property. Get real jobs.

    Our livelihood is not based on the state, it is based on fighting to get rid of it. We have real jobs based on voluntary contributions towards causes that people who contribute find valuable.

  6. Catholic Trotskyist

    I am working on getting someone to make videos for me where people will talk about “why I am a Catholic Trotskyist.” So far, no success.

  7. G.E.

    Paul – I do not count you among the whiners. But the job of “getting rid of the state” is necessarily dependent on the state’s existence, and b) furthermore, the constant declaration of private property to be “public” is what I really take exception to. I’m talking about the constant whiners who are like Jesse Jackson, shaking people down for money and priveleges, harassing business owners and declaring private property “public,” and demanding employment from the LP.

  8. paulie cannoli Post author

    While we are on the subject of chunks of the population that the libertarian message does not reach nearly enough, I should mention social/economic class.

    It isn’t as simple an issue as cursory look at statistics might indicate – there is no shortage of libertarians who are broke. But, many of these are ‘downwardly mobile’ – well educated, and/or have parents who are or were well off and/or well-educated.

    There are far fewer Libertarians (party or movement) who come from a poor or lower middle class background without easy access to higher educational opportunities. Yet, there are lots of people from these backgrounds who hold libertarian views. There is a lack of effort in reaching poor and blue collar communities and explaining libertarianism in terms which make sense to people from such backgrounds. Not that it does not exist at all – just very little.

    In turn, this opens up libertarians to (often unjust) accusations of greed, uncaring elitism, etc., when discussing laissez faire economic policies.

    We need to broaden our appeal in a number of ways. It isn’t the weakness of the ideology, just of how it is presented in most cases.

  9. paulie cannoli Post author

    the job of “getting rid of the state” is necessarily dependent on the state’s existence

    Yes, the entire freedom movement, not just the party, would not need to exist if we were already free. But we aren’t, so it does.

  10. rdupuy

    “The party is not diverse; there are far fewer women than in the general population, and hardly any black people. This creates an atmosphere where other people who are not white males often do not feel welcome”

    This is an absurd leap of logic.
    People feel welcome or unwelcome for a variety of factors, but I would say it almost never includes calculating male/female ratios and comparing that to census stats.

    Someone has bought into a load of social engineering hoo haa.

    You want someone to feel welcome, shake their hand and say welcome friend.

  11. paulie cannoli Post author

    No, it is far from an absurd leap of logic. While some white folks here might feel perfectly comfortable going into a bar where all or almost all the other patrons are black, for instance, I’m sure many would feel out of place. It works the other way, too.

    Also, many people become Libertarians because they know one or more personally. If there are none on your side of town, it’s a self-perpetuating problem.

  12. rdupuy

    I’m staying with absurd. And your kind of folksy rant doesn’t bolster your theory.

    First of all, lets grant you that some people are race conscious. Perhaps someone doesn’t feel comfortable going into an all black bar, but what if that person IS black. Perhaps and all black bar is the perfect welcoming environment that individual.

    That person who formally felt very comfortable going to his black bar, may stop going completely when it gets balanced out to a population matching 15% black, and 85% non-black (whatever the number is today).

    And if you go to a meeting and its 30% women and 70% men, that may not be representative of the population as a whole, but I doubt its any real issue…most people would look at that and just says its a mixed group.

    I don’t mind that you didn’t really support your theory with any facts, just kind of a gut feeling…my gut feeling is, having been to many LP meetings, is you know that girl that is a pagan, talking about her witch stories, and the guy that has a loaded revolver under the table…those are the people that are making people feel uncomfortable.

    I’m not quite sure its as complicated as gender mixes…

    Heck, lets be blunt, there are people that need to take a shower for goodnessakes….

    we got a lot to discuss about making ppl feel comfortable before trying to social engineer the group.

    How can anyone spend limited resources, not using them effectively? Of course, the next member to join the LP should feel welcome to join even if its just another white man.

  13. paulie cannoli Post author

    Perhaps and all black bar is the perfect welcoming environment that individual.

    Certainly. Of course, since I am interested in a party that advocates liberty for all, I am not interested in it being a racial enclave and otherwise serving a small demograhic slice.

    It’s human nature. You walk into a room with 500 thin people and you are the only fat guy. Most people will feel self-conscious in that situation. It isn’t that the message of liberty is inherently unappealing to a broad cross-section of the population, it’s that very little effort is being made to market it beyond a limited audience, in terms that make sense to different kinds of people.

  14. G.E.

    Yeah, Paul, and most of the Freedom Movement is not professional. I’m not dissing you. I’m dissing the anti-Mackey whiners who complain about his third cousin being a statist while trying to communistically expropriate his lands.

  15. rdupuy

    In business, you have to look at costs.

    Lets say you were trying to sell widget A.

    If by some chance you ran across the information that widget A is popular in a certain demographic,
    you could use that information in 2 ways.

    Lets say, you found out your product is popular among hispanics, age 15 to 30.

    Lets even go further to say, there is a hip spanish language magazine, that is often read by young hispanics, age 15 to 30.

    An advertise, costs $10,000 to run, and can bring in $50,000 in new profits.

    Now lets say, your Widget A is completely unattractive to another demographic,
    Irish women of retirement age.

    (Widget A is a skateboard, after all).

    Now another thing you could do with the information that your product is favorable to young men,
    is spend your entire advertising budget advertising to elderly women instead.

    You run advertisement after advertisement in a magazine for retired women, and generate no sales.

    Option B, is called a bad idea.

    Even an absurd one.

    The fact is the LP is not a skateboard. However, this much I know is true.
    Libertarian Party members, largely come from people with a Libertarian philosophy.

    Most people develop their libertarian philosophy long before they ever go to their first LP meeting.

    Long before they are aware of the LP party at all, long before they have had a chance to study any demographics of that party.

    So, its hard to conclude the demographics of the LP have anything to do with it.

    And if the small-l libertarian philosophy, as many of us that were introduced to it by the great (and female) author Ayn Rand…is still preferred by men….thats an interesting fact, how will you use it? To our advantage, or not?

  16. JimDavidson

    I agree with Paulie, based on many conversations with blacks, women, and others. The gay community has felt more or less at home in the LP, especially in the California LP. Many women have expressed difficulty with attending LP events because they feel like targets for unwanted attention from six to twenty men.

    Many women express relief at seeing even one other woman attending an LP event.

    I believe this concern is even more deeply felt by some blacks and other minorities. Again, it is something that I have heard expressed, to me, as a concern.

    Left to their own devices, people often feel like being near other people who are like them, or share common interests. There was no rule in my high school’s cafeteria forcing anyone to sit anywhere. But there was definitely a black students table. There were a couple of jock tables. There were several tables of only women.

    Outreach to members of other communities who are not currently well represented is important. It is, of course, very difficult for the LP right now because so many prominent members of the party, including the presidential nominee, are bigots.

    Outreach to women and the gay community has been made more difficult by the pillory of Angela Keaton. Outreach in the gay community was made more difficult by the nomination of Barr.

    One could go on.

  17. paulie cannoli Post author

    rdupuy,

    Libertarian philosophy is not limited demographically in the same way as the Libertarian party.

    There was one attempt I have read to administer the Nolan quiz in random telephone surveys by a professional polling company. I can’t recall all the details, but I think they may have been hired by Cato or Reason.

    They found that low-double digit percentage of the population is small l libertarian in a broad sense – not meaning those who adhere to the non-initiation principle or describe themselves as libertarians, but those who test within the libertarian quintile on the WSPQ.

    The percentage of the “black” population that tested libertarian was slightly HIGHER than that of the white population.

    I’ve also personally administered the quiz as part of OPH at hundreds of colleges, with tens of thousands of data points, and the *biggest* cluster tends to be left-center-libertarian – yet there are relatively few young people, and relatively few left leaning libertarians, in the LP.

    I also went to several Ron Paul meetups in different parts of the country, and they had a much better demographic balance – about half women, plenty of people of all ethnicities, a lot more young people than you will find at typical LP gatherings.

    I don’t think this was because of immigration, abortion, or other issues where Ron Paul is more conservative than the LP.

    I also got signatures to get Ron Paul delegates on the primary ballot in a majority “black” area, and he had quite a bit of support – in fact far more than any other Republican, although not as much as the Democrats, especially Obama. Again, I think this support was due to issues like the war in the middle east, the war on drugs and the federal reserve – not so much because he is pro-life or other issues where he disagrees with most LP members.

    So, the market is definitely there. The attempt to sell to it, not so much.

  18. MG

    >The party is not diverse; there are far fewer women than in the general population, and hardly any black people.

    MG: No. In 2001 and again in 2005 Julie Chorgo did a study for the national LP that determined that Libertarians had as many women registered as the Democrats, more minorities than the Greens, and more native Americans than the older parties or Greens percentage-wise. Worldwide this obeservation is even more incorrect. Chorgo simply confirmed common knowledge among senior Libertarians for some time who are active and know what’s going on.

    >. It also looks bad when people see the LP on television, such as the conventions on CSPAN.

    MG: Conventions vary. There were plenty of Black, Hispanic, and Native faces in the national Conventions in 2000, 2002 and 2004. I’ve also read posts that denounced having all ‘White, Middle-Class’ faces on C-span when the person referred to was a Muslim or Hispanic or in one case, Russell Means. People at national conventions will tend to have a little money, but locally they’re working class dominated in my experience. We’re also very friendly to Jews and other ethnic or cultural groups not mentioned, in my view.

    Local conditions may vary, and one should not confuse one party set of officials or convention attendees with the wider LP. But if anything I’ve heard along with complaints about diversity complaints that there are too many Blacks, Native Americans, Asians, Jews, Gays, etc. in the LP from people of a right wing ‘small government’ background.

    People have their own perceptions that are hard to break. During the anti-anti gay marriage amendment fight, I got a pitch from a sincere leftist for the LP ‘right-wing propertarians’ to get involved in her group and ‘get beyond their prejudices.’ I then pointed out that one of the board members of her group was the chair of our state LP. To her credit she took it well, saying ‘So much for prejudice.’

    Regardless, I certainly encourage plenty of anyone who feels under-represented, right or wrong, to get involved.

    Hope this helps.

  19. paulie cannoli Post author

    MG: No. In 2001 and again in 2005 Julie Chorgo did a study for the national LP that determined that Libertarians had as many women registered as the Democrats, more minorities than the Greens, and more native Americans than the older parties or Greens percentage-wise. Worldwide this obeservation is even more incorrect. Chorgo simply confirmed common knowledge among senior Libertarians for some time who are active and know what’s going on.

    Registered is one thing, actively involved is something else.

    MG: Conventions vary. There were plenty of Black, Hispanic, and Native faces in the national Conventions in 2000, 2002 and 2004.

    I was there in 2000, 2004 and 2008. There was an embarrassing lack of diversity each time.

    But if anything I’ve heard along with complaints about diversity complaints that there are too many Blacks, Native Americans, Asians, Jews, Gays, etc. in the LP from people of a right wing ’small government’ background.

    Tell them they went to the wrong room. The KKK meeting is down the hall.

  20. G.E.

    I was there in 2000, 2004 and 2008. There was an embarrassing lack of diversity each time.

    Why is it “embarrassing”? Geez. I find your thinking on this issue disgustingly collectivist. Who cares??

    The only thing “embarrassing” about LP convention attendance is that there’s too much diversity: libertarians (the minority), along with conservatives, liberals, statist libertines, FraudTaxers, etc.

  21. paulie cannoli Post author

    Why is it “embarrassing”?

    See all my previous comments in this thread above. You used to understand this.

    Who cares?

    Almost everyone.

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