New Path for the LP: ‘Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats’

New Path for the LP is a slate of candidates for the Libertarian National Committee. The following was emailed to Paulie by New Path Chair candidate George Phillies:

New Path is issuing its program poposal for the LNC.
To read the full document:
Copies of letter CDs have been mailed to state chairs and a few others across the country.

A Simple Summary:
Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats

Business plans sensibly start with a serious look at the situation. Where are we? What do we do well? What’s stopping us from succeeding? Where do we have opportunities? What is threatening us? The answers appear as bullet-pointed lists.

SWOT Analysis

LNC Inc. suffers from an extensive series of long-term weaknesses. These have now combined into a threat to its continued existence. If these weaknesses are not corrected soon, the National Party will cease to function in a meaningful way. On the other hand, there are enormous opportunities awaiting an active, effective party.


First consider the places where we are doing well.

Great loyalty of our party faithful in face of adversity and defeat.

Name recognition. People know now our name ‘libertarian’ and what it means.

State affiliates. We are the only third party truly active in most states.

Ballot access. We actually know how to get on the ballot across the country.

Money. A million a year in income, with a large contact list; could be effective if used well.

Core beliefs. A solid core of libertarian beliefs, most supported by almost every libertarian.


Negative momentum — the National Party is going backwards.

Weak leadership. A National Committee not focused on substance. Purges and witch hunts.

Activists leaving party.

Poor financial management. Too much money going to things that do not do politics, communicate our message, or add value proportionate to cost.

Weak staff development and supervision. No Executive Director for a year. AN LNC press release absurdly attacking Libertarian author and candidate Mary Ruwart.

Lack of vision: Where should we go? What could we be?

Dilution/diminution of core libertarian message. Core positions tossed aside in name of expediency.

Faux libertarians leaving the impression that we are social conservatives.

Lack of affiliate support.

Management by inertia. No priority setting.

No focus on younger potential members. Potential libertarians being lost to campaign for liberty, tea parties, and friendly groups who are more libertarian than we are.

Parliamentary Paralysis — Obsession with Robert’s Rules of Order to the point of fetishism.


Opposition Republican Party handing itself over to people who most Americans realize are idiots.

Opposition Democratic Party copying key Republican positions.

Americans are absolutely furious. Far right has lapsed into low level insurgency with assassinations (Tiller), violence (Texas IRS office attack, Congressional district office attacks), and incivility (Tea parties).

Majority of Americans now tending independent in their political allegiance.

Heavy polling support for a new third party.

Young people who support our social freedom stands. Overwhelming supportfor marijuana legalization and equal rights for sexual minorities.

Public support for libertarian stands — no bailouts, ending the Asian wars — with the other two parties in opposition.


Plummeting party income.

Crashing renewal rates.

Member disinterest and cynicism.

Decreasing credibility — fundraising appeals now lose money.

Continually diminishing activity.

Emerging competition.

Party being confused with Republican crackpots.

Political infighting at the destroy the opposition level.

Treading water — the National Committee response to the above is to keep repeating the same activities on a smaller and smaller scale.


Despite enormous mismanagement, our strengths are with us. We may not yet be the majority party, but we are far stronger than any of the other third parties.

Our opportunities are enormous. They have never been better.

The threats we face are existential. If they are not overcome, our party will effectively cease to exist.

We have a long list of weaknesses. Until we overcome them, our strengths will be neutralized, our opportunities will lie fallow, and our threats will continue to mount.

Our Response

Those are the problems our Party faces. They’re very serious.

But we’re not dead. Not quite yet.

Let’s turn to our solution — The New Path to Libertarian Revival.

16 thoughts on “New Path for the LP: ‘Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats’

  1. Brian Holtz

    I too oppose “purges and witch hunts”. I’m disappointed that one of our Chair candidates wrote 2009-05-20 about Ron Paul:

    As was well known prior to the discovery of his racist newsletters, he is a homophobic bigot, an antiabortionist, a Christian dominionist who believes the Bible trumps the Constitution, an opponent of the Constitution who rejects the 14th amendment etc.

    More important, though unsurprisingly, he is a Republican.

    The Libertarian Party was founded to establish a party separate from all others. Attempting to use party resources to support a Republican was a gross breach of the fiduciary duties of the national committee.

    The LNC had a choice as to whether or not to support homophobia, racism, dominionism, seeking the death of our daughters via back room abortions, not to mention attaching ourselves to a candidate who courted the conspiracy folks on Alex Jones.

    They made the wrong choice.

    They also sought to recruit this person as our party?s presidential nominee.

    They, not Ms. Keaton, should be expelled from the LNC.

    The first rule of witch-hunting is: don’t talk about witch-hunting.

  2. paulie Post author


    I’m a bit puzzled. IIRC Ms. Keaton voted aye on the same motion(s). The organization she now works for,, seems quite fond of that same Dr. Ron Paul, and is organizationally under the same umbrella as and the Mises Institute, noted supporters of Dr. Paul.

  3. David F. Nolan

    While I find little to disagree with in the “New Path” summary of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, I do not believe George Phillies is the person best suited to implementing the recommended changes. I’ll probably vote for the rest of the “New Path” slate in St. Louis, but Phillies is too intolerant of libertarians who do not share his views on numerous issues to be an effective National Chair. At least, that’s how I see it today.

  4. Brian Holtz

    What I would like to see is all the Chair candidates pledging to devote their ideas, talents and energy to the LP’s success during the 2010-2012 LNC term, regardless of who wins the Chair race. There isn’t a single one of them that doesn’t bring unique assets to this race.

  5. David F. Nolan

    I concur with Brian and paulie, above, and will even suggest that the unsuccessful Chair candidates run for at-large positions on the LNC. Both Hancock and Phillies have refused to do so in the past, and I very much doubt that Root’s ego will allow him to settle for anything less than the top position. Hinkle and Myers would both be strong additions to the LNC.

  6. Outside Analysis

    David @7, Hinkle has been there before and has been shown to be rather wimpy. For everyone else, refer to A) Donor Confidentiality Committee; B) Swastika signs while protesting Jewish Senator Boxer, D-Cluelessville; and C) Killing (or not) the LPCA-Barnes resolution.

    In the past few weeks we’ve seen Hinkle come out ahead by default because of the Advocates/LP deal, which he either brokered or claimed credit for brokering, coupled with Myers and Nolan getting into it with Root on Facebook, the Holtz hit pieces on Hancock here, and Philles getting into it with Winger here–the latter three doing Root, Myers, Hancock, and Phillies no favors.

    Late surge by Hinkle? Doubt it, because he still has his LPCA JudComm tenure of late hanging over his head, which will sink him the moment anyone like Root brings it up. Plus, there’s some other story in the background about how Hinkle and Starr ousted Lightfoot from LPCA Chair back a few years ago, but details there are sketchy.

  7. Brian Holtz

    Most LP candidates are smart enough not to campaign negatively about their intra-party opponents. This is a curious departure from the practices of other parties, and a tradition that defies the conventional wisdom that the LP suffers from excess infighting.

    Delegates will be focused on the administrative skills and outreach strategies that the next Chair will be employing. They will have very little interest in sorting out allegations about past infighting.

  8. Mattc

    Why on earth would they devote part of this to attacking the Tea Parties? Not to mention its disappointing that they buy the whole “right wing extremism narrative” that’s being sold to us.

  9. George Phillies

    The purpose of a SWOT statement is to outline your situation in an honest manner.

    When someone else is stealing your market share, that is a *compliment* to them, as in

    “Potential libertarians being lost to campaign for liberty, tea parties, and friendly groups who are more libertarian than we are.”

    and a problem we have to fix.

  10. Brian Holtz

    The Campaign for Liberty and tea parties are actually less libertarian than the LP, so it will be a neat trick to rescue libertarian prospects both from C4L/TP and from unspecified “groups who are more libertarian than we are”.

    If the New Path would identify the “core positions tossed aside in name of expediency”, then we on the Platform Committee could try to fix this alleged problem.

  11. Robert Capozzi

    yes, bh, this is especially so in the case of c4l and the tea parties.

    More importantly, c4l and the tea parties are not political parties, and are therefore not in competition with the LP. Rather than viewing those organization as competitors, why not view them as OPPORTUNITIES for the LP to grow? There’s nothing stopping the LP from going to tea party events to recruit! Indeed, it seems highly indicated.

  12. George Phillies

    @13 You have people doing political activism as C4L, MassLPA (has democratic branch), or TP. Whether they are a branch of the Republican Party, as is the case in Massachusetts, or are forming up as a separate party, is not critical. Ditto the C4L, which affects to be non-partisan. The core point is that some but by no means all of those people could reasonably be active in our party, and are not.

    The path you and we both advocate — going to Tea Party events to recruit — is precisely one way *how* you move those people who are actually libertarian from there to here. However, that discussion does not belong in a SWOT statement, but in a later chapter.

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