Posted by Jeff Sexton at SWGAPolitics.com:
I’m a State/Local specialist. I don’t track National politics that closely, but seeing as how the Libertarian National Convention is next weekend and we have a fairly hotly contested race for LNC Chairman going on, I decided to take a look into it and let my voice be heard. After all, what is the point of having a blog if you don’t express an opinion or two, right?
I’ve been talking to a few Libertarians I trust, all of which are admittedly in Georgia -including my good friend Jason Pye-, and I’ve been reading what I could find on Independent Political Report and the websites IPR’s Paulie gave me when I asked about them last night.
Based on those conversations, a review of the information on each of the websites provided, and my brief conversation on IPR with one of the LNC Chair candidates, I hereby endorse John Jay Myers for LNC Chair. Like Mr. Myers, I believe that as a Party our best strategy at the present time is to work first at home, then in our States, and then at the National level.
For too long, the Libertarian Party has tried a top down approach, which I understand is mandated to an extent by ballot access laws, of which Georgia’s are some of the worst in the nation. There are three approaches to achieving ballot access though: 1) Comply with them. I know nothing about other States, but in Georgia, a top down approach via either President or Governor candidates is mandated by law to achieve full equal ballot access, and this is the approach typically used by the LNC in my understanding. (This is referred to by many as the “50 State Strategy”.) 2) Work to get the existing laws changed. This requires networking with everyone concerned, including legislators, activists, and concerned citizens. We had a number of ballot access bills introduced in Georgia in 2010, and I hope we will be able to continue this in the near future and get at least some degree of genuine ballot access reform in this State.
But the third approach is what I personally believe is the area where we as a Party – at both National and State levels – need to concentrate: Grow the Party from the bottom up by concentrating on winning as many local races as possible before moving up the political ladder to the State Assemblies, Statewide offices, and then National offices. Grow our local chapters and affiliates, and use them to spread the Libertarian message door to door, neighbor to neighbor, friend to friend, business associate to business associate. John Jay Myers seems to understand this better than the other candidates, all of whom seem to favor either no actual political activity or a continued top-down mentality.
Mr. Myers also seems to understand the politics of the day and that we truly are a distinct philosophy from both the mainstream “left” AND “right”, but that our message appeals to both and should be discussed with both. As someone has said, we will not gain a majority – and thus begin winning elections – by appealing only to one half of one half of the Big Government Party.
I completely agree with this quote in particular from Mr. Myers’ website:
I understand that we will not attract new membership unless we distinguish ourselves from other parties without alienating the majority of Americans. The Libertarian Party is the only one that stands for the American principles that defined our country, and it can once again, but only with leadership that focuses on our true principles and lives those principles every day.
The next 2 to 4 years represent a significant opportunity for Libertarians, and we cannot afford to have an LNC Chair who either appeals almost exclusively to one half of one half of our competitor or who does not believe we should engage in actual politics at all. We also cannot have a LNC Chair who is intent on continuing the backbiting and infighting that has plagued the LNC for so long and has led many Libertarians to end their involvement in the National Party.
Because Mr. Myers understands that our Party will grow best if grown from the bottom up, and because he understands that we must spread our message to ALL of our American brothers and sisters, I am proud to give him my endorsement.
LP-Georgia Executive Committee At Large Rep,
Founding Chair, LP-Southwest Georgia,