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Even as pendulum of partisan politics continues to swing back and forth between the incumbent parties of big government, this year freedom finally has cause to rejoice. More and more people in Dallas and nationwide are beginning to see through the “two-party system”, and they are increasingly seeing the Libertarian Party as a viable alternative. The LP has fielded more candidates, organized more activities, and involved more volunteers than ever before. The incumbent parties have done everything possible to limit ballot access and discourage candidates, but freedom always finds a way to flourish.
The most visible signs of growth come from our candidates. The Texas Libertarian Party had five people register as gubernatorial candidates, and the ultimate nominee, Kathie Glass, has run an impressive campaign. She recently appeared in a televised debate with the candidates from other parties (minus incumbent Rick Perry, who shied away from the chance to make his case to the Texans he works for). She also received an astonishing 8% in a poll conducted by the Texas Tribune, a significant number considering that the Libertarian result was less than 2% in the last two elections.
Other candidates, such as John Jay Myers, are setting records for fundraising and activity. Mr. Myers crossed the $5000 FEC reporting threshold and raised over $7000, a record among Libertarian candidates in the 32nd district. He has aired television ads, sent out 8000 mailers, and participated in countless events. Throughout Texas there is a Libertarian challenger against each U.S. House incumbent (with the exception of Ron Paul, whose positions often match the Libertarian platform). Nationwide, there are about 800 candidates in races at all levels. This is up from approximately 600 in each of the past two election cycles.
These candidates are getting it done, but they are not alone. From top to bottom, more Libertarians are stepping up and taking on leadership roles, including high school and college students. Both Lake Highlands High School and SMU have Libertarian student groups, and they both boasted more members this year than their Democratic and Republican counterparts combined. Leadership at the statewide level has increased as well with more executive committee seats filled this year than for the past six years or more. Also, the state party recently upped its paid staff by hiring a new membership coordinator and two regional directors in the North Texas and the Gulf Coast areas. Having more people who can conduct outreach and fundraising full-time greatly increases the LP’s competitiveness.
Finally, the party’s online infrastructure has matured as well. Our online presence is starting to rival that of the other parties. For example, the national Facebook page now has 119,000 fans, compared to 155,000 and 187,000 for the Democrats and Republicans respectively. Those numbers have risen dramatically, with only 40,000 reported just six months ago. Locally in Dallas, our meetup group was almost non-existent two years ago, but it has swelled to over 200 participants, volunteers, and organizers who are active at our events. These online groups provide valuable resources for campaigns to reach voters, volunteers, and donors.
In short, we are seeing more leaders, more interest, more active candidates, and better results than we have seen in the past. Not only are people realizing the failure of government wars, bailouts, and controls, but they are also seeing that BOTH incumbent parties are the problem. The future is bright for the Libertarian Party and we will continue to build on the foundation we are setting now.
~Dallas County Libertarian Party