Prominent Wyoming Libertarians Found Country Party

It appears that the Wyoming Libertarian Party may be imploding:

CHEYENNE — Several top figures in the Wyoming Libertarian Party, including the party’s chairman, have left to try and form a new political party in Wyoming.

The “County Party,” [sic] as the new party’s tentatively called, is a “less radical” version of the Libertarians or the Constitution Party, said Don Wills, who left as chairman of the Wyoming Libertarian Party last weekend…

Unlike the Libertarian platform, Wills said, the new party won’t call for the legalization of drugs, push for open borders, or call taxation a form of theft.

The goal, Wills said, is to “actually get people elected.”

Along with Wills, co-founders of the Country Party include 2010 Libertarian U.S. House nominee John Love, and Libertarian Wyoming House District 52 candidate Nicholas De Laat.

DeLaat actually managed 15% in his three-way race in 2010, one of the strongest Libertarian bids for office this year.

This was not an unanticipated outcome, but the degree of the schism may be surprising. You can find Wills’ resignation letter here.

89 thoughts on “Prominent Wyoming Libertarians Found Country Party

  1. paulie

    1. County Party or Country Party? Both are used in the source article as quoted.

    2. What are the County/Country Party’s ballot access plans, if any? 415-690-6352 if you’d like to discuss them.

  2. paulie

    p, their website says COUNTRY PARTY.

    Thanks, I’ll go with that. It’s not my article, but I hope Daniel won’t mind me fixing it and my apologies in advance if he does.

    I would have preferred county party, as in devloving power to the county level away from the state and national levels and above, but it’s not my party and I can see the logic – that they want to appeal to a nationalistic mindset.

  3. NewFederalist

    This could be an interesting development but the name sure leaves a lot to be desired.

  4. Don Wills

    We’ve just barely gotten started, we’re recruiting charter members now, and the name “The Country Party” is provisional. The final choice for the name will be made in the founding convention which will be in six weeks or so. Suggestions for names are welcome.

  5. Robert Capozzi

    dw, short of Liberty Party, which is probably not feasible with the existence of the LP, my top suggestion would be:

    Freedom Party

    Others:
    Federal
    Justice
    National
    Integrity

  6. paulie

    Name question:

    Avoid anything that starts with the same letter as the major parties or the three existing major-minors (D, R, L, G, C).

    Tea Party types like to call themselves patriots, so you may want to go with that (Patriot, Patriotic, All-American, something like that).

    I would suggest some variety of Independent or Independence, since it makes it easier to get and stay on the ballot (yes, a lot of people are not very politically educated and don’t realize there is more than one “independent” party, or that independents and third parties are different things, so they’ll sign easier for an “independent party” than any other name, and they’ll register into your party all on their own thinking they are registering independent, keeping you on the ballot in states where it depends on voter registration…how’s that for a run-on sentence?).

    However, various states already have Independent, Independence, American Independent, Independent American, Independent Green, Green Independent, etc., parties, so you may run into some legal issues there.

  7. Don Wills

    Actually, in some states, Wyoming included, Independent is disallowed in the name so as not to confuse voters with truly independent candidates.

  8. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob@8,

    “Freedom Party” is already well staked out by Freedom Party International, Freedom Party of New York, and the Peace and Freedom Party.

    To the extent that popular associations spring from popular fiction, it also has a big downside for use on the political right due to its use as an alternate history version of the Nazi Party in Harry Turtledove’s American Empire novels.

  9. Robert Capozzi

    tk, thanks. Didn’t know that. Freedom seems out. Federal, Justice, and National seem open in the US based on my quick search, although there’s a Federal party under consideration. It appears there has an Integrity Party in NY, although it seems dormant.

    Citizens seems open now, too. The Commoners seem completely gone, so that might work….

  10. paulie

    @10 http://www.politics1.com/parties.htm lists no Patriot party or any variant thereof that I could find.

    I thought of recommending Straight Shooters Party, but the initials SS are just bad, and besides they just may want to leave out the welcome mat at least a tiny bit for a member or several from the Pink Pistols…LOL

    Other ideas:

    Nationalist Party…fairly accurate, but has vague fascist overtones that may be best avoided

    Conservative Party…that might actually not be so bad, although some states already have a well-organized Conservative Party and there are some much smaller national organizations with the same name.

    Reagan Party…may be too specific and it might invite a trademark infringement suit from the Republicans, Reagan family or something.

    Tea Party….pretty much sums up their outlook as best I understand it, but there are many elements in the Tea Party that would kick and scream like hell, as they have done in Florida, Nevada and other places where political parties have attempted to qualify the Tea Party name.

    Federalist or Anti-Federalist…the history here is a bit obscure for the modern day average voter. The party sounds like it would line up more with the historical Anti-Federalists, but that name would make it sound either unpatriotic or possibly secessionist or even revolutionist to some people. On the other hand, calling it Federalist would put off some people who are more familiar with early American history.

  11. Robert Capozzi

    Revere Party has an interesting feel. Evokes Paul Revere and Tea Party-type associations. Has a meaning of “honor,” too.

    Not taken that I can tell.

  12. paulie

    DW,

    Want to do an episode of IPR blogtalk?

    I have one scheduled for tonight ( 8 Eastern, 6 PM Mountain time) . It already has a title and description up about another subject, but I can fill up to two hours, so I can add another segment.

    If that doesn’t work, we can schedule a separate episode.

  13. Justin Woodward

    I would like to make a small suggestion here if I may.
    Right now we are not worried about other states. We need to get started here in Wyoming first. We do however need to keep in mind that at some point we will branch out and finally take back our Republic!
    So, how about anybody interested in attending the party convention, get on the website and start posting ideas as well, we may want to gather names of other parties, not only from Wyoming but other states as well so we know what names we should stay away from.
    This will be difficult because states like Florida have some 50+ parties, I do believe. The more we have the better chance we will have at keeping to a name that could be used in other states as well.
    Lastly, as of now the name is not the most important issue. Right now we need to get as many people on board as possible to commit to the party convention. People who will help gather signatures on petitions so that we can get our foot in the door. All else will be decided at the convention.

    Thank you and I hope to see you all there!
    God Bless you all!

  14. Gains

    I am curious… how many splinter “parties” have been attempted by ex-Libertarians? How many have ever gotten on a ballot?

    Are the radicals correct when they point at Root and others in tight with the tea party and say that they are only in the LP to split it? That is a real danger, that in this gambit may be true or not but it does accentuate the threat.

    I do not see how dividing the already small is going to result in something bigger. To decry big tent, and then in the same breath talk about not being able to hang with a certain group seems irrational.

    I have no doubt that the good men and women in Wyoming who are small L libertarians now are sincere people who have experienced unfair set backs and are rightly feeling indignant; but insurgent politics is not a game of exclusion. I do not think this will be a successful strategy.

  15. Robert Capozzi

    g, splinters I know of: BTP, Objectivist, “Country,” sort of “Anti-Prohibition.”

    I’ve not heard of NAP Absolutists claiming Root’s agenda is to “split” the LP. Sipos, the prodigious mind reader ;-), claims he knows Root’s in it for the money. He even bolds his “repeated” comments to “prove” his case.

    Apparently, the WY Country crew seem to think they can advance their political agenda more effectively outside the LP. I don’t see them “excluding” anyone. Their critique of the LP and Constitution Party seems about right to me.

    Whether they’ll be successful remains to be seen.

  16. Be Rational

    The history of minor parties and major parties in the US doesn’t seem to have a large number of successful splinter parties. The most successful seem to stay small and die young. Occasionally the original minor party will splinter enough to be killed off.

  17. paulie

    @20 Their critique of the LP and Constitution Party seems about right to me.

    OK…let’s take a look:

    The LP strongly promotes open borders, legalization of all drugs and abolition of taxation as key issues in their platforms. These positions are big losers. The American public overwhelmingly wants the borders controlled, drugs to be kept illegal, and taxation to continue, albeit at a lower rate.

    A substantial minority – soon to be a majority in some states – wants marijuana to be legal, so the thing about drugs is not completely true. And as for wanting taxation to be at a lower rate…yes, but the American public also overwhelmingly wants more and better government services and lower debt.

    As for wanting the borders controlled, Latinos are the fastest growing share of the American voting public, and while some of them want border control, most feel strongly that we already have too much of that.

    It’s true that these portions of our platform are not popular among conservative white Anglos, and that there are a lot of those in Wyoming as a percentage of the population compared to most states. It’s also true that other parts of our platform are less popular among various demographics.

    I’ll note, however, that Ron Paul’s defense against allegations of racism on a national major cable network (CNN, I think) was that he is for ending the drug war – and not just as it pertains to marijuana only – and he got zero flak in return.

    Or, try this:

    http://nallforgovernor.blogspot.com/2006/05/tuskegee-sheriff-candidates-nall-right.html

    Tuskegee Sheriff Candidates “Nall Right on Drug Policy”

    Read it…I highly recommend it…seriously.

  18. Robert Capozzi

    p, we’ll see whether the “Country” Party comes out for closed borders and continued prohibition of all drugs, including marijuana. If that’s where they come down, I ain’t interested.

    Paul has said he’s for ending the FEDERAL drug war, if I recall. He’s already elected. It’s not an issue he campaigns on. He leaves things somewhat ambiguous. And, he’s one congressman, not a political party.

  19. Robert Capozzi

    br21, the GOP was a minor party among several minor parties. I seem to recall that they effectively absorbed a major and minor parties in the process of becoming governing major party.

  20. Thomas L. Knapp

    Paulie @22,

    Thanks for highlighting Mr. Wills’s counterfactual claims about the LP’s platform.

    Open borders and abolition of taxation are not only not “key isssues” in that platform, they’re not in it at all.

  21. paulie

    Paul has said he’s for ending the FEDERAL drug war, if I recall. He’s already elected. It’s not an issue he campaigns on.

    On the show I am referencing…Blitzer, maybe?…he didn’t make that distinction. He said he was for ending the drug war – simple as that – as his first line of defense to prove that he can’t be a racist. And the host didn’t even blink.

    And this was in the context of the presidential campaign, so he was not running as an incumbent.

  22. Don Wills

    I’ll try to answer some of the concerns brought up here.

    We left the LP because of electoral failures that we attributed in part to the negative image of the Libertarian brand, not because of any falling out between anarchists and limited government folks, either here in Wyoming or nationally. I wish the Libertarian anarchists well in their quest for utopia.

    paulie – I’ll be happy to do the IPR blogtalk at a future time. We’re really just getting out of the gates – the leak of my email by George P. and the resulting article by the Casper Star Tribune (the reporter found out about my email from IPR) were unintended and are premature. We’ll report on our progress on our web site, and when I’ve got something substantive to talk about, I’ll be happy to participate in IPR’s blogtalk.

    With regard to the nascent positions of the party – think Ron Paul. Yes, we believe the federal drug war is unconstitutional, and we will work for its elimination. We are in favor of increased immigration, both resulting in citizenship and in guest worker status; we are not in favor of completely open borders like the LP wants. Finally, we believe government should exist to protect our liberties, and to exist, government must collect some taxes. We’ll work for a lot less taxes, but not zero taxes. Voluntarism is just fine for many of society’s activities; it’s not fine for national defense, the judicial system and for some other aspects of society where the tragedy of the commons and the free rider problems are very real.

    That said, The Country Party will not focus on philosophy or issues. We are nothing more than a vehicle for the election of good folks whose core principles are to drastically reduce the size of the federal government, with special emphasis on restoring control and funding for local affairs to the states. We believe in the founder’s idea of having 50 experiments in liberty – we’ll work toward our own version of liberty in Wyoming, which may differ dramatically from what citizens of California, Minnesota or Alabama believe is liberty.

  23. Andy

    “That said, The Country Party will not focus on philosophy or issues.”

    Country Party is one of the worst names I’ve ever heard for a political party.

  24. Adamson

    “Country Party” sounds like something you have on the back 40 after your kin done graduates from trade school.

  25. Thomas M. Sipos

    Capozzi: “short of Liberty Party, which is probably not feasible with the existence of the LP,”

    Not feasible how? Legally?

    There are many parties with Socialist in the name. I’m sure it’d be legally possible to incorporate even Libertarian into the name (regardless of the LNC’s silly trademarking of the term — they’d lose in court).

    I’ve fancied the idea of starting an Antiwar Libertarian Party, to compete on the ballot against the Libertarian Party.

    I won’t, only because of the effort and expense.

    Anyway, there already is a Liberty Party. I found them listed on a website about 2004 third party presidential candidates. The site may be dead by now. I doubt they had ballot status.

  26. Thomas M. Sipos

    Capozzi @ 20

    Now you not only claim I’m a mind reader, you imply I’m an NAP Absolutist? This, despite my (yes, repeatedly) telling you that I’m a minarchist.

  27. Catholic Trotskyist

    Gene, thanks for bringing up the Australian Country Party. I don’t understand why people are having such a problem with that name. Especially in Wyoming, one of the more rural states.

  28. Gains

    Regarding @28:

    It greatly saddens me that these fine liberty loving people did not feel that they could accomplish their goals in the Libertarian Party.

    Here is what I know without prejudice of Wyoming:

    Branding is one of those marketing arts that is widely misunderstood. Brand image is a fleeting thing. That is why large companies do branding campaigns regularly before announcements. Branding lasts for only a few hours or days if there is a high enough saturation. Brand identity does not persist unless it is aggressively persisted. So if you have a bad brand identity. The best strategy is to wait a minute and then fix it because changing brands tends to be really expensive.

    If a political party’s brand was ever truly hurt by a bad candidate or spate of them… we would not have any parties. Unpopular candidates abound everywhere. People vote for individuals when they cross their own party lines or when they are not affiliated. When they vote for a brand, it is for the one they already buy.

    Coalition organizations grow from diversity and need to be structured to allow for it. Constitutionalists, minarchists, principled progressives and anarchists should be able to coexist in a coalition together. For that to happen, there needs to be structure that prevents any of them from trying to call the shots for all. That is big tent.

    Politics is about people and while ethics and philosophy are your drive, getting out and making friends is what builds political influence. It is not radio advertising; it is not blogging or facebooking; it certainly is not branding. All of these activities are beneficial, but they are not core to any political movement, they are supportive. What will win you elections is getting out and moving people and engaging the powers that be.

    Local coalitions are the heart of insurgent (third party) campaigns. The keys to building local coalitions is fairly simple:

    To bring people in, advertising helps, personally inviting people you meet in line at the coffee shop works better, creating social gatherings without agenda but filled with like minded people is golden. Nothing says political identity more than, “I am with them.”

    To get new people to come back encourage everyone to meet everyone. The more people a new person meets the better the chance is they will find someone that they connect with and will likely want to return.

    Social interaction is far more important than business. Ten minutes of socializing can put a dozen people on a street corner with signs. Two hours of by-laws debate wont even get you a bumper sticker.

    Discourage strife. Disagreement and debate is one thing, when the line of hurt is crossed, encourage a community that backs the situation down with empathy and puts the discussion back on track. You can’t afford to lose anyone and if you lose that mantra, you will lose everyone.

  29. Be Rational

    @37 Agreed.

    I would add that splinters of splinters and fractions of fractions, smaller and smaller, dividing the factions … this new tiny, meaningless effort will just waste time and resources and accomplish nothing. But it will, in the end, discourage more people from working for change as it will be one more failed experiment that convinces people to just give up, or to muddle along inside the duopoly.

    The LP has never done what it needs to do to win – building county and local organizations and providing a targeted advertising umbrella.

    We have wasted our time with useless, divisive things, like bylaws debates and the endless boring parsing of minarchy and anarchy, debates over the word “cult” … this stuff is what drives people away. People who keep trying to fix the party by making it more radical, more moderate, fighting over tiny platform details, worrying and arguing and debating over endless minor points – these are the things that hold us back.

    Then we get divisions, another group leaves, they fail, they mostly give up, a few return, the cycle continues. The Country party is heading down a well traveled road to nowhere.

    We need a real program of party building, outreach and advertising.

  30. Don Wills

    BR wrote “The Country Party is heading down a well traveled road to nowhere.” We’ll see about that…

    Another of BR’s observation is right on the money though. A splinter off of the LP would only be visible with a microscope. We will not position the Country Party to be a splinter party of the LP. Astute readers will note that the word libertarian isn’t used on our web site – that’s on purpose.

    Instead of appealing to Libertarians, we will position the Country Party to be a new home for a whole lot of very disgruntled Tea Partiers who will be looking for an alternative if GOP leadership continues on the same old statist path it appears to be taking. Our objective is to make the Country Party a vehicle for candidates to defeat corporatist, federal-government-loving Republicans. We plan to fill the void that will be created by the GOP failure to adopt Tea Party principles. Such a void would be much larger than the niche in which the LP resides. Ex-GOP and independents will make up a large majority of our supporters. If some Libertarians want to join us, they are welcome too.

  31. Brian

    People aren’t dumb. They don’t need parties called “Patriotic” or “All-American.” They sound hokey and patronizing. Have some creativity. I always wanted to found something like “Civic Alternative Party” or something like that.

  32. Robert Capozzi

    tms35, actually comment 20 doesn’t imply that. Reread it, and I suspect you’ll see why.

    Some are objecting to the use of Abolitionists, so I’m now using NAP Absolutists to differentiate Ls more interested in proclaiming a long-term destination over those who are more interested in engaging in shorter-term adjustments. NAP Absolutists can be minarchists, as I see it…for ex., Rand-influenced Ls can be both. Nolan himself was a good example of this approach.

    Let’s stipulate that labels like these are not precise. I’m doing my best to not use pejoratives for those who align with an alternative perspective…I’d hope that NAP Absolutist would be a badge of honor for those who use the NAP in an absolutist manner.

  33. Robert Capozzi

    g37: Discourage strife. Disagreement and debate is one thing, when the line of hurt is crossed, encourage a community that backs the situation down with empathy and puts the discussion back on track.

    me: The LNC had the opportunity presented to it a few months ago to “discourage strife.” Two states called for removal of an LNC at large member based on comments he made in a local magazine. By my reading of their resolutions, they STILL want the removal of an LNC member for his words.

    I didn’t care for the quoted words (in this case Root’s), either. But the LNC’s response was weak. It *encourages* strife. It’s now open season on any L to be “removed” for any “deviation.”

    As Wills said in his resignation letter: “The way many of you treat Wayne Root is disgusting. Shame on you.”

    I’d say “childish” rather than “disgusting.” This is not the behavior of a prime-time political party; it’s junior high antics, IMO.

  34. JT

    Maybe I’m missing something here, but how does the newly formed “Country Party” differ from the Constitution Party in any significant way?

  35. paulie

    People aren’t dumb. They don’t need parties called “Patriotic” or “All-American.”

    You don’t petition for a living, I’m guessing.

    Maybe I’m missing something here, but how does the newly formed “Country Party” differ from the Constitution Party in any significant way?

    See their website:

    http://countryparty.org/more.html#lpcp

    The CP strongly promotes the incorporation of Christianity into politics and government and is absolutist about making abortion illegal, even in the case of rape or incest. These positions are very unpopular with the vast majority of Americans. It is commonly thought that the abortion issue has about an even split among voters. That is true, but only when the pro-life side of the issue allows for abortion in the case of rape and incest. Most polling shows that more than 80% of Americans oppose making abortion illegal in all cases.

    In a nutshell, the LP is generally viewed by voters as a bunch of crazy dope smoking anarchists, and the CP is generally viewed by voters as a bunch of intolerant religious zealots who wish to impose their moral values on others by law and send doctors and women who participate in abortions to jail, without exception. Whether accurate or not, that’s what Americans think of the LP and the CP. And that’s why voters continue to overwhelmingly reject the LP and the CP.

    p] This seems to presume that most voters know what the Libertarian and Constitution Parties are and what they stand for. Libertarian is becoming a better known word, but in my experience in talking to thousands of average voters most of them have a very vague idea of what the LP is. Of the ones that have any kind of idea, most seem to think it is something along the lines of Rand Paul and Glenn Beck, and maybe that those two are personally involved with the party.

    And as for the Constitution Party, far fewer people have ever even heard of it. The most common question I got while getting ballot access signatures for them, other than “what is that….I never heard of it” is whether it was for or against a new state constitution for Alabama.

  36. paulie

    LNC’s response was weak. It *encourages* strife. It’s now open season on any L to be “removed” for any “deviation.”

    You mean Nolan’s resolution as introduced by Knedler, with Mattson’s amendment adopted? If so, how does it do that?

  37. Sean Scallon

    It will be interesting to see if this new party works for this reason: Continued weakness on the part of the Democrats in states with large white middle and working class and a small base of post-graduate, college educated voters. In other words, Wyoming simply doesn’t have a strong base for a vibrant Democratic Party other than as a protest vehicle every so often against Republican arrogance. So to avoid Wyoming from becoming another, say Tunisia or Egypt, for example, a new party is needed which breaks from the unpopular labels of current non-major parties, can tap into a large pool of disaffected independent or soft-partisan voters with a few basic principals all can support. If it works, you could see this spread to other “red” states where the Democrats are virtually non-existent.

  38. paulie

    I thought the original typo – County Party – would have been an interesting concept.

    I’ve advocated the LP do something similar in Alabama (or another state) for years.

    Focus on small, rural and small to medium town, one-party dominated counties. Build strong county organizations that challenge multiple local and countywide offices, including Sheriff. Run on a platform of reducing state and federal interference in local affairs and reducing local government interference in the lives of individuals and families.

    County level is a good level to focus on. People generally know what county they live in, unlike gerrymandered legislative districts, which makes getting valid ballot access signatures easier.

    Sheriffs have certain rarely-used powers which can (at least in theory, and on rare occasion in fact) stymie federal activities within a county. In essence, federal operations have to have an invitation from local law enforcement, which in the vast majority of places is a routine formality, but doesn’t necessarily have to be.

    Local media is very easy to get in places like that. The reporters have nothing to cover most of the time.

    Because one party has a lopsided majority, splitting the vote is less of an issue.

    Actually winning the office would not mean the candidates would have to move to DC or commute to a state capitol (which in many places can be a very long drive).

    Alt parties are typically organized from the top down, with people running for federal and state office first and for local office only from time to time here and there. They charter state affiliates before they charter county affiliates.

    It may be interesting to see someone try it the other way around – build from the precinct level up until you are a strong presence in a county, then add other counties in the same fashion until you are a presence, starting from low-population counties in low-population states.

    Actually, Wyoming would be ideal for this approach. It’s the lowest population state in the US and among the most lopsidedly Republican.

    It’s also an initiative state, although initiatives are very difficult to get on the ballot there. The party organizing efforts could go hand in hand with issue coalition(s) for initiative(s).

  39. Sean Scallon

    Exactly paulie! There are counties and municipalities begging for political competition and being a LP or CP member isn’t going to cut it. People say they want alternatives, maybe we need instead of national, ideological parties is state and or county based regional parties across the country providing the competition.

  40. Gains

    BR @39 (and indirectly RC @43, Paulie @48 and SS @49): “The LP has never done what it needs to do to win – building county and local organizations and providing a targeted advertising umbrella.”

    There is no use in advertising if most of your stores only have three items on the shelf (In this analogy, the items on the shelf are people actively involved). A local organization needs to have a core of a five or more to feel attractive to any newbie at all and since the personality pool is shallow, retention is hard. It is not until you have a dozen or more that a group gets sticky.

    Until there are sticky groups, there is not much use in throwing people at them. For instance, there are at least 3 or 4 major regions/counties in So Cal that are close to each other have well over the sticky tipping point each month and several more that are over the “some stick” point. Those groups fall into a single radio market. I would encourage those groups either individually or together to try some advertising experiments going.

    As for the umbrella organization? Coalitions do not have umbrellas, they have hubs. Advertising should not come from the state party. Maybe seed money… but the state party itself, unless they are running state-wide candidates, initiatives, or state-wide legislation, should be hands off. The problem with even providing seed money is that the moment that the “hub” imposes favoritism (with carrot or stick) it loses its status as a fair arbiter.

    It is critical in order for coalitions to co-exist that there be a framework that focuses competition into constructive efforts. I contend that the primary purpose of administrators is keeping things fair. Destructive competition is easier than constructive competition and will be the natural default without active discouragement. To be able to be an effective coalition building entity the state party in the example of So Cal above, the California LP would want to stay away from showing favoritism directly but would serve well in getting people that have interest in those active places talking to each other.

    Seed money is best raised on the side; possibly by leadership in the party, but not through the apparatus itself. The party might serve an economy of scale by administrating project pools but there should be very tight hands-off rules or someone in a budget crisis will seek to take the funds. Since rules by nature never empower, I recommend sticking to a plan the keeps the hub organizations from getting involved at all in finance and stick to empowerment through connections.

    Organic growth depends on a loose interlock of trusted nodes. Here is the real kicker:

    Coalition organizations offer more to empowered people and groups than “umbrella” organizations do. An individual with good ideas, that has skills and wherewithal can reach a high potential whatever the project when there is no organizational resistance. Those individuals surface quicker and do more in coalition organizations.

    The problem is that our increasingly fascist and authoritarian society pounds into our heads that representation means power. It feels like people are auto-programmed to seek to create hierarchies; that taking a position of administration is the path to ‘making things happen’. We need to as a society and culture try to shift those perceptions so that representation means trust, that achievement is the responsibility of all individuals, and that no-one has the authority over others efforts except to individually choose to support them or not.

    Efforts to direct philosophic deviation should also be kept out of administrative work. The coalition organization has a duty to it’s key principles, but it also needs to shape that primarily through culture. That means that philosophers need to recruit and educate while strenuously avoiding divisive, destructive or ablative tactics. The only lesson learned from being beaten with a stick is how to beat on people with sticks. The only result a stick fight ever has is a lot of bruises, and the encouragement of only unhealthy and violence-prone people to stick around.

    The best place for our fine philosophers to start is in applying their minds for justice, to creating that fair-minded culture of tolerance and peace. It is the only road that will give them resources and access to the masses for their education and in the end, if they are indeed as fair, tolerant and peaceful as their philosophy claims, they will find themselves with the greatest amount of righteous, non-NAP offending influence.

  41. paulie

    There are counties and municipalities begging for political competition and being a LP or CP member isn’t going to cut it. People say they want alternatives, maybe we need instead of national, ideological parties is state and or county based regional parties across the country providing the competition.

    I think Libertarians or Constitutionalists could actually do it. Most people don’t know, or don’t know much, about those parties, and even the ones who have an opinion could change it when they meet a few people (especially people they already know) in those parties that don’t fit their preconceived mold.

    But to the extent that the LP and Const. Party have already made an impression, the Country Party could do the same thing more easily in some ways.

    The Progressive Party, ironically, is the best example of this, and while they do not have organization outside of Vermont, they do have a name that would lend itself to one.

  42. paulie

    There is no use in advertising if most of your stores only have three items on the shelf (In this analogy, the items on the shelf are people actively involved). A local organization needs to have a core of a five or more to feel attractive to any newbie at all and since the personality pool is shallow, retention is hard. It is not until you have a dozen or more that a group gets sticky.

    From what I have read about how the Costa Rican Libertarian Party organized:

    They started by asking their friends and neighbors over to their homes to introduce the libertarian ideology and find a few like minded people to help them build further.

    Then those people would invite other friends of their own, and so forth.

    It spread sort of like a bottom up social network, rather than from the top down like a typical US ideological party.

    They then became the most electorally successful Libertarian party in the world.

  43. Andy

    “Of the ones that have any kind of idea, most seem to think it is something along the lines of Rand Paul and Glenn Beck, and maybe that those two are personally involved with the party.”

    Many people also think that the Libertarian Party means “liberal,” as in some type of leftist party.

    Another very common misconception about the Libertarian Party is that it has something to do with Lyndon LaRouche.

  44. paulie

    Many people also think that the Libertarian Party means “liberal,” as in some type of leftist party.

    I’m not finding that as much lately. You?

    Another very common misconception about the Libertarian Party is that it has something to do with Lyndon LaRouche.

    Also not hearing that one near as much as I used to.

  45. Andy

    “I’m not finding that as much lately. You?”

    “Also not hearing that one near as much as I used to.”

    I still hear both. Heard both quite a few times in Maryland.

    Of course there are others who think that it is some kind of right wing party.

    There are also those who think that it has something to do with Ross Perot or Ralph Nader.

  46. paulie

    Hmmm. I never heard the LaRouche thing in Maryland, and I don’t recall anyone who thought the LP is leftist, but I ran into quite a few people who thought it was right wing/tea party.

    BTW do you still want to do the radio show? If we reschedule we gotta make sure you remember to be there when we have it.

  47. Andy

    “paulie // Jan 20, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Hmmm. I never heard the LaRouche thing in Maryland, and I don’t recall anyone who thought the LP is leftist, but I ran into quite a few people who thought it was right wing/tea party.”

    I heard Lyndon LaRouche quite a bit in Maryland. I think that the LaRouchies are more active in that area so that is probably why.

    I also had a few people who thought that Libertarian meant left wing liberal.

  48. paulie

    I remember hearing all that years ago. Lately, not so much. Say, why do I get the feeling we’re repeating ourselves? Is that because we are repeating ourselves? And what about the radio show? The radio show. What about it?

  49. Robert Capozzi

    p46, in actuality, the Nolan/Knedler resolution was a “sweep under the carpet,” ultimately cowardly act, IMO. It didn’t address the FL and ID resolutions, which are STILL in force today!

    A really ballsy LNC would have said to those states: While you can say whatever you want, we don’t have to accept your dysfunctional behavior. Either retract your call for a purge of our colleague, or WE will resign. (Alternatively, I’d research whether it’s possible to disaffiliate a state party for unprofessional behavior.)

    This sandbox is for play. When 2 of the kids start throwing sand, that unacceptable behavior needs to be stopped. Nonviolently, of course.

  50. paulie

    I don’t think the Florida and Idaho resolutions have any teeth, so I can’t agree with the rather dramatic statement. It’s now open season on any L to be “removed” for any “deviation.”

    If the shoe was on the other foot, and the LNC was actually disaffiliating states because people in state leadership positions were making questionable statements in the media, your statement would be accurate. However, resolutions from two states with no enforcement mechanism that are rather obviously going nowhere do not make for an open season. More like an open season using toy guns and dull plastic knives.

  51. JT

    Thanks for the link, Paulie.

    “The CP strongly promotes the incorporation of Christianity into politics and government and is absolutist about making abortion illegal, even in the case of rape or incest. These positions are very unpopular with the vast majority of Americans. It is commonly thought that the abortion issue has about an even split among voters. That is true, but only when the pro-life side of the issue allows for abortion in the case of rape and incest. Most polling shows that more than 80% of Americans oppose making abortion illegal in all cases.”

    So the difference in policies is only abortion? It says the “Country Party” rejects the incorporation of Christianity into politics, but I’m not sure what that means as far as concrete policies go. On what other concrete policies does the Country Party significantly differ from the Constitution Party?

  52. JT

    They’ve already made clear the differences with the Constitution Party aren’t also drugs and immigration. Is it gay marriage or foreign policy or anything else?

  53. paulie

    They actually do have a difference with the Constitution Party on immigration. I can’t remember at the moment whether it was in this thread or the other one about them, but Don Wills said they would be in favor of increased (but not unlimited) legal immigration and guest worker programs. My understanding is that the Constitution Party would further decrease, or even halt, legal immigration, at least from some countries.

    I haven’t checked the Constitution Party platform recently, but it used to say – and maybe still does – that stopping illegal drugs from coming into the US is a legitimate function of the federal government, but that the rest of the federal war on drugs should be ended. In the same comment referenced in my previous paragraph, Don Wills said the Country Party’s provisional position on the drug war was to end it entirely at the federal level, which presumably includes drug interdiction at the border and along the coastlines.

    Since the Country Party does not have a detailed platform yet, it is reasonable to believe from the little that they have put up that they have other differences with the Constitution Party, although you are correct that they have not spelled them out at this point.

  54. J. W. Evans

    I saw Knapp mentioned Jake Featherston’s Freedom Party earlier, which got me thinking back to that book series’ other parties.
    They had Political Parties that weren’t called Parties. In early competition to the Freedom Party they had “The Redemption League”

    Does the name necessarily have to end with Party?

  55. Thomas L. Knapp

    JW,

    Interesting question.

    American history is littered with the bones of organizations which were putatively not “parties” but which effectively acted as parties in at least some instances. The Grange and the Non-Partisan League leap to mind.

    Such organizations are less possible these days — ballot access laws, campaign finance laws, etc., have erected a sort of legal wall that forces special interest groups to work through parties rather than act as parties themselves, at least with respect to the election of candidates to office.

  56. Aryan Barbarian

    “I thought of recommending Straight Shooters Party, but the initials SS are just bad, and besides they just may want to leave out the welcome mat at least a tiny bit for a member or several from the Pink Pistols…LOL”

    The letters SS are excellent, but I too am wondering whether gay nazis like myself are welcome in the new SS, or whether we will be purged from the start like our brethren in Nazi Germany.

  57. Teabagger

    Tell me more about this whole gay nazi thing.

    I want to do a paper on it for my community college class. Any information you can provide would be of the utmost interest to me; I eagerly await your responses.

    Also, what kind of guns and ammo do you guys recommend for targeting liberal members of Congress as our folksy leader Sarah Palin has so courageously ordered Tea Party Patriots to do?

  58. Teabagger

    “Nationalist Party…fairly accurate, but has vague fascist overtones that may be best avoided”

    Smart thinking. We don’t want to totally teabag everybody in the face with accurate representations of tea party fascism.

    I think a lot more voters will go for it if we go around wrapping ourselves in the American flag and carrying a big Christian cross.

  59. Thomas L. Knapp

    @67:

    “I never justify’d cutting off the King’s Head, yet the Disasters that befel Kings when they begun to be Arbitrary, are not with out their use, and are so many Beacons to their Successors to mark out the Sands which they are to avoid.” — The Mischiefs That Ought Justly to Be Apprehended from a Whig-?Government, 1714

  60. Tucson Teabagger

    “Also, what kind of guns and ammo do you guys recommend for targeting liberal members of Congress as our folksy leader Sarah Palin has so courageously ordered Tea Party Patriots to do?”

    PS I loved it when she said “don’t retreat, reload!” In my struggle, I have never heard more inspiring words! Hail Victory!

  61. longtime reader x-time alias

    Tucsoner, shouldn’t you be spraying anti-Christian graffiti on the STOP signs like all the other violent leftist psychos down there?

  62. Alaska Constitution Party

    Sarah Palin is not the problem. It is those who prefer character assassination over substantive dialogue who are the problem. In Jewish teaching, gossip and slander (LaShan Hara) are considered to be of the same effect as murder.
    Shalom!

  63. Tucson Teabagger

    “Tucsoner, shouldn’t you be spraying anti-Christian graffiti on the STOP signs like all the other violent leftist psychos down there?”

    You totally have me confused with someone else.

    I’m a true red blooded American. My gun is firm, long, wide barreled, upright and ready, and my finger is always on the trigger.

    I hate gays and Mexicans with a passion. Nothing makes me madder with passion than a gay man or a Mexican, or especially a gay Mexican, with his shirt off and his muscles glistening with sweat. I hate them so much that my veins start bulging out, my nose flares, and I get all red in the neck and face. My gun gets just about ready to go off every time I see one, that’s how mad I get.

    I also hate the Islamic bastards, although I gotta say I kind of admire how they control their women.

    I support the troops and the police. In fact no one is a bigger fan of men in uniform than I am.

    I am also a Christian patriot. What I love the most about Jesus is His fervent nationalism, His support for the troops and wars of liberation, and His unabashed free market capitalist economic views. Like when He said it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a poor Mexican to get into heaven. Jesus is my kind of teabagger!

  64. Tucson Teabagger

    Another of my favorite Bible quotes: Go to war on your neighbor before he does it unto you. Couldn’t have said it any better!

  65. Steven R Linnabary

    Does the name necessarily have to end with Party?

    I seem to recall a party in Vermont that went by the name “Liberty Union”.

    PEACE

  66. Steven R Linnabary

    Teabagger:

    You forgot to mention that your Bible is in English…

    and if English was good enough for Jesus, it should be good enough for the rest of us!!

    Just trying to help 😉

    PEACE

  67. Tucson Teabagger

    Yeah! How can someone be a true Christian when they can’t even read the Bible in the original, English language, King James Version?

    Jesus spoke English Only, so why can’t the illegal Mexican invaders and all the other foreigners coming into this country to take away our jobs? Don’t they understand that in a free market these jobs rightfully belong to native born Americans?

  68. longtime reader x-time alias

    Tucsoner, shouldn’t you be spraying anti-Christian graffiti on the STOP signs like all the other violent leftist psychos down there?

  69. Tucson Teabagger

    Long time,

    Would you like to get together? We can get our knees together (to pray of course), play with each other’s guns and talk about shooting liberal politicians.

    After that maybe we can cruise by a Home Depot and holler at Mexicans in the parking lot. Sounds like fun…what do you say?

  70. Robert Capozzi

    p60, technicalities aside, it’s now acceptable for state parties to call for purges of LNC members. The LNC did not challenge it. They deflected it.

    IMO, this creates a hostile work environment for our political enterprise. That the state LP’s did not have the “authority” to purge does not excuse the fact that they called for a purge.

    This: “More like an open season using toy guns and dull plastic knives,” is quite true, IMO. Calls for purges IS child’s play.

  71. Down and Out in Dixie

    Here are some other ideas courtesy of urbandictionary.com – look em up yourself:

    Country Blumpkin Party

    Country Bear Party

    Country Chili Party

    Country Crack Party

    Country Crammer Party

    Country Fudge Party

    Country Gravy Party

    Country Gravy Train Party

    Country Hand Warmer party

    Country Kleenex Party

    The Country Matters Party (hey, that one might actually work)

    Country Pancake Party

    Country Run Party

    Country Saddle Party

    Country Steamer Party

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