David Colborne in IPR comments:
Don’t sweat the National LP. No, seriously.
The GOP and Democrats both seem to do just fine having regional “dialects”. Republicans in California push on different issues than Republicans in Georgie. Democrats in Michigan push a different agenda than Democrats in Oregon. There’s enough in common to keep the parties together and provide some ideological consistency, but not much more than that. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Here’s the thing – Libertarians in Wyoming are going to have different hot-button issues than Libertarians in Nevada, who are going to have different hot-button issues than Libertarians in Utah, who in turn are going to have different hot-button issues than Libertarians in New Hampshire. Alcohol control is a bigger issue in Utah than it is in Nevada, for example; why push legalizing marijuana when the majority of your state can’t even agree that Prohibition is over? Zoning, I suspect, is a bit less of an issue in rural Wyoming than it would be in, say, urban California. Heck, Starchild’s event was popular in San Francisco because San Franciso loves those events. If I tried to replicate something like that here in Reno, it’d be five Libertarians on the front lawn of the Federal Building, like every other LP-sparked protest up here. Protests just aren’t in Reno’s makeup.
What Wayne says makes sense in the context of the social circles he hangs out in. It’s not my cup of tea for many of the same reasons it’s not paulie’s cup of tea – I love the effort and I love the media attention, but I don’t think the problem with the LP is that its ideology is too “liberal”. If anything, I’d argue it’s not liberal enough – those that think of us at all largely think of us as a vacation spot for disaffected Republicans, whether they be Ronulans or otherwise. Personally, I’m more than a little miffed that the idea that we should treat each other equally and fairly, regardless of race, creed, or sexual orientation, or that we should be free to do what we want with our bodies has somehow been transmogrified into supporting big government. It’s annoying. But, I don’t mind Wayne speaking to his audience. We need disaffected conservatives to make the switch, too, just as bad.
The big thing to remember is this: People don’t become more Libertarian by hanging out with Republicans and Democrats. They become more Libertarian by hanging out with Libertarians. This means opening a big tent and welcoming all who are interested in the message of freedom, even if they might not be as far along their journey of political discovery as others in the Party. If we can remember that, we’ll be fine.
David Colborne is the Northern Regional Representative in the Libertarian Party of Nevada, the Chair of the Nevada Capital Libertarian Party, and was narrowly defeated for Vice Chair as well as Secretary of the state party at their convention a few days ago.