John Jay Myers: My Thoughts On the LNC (Or Off the LNC)

Posted as a note to Facebook early morning Sunday, April 17:

This weekend I was supposed to speak at the Mississippi Party’s State Convention, something I was looking forward to, but instead I made the trip to Washington D.C. to try and fill the slot that was left vacant on the Libertarian National Committee by my friend David Nolan.

I had crunched the numbers the week before and realized that I probably did not have the votes needed to win a slot on the LNC. However I thought it was important to show up and let the current membership make their own decisions.

There is an element on the board that I understand to be working together in order to control the LNC, I knew I was in trouble when the night before I laid out specifically what types of things I would focus on in order to try to immediately turn around the National Party and get us back to the type of respect we had during the days of Harry Browne (at least). I asked a very prominent member of that group “What exactly is your plan for the Libertarian Party? I mean what is it that you want to convey or what message do you guys want out there that is going to grow this party?” I had thought maybe if they tell me their plan, I will “get it”.

His answer “Read the 48 Laws of Power” I had never heard of the “48 Laws of Power” but after looking it up, they should rename it “A Douche Bag’s Handbook”, it is an instruction manual on how to manipulate and sway people, how to take advantage of those around you and gain control. Of course not a word on what the party should do or how it should act.

It was now easier for me to understand these people want control of the LNC but have no idea what would actually make the Libertarian Party grow. They know how to manipulate, they know how to make big promises, but they have no real plan to expand our membership. I don’t however understand what they intend to do with this control.

Prior to the vote, each of us was asked to speak for 2 minutes, I gave a brief introduction. This is what I wish I would have said:

“There was a revolution in this country during the 2008 election, it rose up like a tsunami, it did not need much help, apparently “Freedom is popular”, like the free market in products, these ideas were electrifying young people. But not for us. At that time for whatever reason, at the exact wrong time we opted to try and be more like the two major parties instead of showing how we we are the ideal home for millions of frustrated Americans.

There was a vacuum created and we should have been there to fill it, we were not, instead groups like Cato, Reason, Advocates, Anti-war.com, CFL, RLC, became the outlet of choice for these movements, these libertarian movements, and in some instances we took the brunt of their jokes.

As we stand somewhere on the sideline mumbling about how we are going to appeal to more mainstream voters………..the more mainstream voters are flooding these other groups to learn more about real libertarian principles.

All this talk about who should be our target audience is ridiculous, we are the Libertarian Party, and we can not attract the one target audience that matters……….. libertarians. The Republican Party is going to fail again this year nominate the one guy who could actually change America, and when they do, millions of Americans are going to be looking for an alternative, one who appears to have (and has had) a principled stand against the wars, against the banks, against corporatism, someone who is pro-freedom. The difference between Ron Paul and the other Republican candidates is night and day, all we need to do is show them the light.

By taking strong principled stands right now on these issues, by putting ourselves out there as a group that truly believes them, we will see an explosion in our growth unlike any other time in our history. If we continue to allow ourselves to be manipulated 48 different ways, we will miss out on the greatest opportunity this party has ever seen.”

This is why I am asking that all principled libertarians be ready for 2012, we need to be getting delegates fired up now, we need to not let this note get you down… IT SHOULD GET YOU UP! Do not let these people manipulate us to irrelevancy at the time in history where we are more relevant then ever.

We need to play politics, we need to make a list of every regional position, and make sure that we have a truly freedom loving candidate in each one. We need to make sure that our at-large positions are filled with people that understand our goals of setting ourselves apart from both parties, and preaching a message that will resonate with all these other groups, Reason, Cato, Advocates, Anti-war.com so they are willing to work with us.

Make your plans to be in Las Vegas in 2012 and to take back control of the greatest political party in the Country. Let’s get this Party started!

120 thoughts on “John Jay Myers: My Thoughts On the LNC (Or Off the LNC)

  1. Tony Wall

    I couldn’t have said it any better. The LP has missed the Ron Paul movement, the Tea Party movement and the progressive Anti-War movement. The libertarian movement is happening without the Libertarian Party and it seems the majority of the National leadership can’t get its head out of Fox News’ ass. Until the LP returns to its principles it will continue to be less and less relevant.

  2. Jeremy C. Young

    Myers says it exactly right. The problem with the cabal running the LNC isn’t that it’s a cabal, it’s that it’s an ineffective one. I doubt anyone would have a problem if the Starr/Root faction actually racked up huge numbers of votes and new members in exchange for playing hardball in LNC elections — but they are focusing much more on maintaining their power than on using that power to advance their own cause. I’ve heard Myers talked up as a Presidential candidate, but I personally would rather see him run for LP chair or at least vice chair — he could do even more good there, I think, while not competing with Wrights.

  3. "De Facto" Nothing

    I think the dominant LNC faction thinks they are already the “de facto political arm” of the freedom movement — because they trademarked the name “Libertarian Party.”

    They imagine they can do as they like, be as lazy or obnoxious as they like, and even so, freedom-lovers will flood the LP because they have nowhere else to go. Nobody else to vote for if they want “Libertarianism TM/c.”

    Alas, the American people disagree. It seems the majority of freedom-lovers think they can fight for liberty — and very effectively — without the “Libertarian Party TM/c.”

  4. JT

    JJM: “There was a vacuum created and we should have been there to fill it, we were not, instead groups like Cato, Reason, Advocates, Anti-war.com, CFL, RLC, became the outlet of choice for these movements, these libertarian movements, and in some instances we took the brunt of their jokes.”

    I hate to interrupt, but I don’t know what the above means. How can you claim the above organizations became “the outlet of choice” for libertarians? What’s the evidence that these organizations were beneficiaries while the LP was left behind?

    I think the only group one could say that of is the Campaign for Liberty–Ron Paul’s group. Why? Because any grassroots libertarian groundswell was around HIM. Moreover, somehow this so-called “libertarian revolution” of 2008 somehow failed to make itself evident in votes for RP. He never within a football stadium of winning a Republican primary election in ANY state.

    I’m a fan of Paul. I like Myers too. But let’s try to keep tied to reality here.

  5. John Jay Myers

    I am not sure what is hard to understand here JT. I run into so many people who say they are libertarian but not Libertarian.

    They do not see us as the proper use of their time, energy or donations, I could probably add to the list if you think it would help your version of reality by adding pacs and Mises.

    The point being these are groups that have carved out their nitch, out of what should be our nitch.

    If you think that isn’t reality, talk to texas who lost a 2ook donor to a pac. Now that is reality.

  6. Robert Capozzi

    7 jjm: [Small, not big Ls] do not see us as the proper use of their time, energy or donations…

    me: Lotta reasons for this, I’d suggest. Some find the LP too radical, non-viable politically, a think tank for non-wonks, premature, a nice idea but with too many legal and institutional obstacles, etc. Others may see the LP as not “radical” enough.

    Political parties are networks for like-minded people to work together for electoral and advocacy purposes. I think of the LP as the train track, with individual candidates as the trains. The track establishes the direction, the candidates establish the velocity.

    For 40 years, we’ve mostly been a bunch of trains stranded in the train yard, tinkering with the design while criticizing other L train models. At some point, a L train may actually get on the track and start making progress. Arguably, Ron Paul and to some extent Gary Johnson already have. They’ve barely left the station, too.

  7. Darryl W. Perry

    There are also the people that: “agree with almost everything” the LP (BTP, Greens, or any other “minor party”) stands for, but “you’ll never win; so I’m gonna vote for the ‘lesser evil’ – otherwise I’ll waste my vote.”

  8. Carol Moore

    And maybe 2/3 of people who bother to vote are already getting checks from the government (or government contractors) in one form or another. Even Tea Party tupes are manipulated by fear into supporting the absurdly bloated military budget. Getting non-voters to vote in their self-interest for liberty much more difficult.

  9. Carol Moore

    Plus of course there is the Ballot Access issue. So boring and so critical. The Demopublicans don’t want us on the ballot and as long as it’s hard to get on, few people run, and few people take the LP seriously.

  10. Thomas L. Knapp

    DFN @ 3,

    Maybe they do believe that. Of course, the trademark claim is baseless, frivolous and would evaporate under about 30 seconds of litigation, but people have believe even stranger and stupider things.

  11. Darryl W. Perry

    tk people believe even stranger and stupider things

    Like the official story of the JFK assassination and the 9/11 Commission Report (that the members of the commission have said was “set up to fail”)??

  12. Buckeye1776

    “I laid out specifically what types of things I would focus on in order to try to immediately turn around the National Party and get us back to the type of respect we had during the days of Harry Browne (at least).” Actually, the LP has never been respected. Every former member believes the day the LP lost respect is the day that they left the party, but politically speaking, we are no better or worse than we were in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s or 2000s. We receive 1% of the vote in National Elections and 5% in statewide despite the fact that 15-20% of the country agrees completely with our platform.

    I’m tired of this internal politics crap. The reason the LP focuses on it so much is because it has been so unsuccessful in real elections. It’s really laughable. Seriously. In my entire time with the LP, I have not met a single person who is politically savvy and knows what it means to be a Libertarian. Not a single one. The two are NOT mutually exclusive. I hear this continual battle between “reform” and “principle”. Do BOTH for crying out loud.

    The LNC’s job, in addition to setting a vision of libertarianism is to set a vision for being politically successful. The LNC should not micromanage state and local parties, but it should hold them accountable. At least 2/3 of our state parties are complete embarrassments. Time to invoke Article 6, section 6 of the bylaws. If a state party is fielding only one or two candidates a year, is not working toward full ballot access, and is not growing membership and fundraising, it’s status should be revoked and new leadership should be found. Period.

  13. JT

    JJM: “I am not sure what is hard to understand here JT. I run into so many people who say they are libertarian but not Libertarian.”

    Yes, there are many, many, many more people who are libertarian than are Libertarian. Nothing groundbreaking there.

    But I’m not sure what’s hard to understand about MY post, JJM.

    First, I said you made a claim that a bunch of other groups took advantage of a recent libertarian groundswell while the LP didn’t. Did you not do that? I then asked, what’s the evidence that any of of those other benefited either from that?

    Second, I said there was a visible libertarian presence that coalesced around Ron Paul–including a lot of young voters–but even this wasn’t evidence of some kind of a libertarian revolution, like some think. To support that claim, I pointed out how RP still got massacred in every Republican primary election. His supporters were a small fraction of voters–many of whom registered Republican just to vote for him. I still think RP is a hero though.

    So there ya go.

  14. JT

    Buckeye: “We receive 1% of the vote in National Elections and 5% in statewide despite the fact that 15-20% of the country agrees completely with our platform.”

    This isn’t even true. The Libertarian candidate for President has never received 1% of the vote, and Libertarian candidates for Governor or U.S. Senator sometime receive less and sometimes receive more than 5% of the vote. And where did you get the idea that 15-20% of the country agrees “completely” with the LP platform? Just because 15-20% of the country scores libertarian doesn’t mean they agree with all of the platform.

  15. JT

    Buckeye: “At least 2/3 of our state parties are complete embarrassments.”

    I don’t know where you’re getting this figure either, but there are certainly some that don’t do much besides hold an annual convention, run a very small number of candidates, and beg the national LP for help getting ballot status. That’s unfortunate.

  16. Buckeye1776

    I was being generous on the 1% and 5% (although Clark did break 1% I believe). Yes, you are correct, which makes my point even stronger.

    The 15-20% is from a Cato study a few years back. Again, “Completely” may have been a poor choice of words, but the general concept remains. The LP under achieves by any measure. I hope you would agree with that.

  17. Eric Sundwall

    . . . and no one can say they even met ya Buckeye if we don’t know who you are.

    Two party dominance has created a mushy pluralism that ranks it’s success by influence.

    Third parties that pony up to a packed bar looking for the bartenders immediate attention on first glance better be prettier than the popular kids with money.

  18. John Jay Myers

    Jt I will type more later, but if you join the lp to win the presidency in 2012 then you joined the wrong party. My question is what kinds of differences could we make with only ten times the number of people we have now?

    We have to build a base, from there we can grow.

  19. Eric Sundwall

    The other alternative is to be comfortable in one’s own skin while recognizing the absurdity and practicality of real politics.

    Get some good cracks in and know going home you’ll always win if the other side didn’t have the whole schoolyard behind them. Including the teachers and school administrator’s . . . maybe smoking a joint with the janitor is a decent option.

    I’m not a big analogy dude.

  20. Buckeye1776

    I’d be happy to tell you who I am Eric if it were relevant to the conversation in any way.

    My point remains. The LP underachieves and will continue to do so until someone realizes that achieving internal reform and staying true to Libertarian principles are not mutually exclusive.

  21. Michael H. Wilson

    None of this is new. In 1995 I was asked to run for the Chair position in Oregon and did so on a simple plan of outreach, public relations and bringing those first two ideas together for candidate support.

    Immediately after the results were announced that I had won my opponent and his campaign manager (if you can call him that) went out into the hall where there was a screaming match. A few minutes later they came back in an offered their support. It didn’t take a first grader to know I had a problem.

    Some weeks later when I was out of town to deal with a death in the family all hell broke loose. The U.S. senator from Oregon resigned and there was an attempt to sideline me, and my so called supporters started a recall of the opposition. Wonderful mess. I called Tonie Nathan as soon as I heard about the resignation and she tried to recruit a candidate and I headed back to Oregon. I did get a candidate on the ballot to run in the special election. Tonie was one of the few people in the state to understand what the LPO was supposed to be doing. Wonderful woman.

    To make a long story short I eventually resigned to avoid getting caught up in a legal battle and because no one wanted to follow the simple rules. Of course national stuck their nose into the mess and made things worse.

    One of the characters involved in the Oregon mess is still in the LP. His buddies are still here and I see enough of the same patterns to know that this will only stop when we decide that there is no short cut, that we need to stick to our principles and that the people who want to professionalize the party have no damn experience in much of anything. They are all talk and no walk.

  22. Michael H. Wilson

    btw when the next convention rolls around and some start to run for at large positions there needs to be time set aside to question these people. We need to look at their resume and see if they are qualified and what they have accomplished, if anything.

  23. JT

    Buckeye: “I was being generous on the 1% and 5% (although Clark did break 1% I believe).”

    I don’t think so, but it’s close. And there have been some Libertarian candidates in statewide races who have done better than 5%, but not most.

    Buckeye: “The 15-20% is from a Cato study a few years back. Again, “Completely” may have been a poor choice of words, but the general concept remains.”

    I knew where you got that particular range from. But the Cato study measured people who scored consistently economically conservative and socially liberal. That doesn’t mean abolishing most government departments and agencies, which is the the LP platform (I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, just that the connection between that study and the LP platform is a tenuous one).

    Buckeye: “The LP under achieves by any measure. I hope you would agree with that.”

    I’m not sure I’d agree that it underachieves. By reference to what? The LP has a budget of a little more than $1 million and fewer than 20,000 members, which isn’t big. Libertarian candidates typically run campaigns on a small fraction of the funding of Republican and Democratic campaigns and get a small fraction of the publicity that Republican and Democratic candidates get. One could argue Libertarian candidate vote totals are proportional to those things.

    Now if you ask me whether or not I’m okay with that, the answer is no.

    Buckeye: “Yes, at least 2/3. I’m sticking to that. It may be as high as 4/5.”

    I just said I don’t know where you got that estimate from, and I’m sticking to that. Maybe you keep up with every state party, I don’t know.

    JJM: “Jt I will type more later, but if you join the lp to win the presidency in 2012 then you joined the wrong party.”

    I don’t know how you got that or anything close to that from what I said. I directly addressed your post (specifically, the claim that there was a huge libertarian uprising the LP missed out on and everyone else in the libertarian movement benefited from). You didn’t directly address my post though. That’s fine.

    I’ve also been in the LP for a lot longer than a few years, so I wouldn’t have joined to help win the presidency in 2012.

  24. LNC Control Freaks

    @ 15 The LNC should not micromanage state and local parties, but it should hold them accountable… If a state party is fielding only one or two candidates a year … [etc.] … it’s status should be revoked and new leadership should be found.

    I don’t think the LNC can legally dissolve state parties.

    Legally, if the LNC was to revoke a state party’s affiliation, I think the state party would continue to exist under state law, with its “Libertarian” name intact (despite the LP’s trademark).

    All the LNC could do is affiliate with a new and competing state party (legally forced to use a different name), and build up that party from scratch.

    I know the LNC Control Freaks like to imagine that they “own” the affiliate parties, and can dissolve them at will, but state law does not agree.

    And in this case, State Law is more libertarian than the LNC.

  25. Sally Sue Voter

    How much the ‘very prominent member of that group’ is Wayne Root or Aaron Star?

    Let’s call the spade the spade here folks.

  26. Buckeye1776

    @29. I’m not an expert on 50 State laws. Here is what I do know:

    A) From an LP perspective, the LNC has the right to do that. It’s in the bylaws.

    B) In Ohio, the state party had the ability to legally dissolve a local affiliate. All that had to happen was for two competing Libertarian affiliates to file papers with the County BOE. Once that happened, the County would defer to the LPO State Party’s Central Committee.

    As I said, I don’t know how it would work from a National perspective, as I’m not an expert.

  27. George Whitfield

    Thank you, John Jay, for caring about our party and trying to improve its operation. I hope you will be successful.

  28. John Jay Myers

    Sally Sue, it actually wasn’t. I was actually shocked at who said it. It’s not that I didn’t know he was a Wayne/Starr guy…. I just didn’t think he was the kind of guy that was involved in this kind of nuttiness.

    Sorry JT, I was on a plane typing and reading into my little phone. But yes I am claiming that those groups benefitted from the Ron Paul movement.

    I sometimes get frustrated and think maybe I should just support Anti-war etc… but I know this nation needs a third party.
    One that stands for something… and if it doesn’t stand for something, I have no use for it. That is the source of all the fighting.

    You sound like your getting aggravated at me, I don’t really care to knit pick the details of the article so if it’s upsetting you… you win.

  29. Jeremy C. Young

    @31, I know the Constitution Party did this successfully after the 2004 election when a whole bunch of state parties refused to support a candidate who was not 100% pro-life. The CP disaffiliated the whole lot of them and had new affiliates chartered in each state by the 2008 election. None of the disaffiliated state chapters held ballot status in 2008, and I think they ceased to exist. The CP is having more trouble with the California chapter right now, but that is because they are an affiliated party not under the direct control of the CP.

    So, it can be done.

  30. LNC Control Freaks

    @ 31: From an LP perspective, the LNC has the right to do that. It’s in the bylaws.

    Sure, the LP, as a private organization, can kick out members (state affiliates).

    But that’s all it can do. I don’t think, under state law, it can dissolve state parties.

    For instance, the LP can say, “The Libertarian Party of Texas is no longer affiliated with the national Libertarian Party.”

    Okay, but…so now what?

    The Libertarian Party of Texas would still be recognized by the state of Texas. Its name would remain intact, it would retain control of its ballot access, and its leaders would still be recognized by Texas.

    All the LP could do is deny the LPT participation at LP national conventions.

    The LP would then have to encourage a new state party affiliate with a sufficiently different name (e.g., the Freedom Party of Texas, or whatever), and start from scratch.

    The disaffiliated LPT would keep its ballot access, and the LP’s new affiliate must achieve ballot access from scratch, all the while competing with the older LPT.

    I don’t know Texas state law — or any state laws — in detail. I do know that state parties are recognized and governed by state law, and not by private organizations located in D.C.

  31. Buckeye1776

    @29: How is it more Libertarian to allow the Government to define what is or isn’t the Libertarian Party, than it is to allow the LNC?

  32. LNC Control Freaks

    @ 35: The CP disaffiliated the whole lot of them and had new affiliates chartered in each state by the 2008 election. None of the disaffiliated state chapters held ballot status in 2008, and I think they ceased to exist.

    IOW, these CP affiliates were paper parties. They had no ballot access under state law. There was nothing to keep these parties running after they lost their CP affiliation.

    Its different with a state party that has ballot access (e.g., the CP’s California affiliate, which kept its ballot access even after disassociating from the CP — forcing the CP’s presidential candidate to run as a write-in in 2008.)

    My point is that the “crown jewel” (which is what Milnes calls the LP’s ballot access) is owned by the state affiliates, not by the national LP.

    The LP can disaffiliate any state party — but the state party keeps its name and ballot access.

  33. LNC Control Freaks

    @29: How is it more Libertarian to allow the Government to define what is or isn’t the Libertarian Party, than it is to allow the LNC?

    You’re twisting my words out of context.

    I’m saying that it more Libertarian to allow the State Parties to define what is or isn’t the Libertarian Party in each state, than it is to allow the LNC to do so.

    And that in this case, the Government (correctly) sides with the State Libertarian Parties, as opposed to the national Libertarian Party.

  34. LNC Control Freaks

    The people on the LNC are not anarchists. They would argue that it’s appropriate for the Government to prevent aggression.

    I agree.

    And I thank the Government for preventing the national LP from engaging in aggression against the state libertarian parties.

  35. LNC Control Freaks

    If the LNC were to disaffiliate a state party — but then try and steal its name and ballot access — that would be aggression.

    Thank God state law prevents such aggression and theft by the LNC.

  36. Buckeye1776

    @40. That is a very valid argument.

    I guess from the historical perspective, I thought the LP was created at a National level, and that the state parties came after that (please someone correct me if I’m wrong). That’s why I thought Section 6.1 of the Bylaws states: No person, group or organization may use the name “Libertarian Party” or any confusingly similar designation except the Party or an organization to which the Party grants affiliate party status or as otherwise provided in these bylaws.

  37. Buckeye1776

    @41…Similar to my last point, that assumes the name belongs to the state party. I’m not so sure. If it doesn’t then it may be theft the other way around.

  38. TinFoilCap, Facemask & JockeyShorts to Match

    Who should the Libertarian Party target?: http://www.youtube.com/user/clearsky24

    Don’t get discouraged Myers. You have the second largest state of these united states to recruit. Carpe Diem! Make it happen, friend !!!

    ~~
    I guess it never crosses anyone’s mind that there are Judas Goats among the LP also. Any opposition to the powers that be is a threat. No matter how small most of you think, with the ballot access to actually be elected the LP must be watched and kept in disarray as much as possible. Why do people push so hard to be elected to positions of importance in state as well as national and when elected, either you can’t find them or they are tripping up anyone trying to progress the party?

    I left the Party in the nineties over some very questionable things within the state party. I chose not to fight it then as it didn’t seem worth it. Now the state party is on the ropes and is in trouble! Wonder why ?! Not because I left, but perhaps because certain “people” want it on the ropes ready to go down! Money and power rules in real politics. Egos cause some problems but there are powers that definitely don’t want the LP to ever be organized, growing and headed in ONE direction !

    There are examples of what I imply. –
    “The revelations about illegal domestic spying by the Bush administration were nothing new. It was just the tip of a deep, dirty iceberg . . .
    A shocking story of the infiltration and subversion of the American nationalist movement. There was and still is a long-term effort to destroy the patriot movement from within . . .

    CONTROLLED OPPOSITION – …the shocking story of the infiltration and subversion of the American nationalist movement by enemy agents provocateurs and the creation of “controlled opposition” groups by the powers that be.

    … how federal intelligence agencies, such as the CIA and the FBI, in league with private spy organizations…

    Masquerading today behind the mask of “patriotism” and “anti-communism,” burrowing deep within the American system, they have wedged their way into a position of power and influence beyond anything one might ever imagine possible….

    …unmasks the traitors, who’ve posed as “patriots”, and, … some… names may surprise you. There are enemy agents within our midst and The Judas Goats – The Enemy Within tells it like it is.

    Between two covers, for the first time, is the whole sordid history as only the detail-oriented no-nonsense Michael Collins Piper could tell it. This is an amazing book and most certainly not only the first of its kind, but one which will remain the standard on the topic.”

    THE JUDAS GOATS: THE ENEMY WITHIN: http://shop.americanfreepress.net/store/p/60-THE-JUDAS-GOATS-THE-ENEMY-WITHIN.html

  39. Inquiring minds

    From what I saw on video, this LNC group is far more professional than the group from 2008 to 2010. It was time the drama and childish antics to end.
    Sour grapes. Move on.

  40. LNC Control Freaks

    @43 that assumes the name belongs to the state party. I’m not so sure. If it doesn’t then it may be theft the other way around.

    There are many names.

    “Libertarian Party” belongs to the national party.

    “Libertarian Party of New York” belongs to the state party in New York.

    “Libertarian” belongs to the public domain, like the word “socialist” or “democratic.”

    It doesn’t matter which came first — national or state parties — I think the word “libertarian” predated both of them.

    If the national LP was to try and stop the LPNY from using “Libertarian Party of New York,” that would be theft.

    The LP is, of course, free to start a new and competing state party affiliate, to be called the “Freedom Libertarian Party of New York” or “Libertarian People’s Party of New York,” or whatever.

    Many parties use the word “socialist” as part of their name. No one can own such a generic word. Likewise, there’s no reason that competing state or national parties can’t incorporate the word “libertarian” into their names.

  41. Robert Capozzi

    47 LCF, I wonder how the Rockwell crowd and other plumb liners might view this, being anti-IP and all.

  42. JT

    JJM: “Sorry JT, I was on a plane typing and reading into my little phone. But yes I am claiming that those groups benefitted from the Ron Paul movement.”

    I know you claimed that. I just don’t know of any evidence that’s the case.

    JJM: “You sound like your getting aggravated at me, I don’t really care to knit pick the details of the article so if it’s upsetting you… you win.”

    Aggravated? Upsetting? I don’t know how you’d conclude that. I just matched the tone that you used when you responded to me, which rather surprised me. Read what you wrote and then what I wrote. I very much appreciate your work for the LP though.

  43. Michael H. Wilson

    Back to the issue if I may. regardless of what some on the LNC do I can always put up a booth or a table at a local event. I can and have made my own brochures which I might be able to share and this morning I will be visiting with a local legislator’s office manager and working to get a bill introduced next session to lower the fees midwives have to pay.

    Frankly I don’t need the LP, but it would be nice to have them help.

    Does the LP need me? From the responses, or lack of, that I have received from some on the LNC in reply to my post to them in the last few years I have my doubts.

  44. Alaska Constitution Party

    The LP (& most other 3rd parties) have long been plagued by these internal problems. I was extensively involved with the Montana LP in the 80s & 90s. Even serving as MT LP Chairman, and preventing the MTLP from disbanding at a historic meeting in Helena in the early 80s. That may have been a mistake, as the LP often behaves like a Personality Disordered individual. Blaming everyone else for its problems, desperate operatives seeking manipulative control in some state parties, vicious factionalism and ultimately self-sabotaging over and over again. Freely engaging in self-injurious behaviors for all the world to see. Like the Reform Party and AIP, resources and credibility are wasted. The result is no traction, and nowhere for the disenfranchised to turn. Many talented people are thus discouraged and driven off.

    Enough already! Reality Check! We are losing our precious liberties!

    With that said, I look forward to building on our working relationship with the AKLP. We need to mature politically! Let’s work together when we can to achieve all we are able!

    Honoring Our Heritage,
    Pioeering Our Future!

    J.R. Myers
    Chairman ACP

  45. TinFoilCap, Facemask & JockeyShorts to Match

    @49 I got that vote from the other thread about the LNC meeting. Wasn’t listed by names so I don’t know. I will say the eight who voted it down would have to explain their vote, before I would ever support them for anything certainly not the very important position of natcomm member!

    @52 Mr. J.R. Myers you sound like the type person I would be pleased to work with. May the AKLP begin to prosper again! (For newbies who might not know) They had state LP legislators at one time and gave us Marrou on the national level in ’88 and ’92.

    @53 Sadly Love, I’m a big FAT fish as well as a loser…

  46. interesting

    @ # 49 IM.
    I am hearing some names. But nothing for sure. But, it is a curious mix.
    We know that Mr. Hinkle voted for impeachment of Obama.

  47. Alan Pyeatt

    Tinfoil Cap @44 makes some very good points.

    When I moved to California more than 20 years ago, at the first LP Region Meeting I attended, the speaker recommended we all read Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals.” I read it, and agree 100% that we ALL need to know what Alinsky learned about how the power elite responds to perceived threats.

    After all, if we’re doing our job, we are threatening some very large streams of money and power. And if you don’t think these people can get very nasty, ask any old-timer in the American Indian Movement (e.g. https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Anna_Mae_Aquash).

    The days of COINTELPRO aren’t over, they have simply adjusted to the times. We need to change with them, and recognize the threats that WE are faced with.

  48. LP Power Mongers vs. Radicals

    The Starr/Root faction don’t care about “Rules for Radicals,” because they don’t want to fight the Money and Power Establishment.

    Rather, they want a seat at the table of Money and Power, and share in the spoils.

    Or at the very least, they’d like to sit under the table, like a loyal lapdog, and hope the Master tosses them a few scarps.

    The reason for LP infighting is because we are NOT all on the same side. Some want the LP to fight the Establishment. Others want to use the LP to ingratiate themselves with the Establishment.

    These goals are not complementary; they are contradictory.

    These are not different paths to the same goal; they pull in opposite directions.

    The LP will never progress in any direction unless one or the other faction is decisively defeated.

  49. Alan Pyeatt

    Hmm. If some people within the party can keep us fighting amongst ourselves, that would certainly make it easier for the azzholes that are making money hand over fist off the current system, wouldn’t it?

    Seems to me that some people are lapdogs, and some people are attack dogs.

    “By their fruits shall ye know them.” Or as Murray Rothbard kept asking, “Who benefits?”

  50. Robert Capozzi

    60 jp, putting aside the source, Rothbard does ask a good question, “who benefits”? In this case, who benefits from uncivil, dysfunctional, hyperbolic intra-L contentiousness? On one level, no one does, as the attack > counter-attack > counter-counter attack cycle is a negative sum game. It does seem to preoccupy the LP psychic (in the Hayekian sense of that word) energy.

    The desire to be “right” may well explain this sorry situation. With no foreseeable prospect for attaining influence on government policy or even the public square, sectarian matters leap forward as the one area where an individual L can “win.” When they launch a savage – sometimes personal – attack on a fellow L, I suspect that act feels somehow psychologically satisfying to the attacker. The victim/victimizer cycle then begins.

    Somehow, those who engage in this addiction don’t recognize that this behavior creates a lose/lose situation.

  51. LP Power Mongers vs. Radicals

    Capozzi @ 61 The desire to be “right” may well explain this sorry situation.

    Despite your superior attitude, I don’t think this desire explains the situation all that well.

    With no foreseeable prospect for attaining influence on government policy or even the public square, sectarian matters leap forward as the one area where an individual L can “win.”

    Or perhaps, many Libertarians, of all factions, think it’s better than an LP candidate lose a race, than have a candidate win, only to misrepresent the LP (as judged by them).

    I’d rather have obnoxious causes promoted by an elected Democrat or Republican, than by an elected Libertarian.

    I’m sure many Libertarians, from all factions, agree — though they’d be loathe to admit it in public.

    The approved public spin is: “Oh, if only we can stop this infighting, so we can have some productive activism and win some elections!”

    Yet despite the spin, since the 1990s, I’ve heard many Libertarians preach unity, while practicing factionalism.

    I don’t expect factionalism to end, because there are rational reasons for factional disputes (e.g., deep and substantive philosophical disagreements over fundamental principles), which Capozzi’s silly theory @ 61 ignores.

  52. Robert Capozzi

    62 LP: I’d rather have obnoxious causes promoted by an elected Democrat or Republican, than by an elected Libertarian.

    me: At the moment, that’s a very small risk, IMO. In my case, “obnoxious” is in the eye of the beholder. I’d say that everyone will disagree on some issue, how the issue is framed, and how to address the dysfunction.

    If I lived in Lake Jackson, I’d vote for Ron Paul, even though I disagree with him sometimes. If I lived in Kentucky, I’d think long and hard about whether to vote for Rand Paul.

    If Wrights gets the LP nomination, I’ll vote for him, despite my disagreements with some of his views.

    “Misrepresentation” is a sure thing, except among The Borg. At some point, though, yes, if a would-be nominee’s views are too out of alignment with one’s own, one might choose to not support that nominee.

    I certainly agree that there appear to be factions which have disagreements. I’d note, though, that there are disagreements WITHIN factions, too.

    I’m sorry my theory doesn’t work for you. Thanks for you feedback, though.

  53. JT

    LP PM vs. R: “I don’t expect factionalism to end, because there are rational reasons for factional disputes (e.g., deep and substantive philosophical disagreements over fundamental principles)…”

    It won’t. I’d just point out that phenomenon isn’t unique to the Libertarian Party. There are factions within any party–including the Democratic Party and the Republican Party as well. Parties are alignments of people who share some common political values, but they may disagree (sometimes vehemently) on the concrete implementations of those values.

    Anyone who reads or watches the news knows, for example, that progressives and moderates in the Democratic Party are sometimes at odds, while conservatives and moderates in the Republican Party are sometimes at odds. There are also party caucuses that focus on issues of great interest to a particular group, such as the the Congressional Hispanic Caucus for Hispanic Democrats, and the Congressional Hispanic Conference for Hispanic Republicans. These caucuses sometimes are frustrated with politicians in their own party who don’t implement the policies they want.

    Even though the LP itself is an ideological party, one can’t expect everyone in the party to agree on everything, whether that’s government policies or party rules. If anyone joins the LP expecting that all Libertarians see eye to eye on everything and everyone in the party gets along well, that person is going to be profoundly disappointed.

    While I don’t believe the term libertarian has no objective meaning, I do welcome people with differing views as party members who want to greatly reduce government power. I also welcome Libertarian candidates who don’t always agree with each other but do advocate policies that clearly differentiate them from Democratic and Republican candidates (except Ron Paul, obviously). That’s a judgment call on my part, obviously.

    I do think it’s proper to insist that Libertarians not attack each other on a personal level that has nothing to do with political views and actions.

  54. Michael H. Wilson

    JT is right about the factions, but when you run into a wall don’t get up and run into it again. Go around it.

    Build a record of accomplishments on your own or with a group and forget the party. If at some point others in the LP see your accomplishments they may ask you to help.

    As for me I was talking to me state rep’s office about introducing a bill next session to lower the fees midwives pay.
    Writing letters on opening the urban transit market and a few other issues.

  55. Gains

    Factions are a certainty. The arena in which the interact, and the cultural expectations of what competition between them looks like shapes how they affect the larger group.

  56. Don Wills

    This most important sentence in this long and tiring thread is the basis for all of the failures/infighting/etc. –

    THE LP WILL NEVER PROGRESS IN ANY DIRECTION UNLESS ONE OR THE OTHER FACTION IS DECISIVELY DEFEATED.

  57. Robert Capozzi

    67 Don, in your case, you are starting your own party! I wish you wild success, but odds are high that the “Country” Party will soon develop its own factions.

    I’d suggest that the differences in the LP are more pronounced and caustic than most other parties, though.

    I hope I’m incorrect.

  58. Thomas L. Knapp

    Milnes @ 70,

    You might want to actually look at what happened and re-evaluate your opinion that Ruwart “came out against” Judge Gray.

    She suggested that it might be more important to have him in the role he fills at present than to have him in a different role.

  59. Sten Drescher

    Mr. Myers, I “say [I am] libertarian but not Libertarian” because I cannot support a Party which believes that it is appropriate to add to the spam on the Internet. To use your term, it’s a practice which should be found in A Douche Bag’s Handbook”, but you use it yourself in your role as a “Membership Coordinator/Director” (you use both titles in the same spam) for Texas..

  60. Buckeye1776

    @58 “The reason for LP infighting is because we are NOT all on the same side. Some want the LP to fight the Establishment. Others want to use the LP to ingratiate themselves with the Establishment. These goals are not complementary; they are contradictory.”

    You have confused goals with tactics. The GOAL is to expand freedom and limit the power of the state. Every is (or should be) on board with that.

    Whether or not some think it is better to do that by being more or less established in the “system” is a tactical question. Some believe its better to expand freedom and limit the power of the state by 100% opposing the “system”. Others believe change can be made more effectively as part of the “system”.

    We can’t continue to assume someone is more or less Libertarian than we are because they have a different strategy for the best way to promote freedom.

  61. Thomas L. Knapp

    Milnes @ 74,

    Your “evaluation” of Ruwart and $3.49 plus tax will get you an iced latte at McDonald’s.

    She’s so “politically inept” that she got 416,708 more votes for public office than you did in 2010.

    She also got X more delegate votes than you did for the 2008 LP presidential nomination, X being however many delegate votes she got.

    Maybe there’s something magic about the trailer she sits in and bellyaches from.

  62. Robert Milnes

    Yes, Tom, I have done poorly. While you & paulie were running me down as impure, you don’t get the big picture that I could win & bring a lot of libs on coattails.
    Ruwart could have beat Barr & Root if she biffed about them like crazy Smith did. & the LP may very well have won in 2008 with Gravel/Ruwart, if anybody bothered to listen to me.
    So the LP has X victories of significance in American politics, and X=0.

  63. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob,

    Maybe the big picture really is that you could win.

    That remains to be seen, because so far instead of actually running and giving anyone a reason to support you, all you’ve done is whine about how you can’t run unless everyone else drops what they’re doing and buys your pig in a poke.

    I haven’t run you down as “impure.” I’ve just noted that you’re batshit insane in your policy positions, your political predictions and your historical analyses. That doesn’t mean you can’t win — if you did, you wouldn’t be the first batshit insane president.

    Maybe Ruwart could have won the LP nomination if she had done things differently, maybe not. “What if” is a fun game, but it’s always dicey and you’ve produced precisely zero evidence to believe that your scenarios reflect reality even as well as such things.

    Look, I’ve given you a reasonable campaign plan. Your response has been an open letter seeking “support” for a campaign that does not exist.

    I wouldn’t dream of telling you to shut up, but I’m not going to take you seriously until and unless you put up. I’ve known you for seven years now, so any time you’re ready to get off your ass and do something instead of waiting for it to magically happen for you will be fine.

  64. JT

    Milnes: “The only reason I am not on Hardball & Ron Paul is, is because YOU PEOPLE support him & not me.”

    You have zero initiative in life. That might have something to do with it as well.

  65. Hobo

    What’s wrong with you people?!?!?! Milnes is like a crazy cracked out hobo. Don’t talk to him or else he might talk back (and then stab you).

  66. Robert Milnes

    Tom, Everybody knows I’m longstanding broke & depressed & virtually alone. I’m doing the best I can.
    Everybody knows my proposals & rationales.
    They have a clear choice.
    They choose politics as usual.
    Ron Paul guaranteed loser et al.
    Every day.

  67. Robert Milnes

    Tom, why don’t YOU put up?
    Send a few emails Make a few calls. Assemble a libertarian campaign team. You have your token progressive-me. I can get the progressive vote.
    Let’s get the progressive $ & libertarian $ from Obama & Paul NOW, before it gets committed to them for 2012.
    Your ass has been resting recently too.

  68. LibertarianGirl

    just that we picked him BECA– USE he had a built in left-wing following , and we wanted to draw from the left because the LP has almost exclusively drawn from the right, he promised to run only on the LP platform , we believed him and we thought , since he’d done so already, he’d be capable of getting in the national debates.

  69. JT

    Milnes: “Tom, Everybody knows I’m longstanding broke & depressed & virtually alone. I’m doing the best I can.”

    No, you’re doing almost the worst you can. Many people have been in the same position as you, but they don’t make demands of other people like you do. You’re a pitiful parasite with a bad attitude. Try acting like a man and not a petulant child.

  70. Robert Milnes

    LG, yes, getting into the debates would be the next hurdle after the nomination.
    It sure would have been interesting.
    The old timer looked dejected after he lost.

  71. Robert Milnes

    Tom, if you would like to try Gravel or some other progressive instead of me, ok.
    I’ve already said I would want a top advisory position in that case.

  72. Robert Milnes

    Peter, I do not know. I haven’t been following Gravel that closely. I assumed he was out & would have to be contacted & asked.
    But I’m talking about asap Independent.
    To divert as much $ & support from Obama & Paul as possible.
    & not rely on any party’s nominating process. They are just unreliable to do the right thing.
    & to try ****.
    I’m not interested in waiting around for a maybe from Gravel. & if no ****, no me. Somebody would have to contact him soon. & if my campaign gets going, it would take A LOT to get me to hand over my baby to somebody else.
    You interested in joining my campaign?

  73. JT

    I don’t want to sound like a jerk, but I really don’t understand the infatuation some Libertarians have with Gravel. He was a former U.S. Senator (albeit back in the 1970s), so that’s obviously notable. He’s against foreign militarism, which is great. He seems like a good guy to me. But it couldn’t be more obvious that he’s far from aligned with us economically than if it slapped you in the face.

    For example, I remember him saying in 2008 that Libertarians shouldn’t talk about Social Security because that scares old people. What?! Social Security is a massive, forced Ponzi scheme that’s totally unsustainable. It accounts for 20% of the federal budget by itself. If the LP doesn’t point these things out and push hard for change, who will?

  74. Robert Milnes

    Do ya one better!
    Yes, activism. Anti-war, NI4D etc.
    But after the convention he said he was through campaign politics.
    I think that was on CSPAN.

  75. JT

    Btw, Mike Gravel is older than Ron Paul, Milnes. So why isn’t he a “dinosaur” as you like to say?

  76. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I don’t consider Gravel a Libertarian, but he’s a good activist nonetheless. He’s not afraid to ask questions, plus, I think he’s a compassionate man.

  77. JT

    Jill: “I don’t consider Gravel a Libertarian, but he’s a good activist nonetheless.”

    Yes. But a good activist for what? Being a good activist against foreign militarism is great. Being a good activist for welfare isn’t.

    Jill: “He’s not afraid to ask questions, plus, I think he’s a compassionate man.”

    He always seemed like a friendly guy to me. And it’s good to ask questions and be compassionate. Compassionate with others’ money…not so cool.

  78. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    JT: I’m starting to identify a non-partisan Liberty movement. We’re active on Facebook & blogs, plus a lot of the people go to the same local events as Libertarians do, such as Anti-war marches. We don’t agree on everything, but they certainly understand the concept of personal freedom. A lot of them are libertarian, whether they realize it or not.

    This is my part in trying to grow the big Libertarian tent: Find an issue we agree on, then point out all the other ways in which we can increase personal freedoms.

  79. Thomas L. Knapp

    Bob @89,

    I don’t have any reason to put up.

    Why would I “form a campaign team?” I’m not running for president, nor do I give a rat’s ass who wins the election. I need a “campaign team” like a fish needs a bicycle.

  80. JT

    Jill: “This is my part in trying to grow the big Libertarian tent: Find an issue we agree on, then point out all the other ways in which we can increase personal freedoms.”

    That sounds like a good strategy to me and I hope you’re very successful. But what does that have to do with Gravel?

  81. Eric Sundwall

    @15 ” Seriously. In my entire time with the LP, I have not met a single person who is politically savvy and knows what it means to be a Libertarian. Not a single one.”

    Sorry Buck, but you’re in my grill on that one. Just like to know if we ever met . . .

  82. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    JT @ 108: I believe Mike Gravel belongs in the large “Liberty” movement.

  83. Luke McKellar

    I skipped a lot of the comments, or rather, I skimmed them as sherlock holmes would say. (As opposed to “scanning” them)

    Mr. Myers has some great points, mostly this:

    I asked a very prominent member of that group “What exactly is your plan for the Libertarian Party? I mean what is it that you want to convey or what message do you guys want out there that is going to grow this party?” I had thought maybe if they tell me their plan, I will “get it”.

    His answer “Read the 48 Laws of Power” I had never heard of the “48 Laws of Power” but after looking it up, they should rename it “A Douche Bag’s Handbook”

    seriously? Whoever that “douche bag” was, I’m not voting for them in 2012. I know of one person from personal experience on the LNC who pushes this, aka personal responsibility and having a plan, being his “boss” LOL, and from Ohio, (and I trust it is not him who said this), but we need people with a plan. With ideas. With inspiration. To tell someone of Mr. Myer’s stature to basically “go fuck off” is disrespectful at the least, at most deserves to be booted off the LNC.

    I’ll be there in 2012, and John Myers has my vote, if he wishes to run.

    Luke McKellar
    Central Committee Chair, Libertarian Party of Ohio

  84. George Phillies

    If you want a plan, you are welcome to borrow from the New Path proposals.

    If you want to revive Project Archimedes, UMP, etc., many details are in my book Funding Liberty, and many of the others are in Perry Willis’s proposal Operation Everywhere. Further details were covered in the CMLC newsletters, available on CMLC.org.

  85. Robert Capozzi

    112 LM, planning has some value in finding cooperation among like-minded folks, but I would suggest that getting clear on one’s intentions is far more important.

    For those interested in the 48 Laws, all I can say is, “Power to what end?” Many of those “laws” sound OK to me, but there’s a difference between “influencing outcomes” and “manipulation.”

    For ex., “Conceal your intentions.” Haven’t we seen this movie one too many times?

    In the LM, there seem to be a few intentions. Small-c constitutionalist Ls want to “return” the US to the “original intent” of the Constitution. That’s a clear intent, although we can quibble over what the original intent was and how we get there.

    Minarchist Ls want to reduce government to policing force and fraud…also pretty clear.

    Anarcho Ls split into 2 camps: Those who want “anarchy” but advocate “radical” steps in that direction. And overt anarchists, who want anarchy very soon.

    They all get rather specific in their long-term intentions, which is why we have such savage debates. Directionally, these intentions are all the same: less government. But destinations are generally quite specific and different.

    Does one need to have and voice such a specific, long-range intention? Based on my reading of Hayek and Lao Tsu, I say no. Social orders evolve, very often in un-anticipatable ways. We can enter that fray advocating increasing the peace and liberty, unburdened by specific utopian aims.

    Life is a mystery to be embraced, not resisted.

  86. JT

    Jill: “JT @ 108: I believe Mike Gravel belongs in the large “Liberty” movement.”

    Okay. I think people who fall anywhere in the libertarian part of the Nolan Chart do. I don’t think people who clearly fall in the progressive part or conservative part of the Nolan Chart do. Gravel is a solid progressive. Overall, I don’t see how he’s more libertarian than Wayne Root is. Good for him for agitating against foreign militarism though.

  87. paulie

    No time to read IPR comments right now and I could only skim the post. From what I can tell JJM is on target as usual and I am sorry i suggested he go to LNC instead of Mississippi.

    415-690-6352 if anyone wants to discuss plans for vegas etc.

  88. Jill Pyeatt

    paulie, I had to order a book from Amazon to help me with HTML stuff because you weren’t around! I missed you.

  89. Andy

    “LibertarianGirl // Apr 20, 2011 at 7:51 am

    just that we picked him BECA– USE he had a built in left-wing following , and we wanted to draw from the left because the LP has almost exclusively drawn from the right, he promised to run only on the LP platform , we believed him and we thought , since he’d done so already, he’d be capable of getting in the national debates.”

    Gravel had some positives, but he would have been a poor choice for a Presidential candidate for the Libertarian Party. He wasn’t even close to being libertarian enough to consider for the nomination. I don’t think that he would have gotten any more coverage than Barr got either (and Barr wasn’t libertarian enough either and was also a poor candidate).

  90. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Well, thanks for the tip, Darryl, but it was only $12.95 and, of course, we ordered a couple more books (Alan and I have a severe case of BBD–Book-Buying Disease. I believe it”s an epidemic in the Libertarian party.)

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