Libertarian Replies to “Open Letter to Libertarians and Their Candidates”

Knockout

This letter was posted to Facebook on August 12 by a woman named Kelly Canon. I found it via a discussion on the LP Florida page , then posted it to my page. Hearty discussion ensued. The discussion on her FB page has gone on for several days, and features several IPR regulars commenting. The letter made its way to our August Open Thread a couple times. At that point, I offered to post any rebuttals written by Libertarians. I have received two to date:

This has been a long time coming…

* * * OPEN LETTER TO LIBERTARIANS AND THEIR CANDIDATES * * *

(From a Tea Party Republican)

Please cease and desist from splitting the conservative vote. Please just STOP IT. You don’t have the numbers, and you never will. Here’s a few facts for you:
#1: In the last two or three decades in Texas, not one libertarian has won a significant partisan 3-way race. Ever. (I’m not including school board or city council races. They are non-partisan) If such an occurrence has indeed happened, please name the race. I dare you.

#2: The same above can be said nationally, and in other states.

#3: All libertarian candidates have really managed to do is split the votes away from Republicans JUST ENOUGH to throw the race to the democrat candidate in tight races. (and don’t think for a second that the democrats don’t appreciate your “involvement” in their victories!)
Case in point(s):

At least FIVE different state house races were thrown to the democrat candidate in just the last 4 election cycles – because of a libertarian candidate. And for the most part, these were GOOD republicans!

Look at the state of Virginia! Their gov race! Had a libertarian NOT been in that race, they’d be enjoying a republican gov right now! But thanks to the libertarian, they have to endure the democrat.

The absolute MOST a libertarian candidate can hope to achieve *IN TEXAS* is MAYBE 6%~8% of the vote. (That’s being generous) But when the race is tight between a republican and a democrat, that percentage can be the difference maker. But it damn sure won’t be won by the dang libertarian!

Libertarians are supposedly “conservative”, right? So my question to you is this: If you KNOW in your heart of hearts that you can’t get more than 8% (ever), why do y’all continue with your delusional thinking that you could actually win in a tight 3-way race? Is “voting your principles” so sacred that you’re willing to throw a race to the NON-CONSERVATIVE? Hoping that some day, some how, some way, you’ll actually garner 34% of the votes in a tight race? SERIOUSLY?

My collectively-given suggestion to ALL libertarians running in state house, senate, and even the governor race: STOP IT!!! END YOUR RACE RIGHT NOW! DROP OUT. Do NOT eff-up this election with your ridiculous mind set that you’ll magically garner 34% of the vote! Read my lips: IT. WON’T. HAPPEN.

Join forces with the one political party that so closely matches your ideology! The republicans would rather NOT have to fight you at every turn. They would rather have you join them, and work on the tiny issues that you differ with.

Now don’t get me wrong… The republican party has it’s issues. I’ll be the first to admit that! They’re not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. There are some candidates that I’m gonna have to hold my nose and vote for in November. I get that this is the last thing y’all would ever do. But do you REALLY want the democrats taking advantage of you like this? Because they damn sure know that they have a pretty good chance of grabbing that victory WITH YOUR HELP! How’s that make y’all feel? Sanctified? Or stupid?

Let me ask you this: Why, do you suppose the Tea Party never started it’s own political party? Answer: WE’RE NOT THAT STUPID. We knew that we’d end up doing the same exact thing y’all are trying to do right now! Splitting the conservative vote! Instead, we decided to join forces with the one *established* political party who’s ideology matches the closest with ours. It’s really that simple. And through their structure, we are making a difference! From precinct captains to
delegates, and all in between! Sure, we have our own issues. We’re fighting “RINOs”, and establishment types all over the place. But I’ll tell you this: I’d rather fight within our ranks, and continue to put better and better candidates in office, than I would spend fighting against another conservative organization, only to keep losing race after race to democrats, just because of vote splitting! There’s plenty of room in the republican party for libertarians! They already exist! And they’re doing a great job!! Rome wasn’t built in a day, but if y’all don’t wake the hell up, Rome can burn to the ground real quick. History has a way of repeating itself. We need to join forces.

With that said, I urge every libertarian reading this – especially if you’re a candidate running against a republican in November – drop out NOW. I’ve personally worked way too hard to get *my* republican candidates this far, by working WITHIN the republican party – not against it! And I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let y’all ruin everything all of us grassroots folks have busted our collective backsides for, in getting the RIGHT candidate in office – just because you won’t work WITH us. Or just because you THINK you can get 34% of the vote! YOU may be able to live with more democrats in office (at your own doing), but not me!!! Together we’re strong. Divided we FAIL. It’s time to fish or cut bait, and there’s still time to do the right thing.
So… What’s it gonna be?!?

Here is a response from Paul Frankel, also known as Paulie. His answers are in bold print:

Paulie cropped

Please cease and desist from splitting the conservative vote. Please just STOP IT.

In order to stop, first we would have to start. We aren’t part of the conservative vote so there is no way for us to split it.

You don’t have the numbers, and you never will.

I love it when people try to predict the future. We’ll see.

Here’s a few facts for you:

I read the entire message. Where are the facts?

#1: In the last two or three decades in Texas, not one libertarian has won a significant partisan 3-way race. Ever. (I’m not including school board or city council races. They are non-partisan) If such an occurrence has indeed happened, please name the race. I dare you.

#2: The same above can be said nationally, and in other states.

I won’t quibble over “significant” here, but the primary goal of opposition parties is not necessarily to directly win elections – its to influence the debate and push the larger parties in the diection we wish. Using these methods, despite not winning many significant races, the prohibition and socialist parties in the first half of the 20th century got the larger parties to adopt their key goals. By threatening to tip the balance between the larger parties in close elections, electing a few of their people here and there, and building movements that threatened to possibly become major parties if their issues were ignored they caused much larger parties to sit up, take notice and pass their ideas into law. That has been the traditional role of smaller parties throughout American history, and it has been how many of the significant policy changes over the years started. It is no less so today. Republicans like this one howling is a good indicator that it is working.

#3: All libertarian candidates have really managed to do is split the votes away from Republicans JUST ENOUGH to throw the race to the democrat candidate in tight races.

This supposes that we split the votes away from Republicans. In reality, this has been polled in many races, in many different years and in many different states. The largest share of our votes comes from voters who would otherwise have not voted at all, and of the ones who would have held their noses and voted for Democrats and Republicans the numbers tend to be about the same for each of the two. In many races a larger percentage of the Libertarian vote would have actually gone to the Democrats than to the Republicans.

(and don’t think for a second that the democrats don’t appreciate your “involvement” in their victories!)

I’d like to see this appreciation. Show me some serious money and volunteer help. So far it seems to be sorely lacking. Mind you, the Demorats would be wrong if they did think that we helped them but I would be happy to take their money based on this mistaken belief of theirs….however, it seems that Democrats are smarter than that, unfortunately. The Republicans seem to be the only ones who think we help the Democrats.

Case in point(s):
At least FIVE different state house races were thrown to the democrat candidate in just the last 4 election cycles – because of a libertarian candidate. And for the most part, these were GOOD republicans!

I seriously doubt they were “good” Republicans, and this supposes once again that without Libertarian candidates in the race our voters would all still vote and would all, or overwhelmingly, vote Republican. The author provides zero evidence for this assertion, which is flat out wrong and completely contradicted by the actual polling data that does exist.

Look at the state of Virginia! Their gov race! Had a libertarian NOT been in that race, they’d be enjoying a republican gov right now! But thanks to the libertarian, they have to endure the democrat.

The Republican in that race was just as bad or worse than the Democrat, so even if this was true it would not be a good thing if Virginia was “enjoying” a theocratic Republican rather than a crony corporatist Democrat right now. But it’s not even close to being true: multiple polls, including exit polls, in Virginia show that without Libertarian Sarvis in the race the Democrats would have won by an even larger margin. In other words, while Libertarian voters found both the Democrat and the Republican unacceptable and repellent, a larger percentage of us found the Republican to be even more unacceptable and repellent than the Democrat. A large chunk would have just stayed home, and a large chunk would have voted for the Democrat – not because we like him either, but just to keep the Christofascist Republican out of office. A somewhat smaller chunk would have voted for the socially repressive and regressive Republican, not because we like him either, but just out of fear and loathing of the Democrat. The end result would have still been the Democrat winning, and voters would have been deprived of the opportunity to express disgust with both of the poor choices offered by the establishment parties without it being mistaken for apathy.

The absolute MOST a libertarian candidate can hope to achieve *IN TEXAS* is MAYBE 6%~8% of the vote.

That depends on whether the Democrats and Republicans both bother to run. In many races they only put up one or the other, but not both. Maybe it’s because they have looked at the voting records of the Democrats and Republicans who actually get elected, found that they both vote with each other in the high 90 percent range, and decided not to split the votes of their fellow Demopublicans. In those cases, Libertarians typically draw anywhere from 10% to 40% and sometimes more.

(That’s being generous) But when the race is tight between a republican and a democrat, that percentage can be the difference maker. But it damn sure won’t be won by the dang libertarian!

Being the difference maker (or perceived difference maker) is a form of winning, since the pain of loss is what spurs larger parties and their politicians to change their policies, and often is the only thing that can.

Libertarians are supposedly “conservative”, right?

WRONG!

Sorry for yelling, but I can’t emphasize that enough!

So my question to you is this: If you KNOW in your heart of hearts that you can’t get more than 8% (ever), why do y’all continue with your delusional thinking that you could actually win in a tight 3-way race?

We have no such delusions.

Is “voting your principles” so sacred that you’re willing to throw a race to the NON-CONSERVATIVE?

You still seem to think that we find conservatives to be preferable to non-conservatives. We do not.

Hoping that some day, some how, some way, you’ll actually garner 34% of the votes in a tight race? SERIOUSLY?

Well, yeah, we have elected mayors and state legislators among many other positions, but that’s really besides the point. See above; the strategy is not necessarily immediate wins.

My collectively-given suggestion to ALL libertarians running in state house, senate, and even the governor race: STOP IT!!! END YOUR RACE RIGHT NOW! DROP OUT. Do NOT eff-up this election with your ridiculous mind set that you’ll magically garner 34% of the vote! Read my lips: IT. WON’T. HAPPEN.

Except that it isn’t our mindset, just a strawman of the author’s own construction. Notice zero examples of any Libertarians actually making any such claims here?

Join forces with the one political party that so closely matches your ideology!

We have. It’s called the Libertarian Party. The bigger two are equally bad, just in slightly different ways. And on many important issues they are both terrible in the same way.

The republicans would rather NOT have to fight you at every turn. They would rather have you join them, and work on the tiny issues that you differ with.

Major error there. We have as many or more differences with Republicans as we have with Democrats, so joining them is out of the question.

Now don’t get me wrong… The republican party has it’s issues. I’ll be the first to admit that! They’re not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. There are some candidates that I’m gonna have to hold my nose and vote for in November. I get that this is the last thing y’all would ever do. But do you REALLY want the democrats taking advantage of you like this? Because they damn sure know that they have a pretty good chance of grabbing that victory WITH YOUR HELP! How’s that make y’all feel? Sanctified? Or stupid?

None of that is relevant, since we don’t find the Democrats to be worse than the Republicans. If anything, they are two sides of the same bad penny.


But supposing I did find one of them to be better than the other, I would still want an opposition party putting pressure on them from my direction; otherwise, their only incentive is to continuously compromise with each other.

Let me ask you this: Why, do you suppose the Tea Party never started it’s own political party? Answer: WE’RE NOT THAT STUPID.

Actually, while some Tea Parties in some states have started their own parties, I would say that the larger failure of Tea Partiers – most of whom are conservatives, not at all libertarians – to start a new national party has been pretty stupid on their part, since they would have much more effectively pressured the establishment parties from outside than from inside. However, in their case at least they have one of the two which they find clearly preferable to the other one, which is not the case with Libertarians.

We knew that we’d end up doing the same exact thing y’all are trying to do right now! Splitting the conservative vote!

We are neither trying nor accomplishing splitting the conservative vote. Libertarians are not conservatives.

Instead, we decided to join forces with the one *established* political party who’s ideology matches the closest with ours. It’s really that simple.

I’ll grant that you are really that simple, but that isn’t an option for us, since we find both of them to be equally abhorrent – a right boot or a left boot on our necks.

And through their structure, we are making a difference! From precinct captains to delegates, and all in between!

That difference is mostly illusory. But even if it is real, it’s not even remotely in the same direction as the difference Libertarians would like to make.

We’re fighting “RINOs”, and establishment types all over the place. But I’ll tell you this: I’d rather fight within our ranks, and continue to put better and better candidates in office, than I would spend fighting against another conservative organization, only to keep losing race after race to democrats, just because of vote splitting!

Again, this goes back to the fundamental mistake that libertarians are conservative. “Conservatives” are just as likely or more to be authoritarian (the opposite of libertarian) as are “liberals”.

There’s plenty of room in the republican party for libertarians! They already exist! And they’re doing a great job!!

Most of the Republicans claiming to be some kind of libertarians are not anywhere close.

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but if y’all don’t wake the hell up, Rome can burn to the ground real quick. History has a way of repeating itself. We need to join forces.

Splendid idea. Close down the Republican party, come out for ending the drug war, come out for ending the military-industrial complex and the “war on terror,” end military engagement overseas and police militarization at home, end immigration quotas and the border police state, end corporate welfare and mixing church and state, support marriage equality, and we might have the start of something to join forces about. You might could come over to the Libertarian Party then.

With that said, I urge every libertarian reading this – especially if you’re a candidate running against a republican in November – drop out NOW.

And I personally urge every libertarian reading this – especially if you’re a candidate running against a Republican in November – redouble your efforts! I’m seeing more and more whining like this from Republicans, so we must be doing something right!

I’ve personally worked way too hard to get *my* republican candidates this far, by working WITHIN the republican party – not against it! And I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let y’all ruin everything all of us grassroots folks have busted our collective backsides for, in getting the RIGHT candidate in office – just because you won’t work WITH us.

We won’t, and you’ll just have to be mad about it….and I guess be damned. But that’s what you deserve for backing the non-lesser evil that is the Republican Party.

Or just because you THINK you can get 34% of the vote!

I thought I already explained that isn’t even the right question to ask, much less what we think.

YOU may be able to live with more democrats in office (at your own doing), but not me!!!

It isn’t our doing, but if you can’t live with it – unlike the Christofascist Republicans we support people’s right to end their life with dignity. Although I am not sure dignity is an option in this particular case.

Together we’re strong. Divided we FAIL. It’s time to fish or cut bait, and there’s still time to do the right thing.

So… What’s it gonna be?!?

Exactly what we have been doing, but deeper, harder and faster.

BTW, I don’t care if Republicans can live with it or not.

Bill Cushing

Here is a response from a Libertarian in Los Angeles County. He is an English instructor at East Los Angeles College and Mt. SAC, and also professor of Communications/English Instructor at Pacifica.

 

One reply to “***OPENLETTER TO LIBERTARIANS AND THEIR CANDIDATE***(from a Tea Party Republican”

When Kelly Canon posted her concerns about how Libertarian candidates and voters are “splitting the conservative vote” and how “when the race is tight [. . .], that percentage can be a difference maker. But it damn sure won’t be won by the dang libertarian,” she wants (or at least she says she wants) to encourage Libertarians “to join forces with the one *established* [sic] political party who’s [sic] ideology matches the closest.” So, the stated purpose of her open letter is to try and welcome Libertarians into a winning strategy to defeat Democrat candidates and “fight within our ranks, and to put better and better candidates in office [instead of] fighting against another conservative organization, only to keep losing race after race.”

Let us ignore for the moment some basic flaws in her thinking and approach to politics. Most Libertarians became such after enduring disappointment and disillusionment as members of the two major parties, so that not every one left the Republican party; some used to be Democrats, so she loses a good percentage of the addressees because of her assumption that Libertarians are wayward Republicans. Still, as one of those Libertarians she is trying to convince of the error of my ways, I can only say that, as a former Republican, my disenchantment began under Reagan (supposedly THE “conservative” icon of the GOP) when he started bedding down with the religious right. As soon as I saw that, it was obvious that the Republicans had become just as bad as Democrats in that they were now catering to special interests rather than representing all citizens. This tendency has only grown worse over the years—as has my disappointment in the political party I grew up with. Now the GOP is likewise involved in social engineering: just examine some of the party’s platform planks sometime with any objectivity to note how often the GOP attempts to impose behavior, whether individually or socially, every bit as often as Democrats have.

However, I promised not to engage ideologically with you on this issue. Besides, I imagine you have already gotten a “snoot full” of such responses, so I want to engage you on your technique and delivery and their effectiveness—or rather ineffectiveness. To be brief: your open letter is one lousy sales job if indeed your intention (as stated) is to convince Libertarians to join with your chosen party.

Let’s start at the beginning, where we can see your first and perhaps greatest flaw. When making an argument (and I teach my writing students that all writing is argument), one must engage the intended readers. That involves understanding them, their tendencies, and their inclination so as to have them as receptive as possible to your position. Now one aspect of libertarianism is the sovereignty of the person as opposed to the power of the state. Libertarians are a very mixed bunch, but one aspect of the position can be easily discerned by their diction. You will hear constant and consistent references to the individual. Words like “self” and “personal” as well as “individual” are not peppered throughout libertarian arguments; they saturate them. So how do you open your argument? The very first sentence tells readers to “cease and desist” their act of voting according to their political preferences.

You do understand that the phrase is primarily a legal command that is normally applied through police action, do you not? So, given your target audience’s tendency to distrust the body politic and be wary of the police force, how many hearts and minds do you think you would win using that phrase? I’m betting not many; in fact, I’d say you put your intended audience off right away with those words.

Then, you refer to the conundrum your party faces as a situation in which Libertarians “throw the race to the democrat” as you witness “house races [being] thrown” and so on. To “throw” an event implies a particular outcome as the result of a dishonest act (e.g. “throwing a game”) rather than the result being the product of ideological differences. So you have basically (perhaps unintentionally) accused the Libertarians of cheating. This not only undermines your stated purpose but reveals that—yet again—Republicans and Democrats aren’t that far apart in that they accuse “the other” of cheating.

There is a saying among lawyers that when your case has the facts, pound the facts. When you have the law on your side, pound the law. And when you have nothing, pound the table. There is certainly a lot of table-pounding going on here. Note the inordinate number of exclamation points and all-capped letters throughout your text, another tendency that does not help your position because, in case you have never heard this, employing this technique is VERY! MUCH LIKE SHOUTING! It really! Really!! IS!!!!

Did you notice how silly that last line of text appeared?

Finally there is the name calling (technically labeled ad hominem) in your supposed invitation to Libertarians. Words such as “stupid” appear frequently as you tell the reader to “wake the hell up” and “do the right thing” as if lecturing a child rather than engaging in a political debate. By the way, saying that Republicans are “not perfect” hardly compensates for all that, so please don’t point in that direction as some sort of compensation. How long would you listen to someone who employed such “techniques” with you in a debate? I’d imagine not very long, nor would I expect you to do so. What do you say you give the same respect and offer similar good will to others, particularly when you say you want to convince them to change a pretty established pattern of behavior.

Of course, my response is only going to be meaningful if, as you claimed, the true intent of your “open letter” was actually meant to “join forces” in a situation with “plenty of room.” However, I could be completely wrong and misguided. Perhaps your open letter was nothing more than an explosion of rage at the ineffectiveness of your own political beliefs to sustain themselves.

In that case, seek professional help and guidance. See? I can do that too.

Sincerely yours,

Bill Cushing (Glendale, CA)

60 thoughts on “Libertarian Replies to “Open Letter to Libertarians and Their Candidates”

  1. paulie

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2014/08/paul-frankel-disrupt-did-you-say/

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2013/12/paulie-frankel-response-to-rodney-lee-conover-on-joe-the-plumbers-website/

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2013/11/paulie-response-to-carrie-sheffield-at-forbes-on-who-will-be-the-next-libertarian-spoiler/

    https://independentpoliticalreport.com/2013/11/paulie-response-to-derek-hunter-at-townhall-on-the-problem-with-libertarians/

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2014/08/militarization-liberals-and-libertarians-agree.html

    http://www.ballot-access.org/2014/08/kentucky-u-s-senate-poll/

    On August 12, Public Policy Polling released a poll for the U.S. Senate race in Kentucky. The results: Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell 44%; Democrat Alison Grimes 40%; Libertarian David Patterson 7%; undecided 9%. See the poll here; question four has the Senate race.

    Question five asks Patterson voters whom they would vote for if they weren?t voting for Patterson. The results show that voters who wish to vote Libertarian are almost evenly divided between McConnell and Grimes.

    I think I did a better job in the links above. Then again the opposition pieces I was responding to there were more coherent as well, and I put more time into writing those responces?this one was off the cuff, like the original note I was responding to seems to have been as best I can tell.

  2. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I do wonder if any Libertarian, anywhere, read Ms. Canon’s letter and said: “Gee, she’s right! I’d better join that party that has made it so clear they don’t want us or our ideas!”

    I was amused to find out that Ms. Canon went to the same high school and college as my husband. What are the odds of that?

  3. paulie

    I do wonder if any Libertarian, anywhere, read Ms. Canon’s letter and said: “Gee, she’s right! I’d better join that party that has made it so clear they don’t want us or our ideas!”

    If there were, good riddance to unprincipled rubbish.

  4. Jed Ziggler

    You know, I wasn’t going to vote in November, because there aren’t any of those silly Libertarians (notice I capitalized. The shift key is a miracle!) on my state ballot in November. However, after reading Kelly’s “Open Letter”, I have decided to indeed vote for “the one *established* political party who’s ideology matches the closest” with my own.

    I will be voting for the Democrats. Their ideology, while wildly different from mine, is still closer to my beliefs & values than the Republicans could ever hope to be. Namely, they don’t hate gay people.

    So, thanks Kelly! You’ve really opened my eyes.

  5. Pete Blome

    I like Paulie taking this woman to task, but I don’t like him giving up the fight before it happens. She is ruled by her own fear, and has become the very thing she hates even though she doesn’t realize it. Paulie thinks Libertarians are here just to influence the major parties. He thinks debate is a valid substitute for action. In Florida we’re in it to win, and the only reason Paulie has any credibility in his debate is because of those Libertarians who risk to win and not just talk.

  6. Jed Ziggler

    “Paulie thinks Libertarians are here just to influence the major parties. He thinks debate is a valid substitute for action. In Florida we’re in it to win, and the only reason Paulie has any credibility in his debate is because of those Libertarians who risk to win and not just talk.”

    I agree more with Pete than Paul. I don’t want to influence the major parties. I don’t seek the continuance of the two party system, I seek its destruction.

    I may in fact show up and vote Democrat this year since there aren’t any opposition candidates on the ballot in my state, that wasn’t complete sarcasm, but any time independent & alternative party candidates are on the ballot, they get my vote.

    My problem isn’t really with the specific major party candidates, ideas, etc., because I realize that there will always be people who disagree with me on the role of government, and I welcome that debate. My problem is with the evil system they’ve created, where people with hundreds of different ideas on how government should work & how problems should be solved must choose between just two candidates who in many cases don’t represent them at all. If they vote for a third candidate, they’re accused of “spoiling the election” or “wasting their vote”. If they don’t vote at all, they’re looked at as apathetic, or even lazy. How ridiculous!

    In this country there are way more than two ideologies, two visions on how best to govern America. There are liberals, progressives, neocons, paleocons, libertarians, anarchists, environmentalists, prohibitionists, socialists, communists, nationalists, prohibitionists, theocrats, as well as a wide array of centrists, moderates, and independents who can’t be defined or pigeonholed by such labels. To ask this collection of people to choose between one of just two candidates is preposterous. That the Democrats & Republicans have so effectively shut out all voices of dissent through bad ballot access laws, debate exclusion, media bias, perpetuating myths & lies, and opposition to real election reform is absolutely unforgivable.

  7. Bondurant

    Ms. Canon is another in the long line of rank-and-file GOP stalwarts that liked to pretend the Libertarian Party did not exist until they felt that the LP was playing the “spoiler” role in their elections. Ms. Canon cannot grasp very simple philosophical ideas. She does not have to agree but she should not be so delusional as to why we won’t embrace the GOP. Perhaps she should ask herself and her party why more an more people are turning their backs on the GOP after each election.

    Here in Arizona the number of registered independents is growing (as is the number of registered Libertarians) while the number of registered Republicans and Democrats are decreasing.

    No one is entitled to my vote, Ms. Canon. My vote is earned. I will not sacrifice principle to aid your delusions of grandeur. Your party stinks. So there.

  8. Bondurant

    Someone with the ability to post on Ms. Canon’s “note” should share this link.

  9. Steven Wilson

    Anyone who still believes that the RP has any redeeming qualities is a fool. As I believe in accountability, let Kelly and the rest deal with the residual votes of these “Real Republicans”.

    It is now drink:thirty!!

  10. georgephillies

    Dear Republicans:

    Republican Conservatives are, like, the opposite of Libertarians, as witness fine Republican policies:

    Wars of aggression
    Torture
    Detention without Trial
    The American Police state, with every email message and phone call being read.
    A “National Security Apparatus” of many Federal agencies, all disloyal to our country and its Constitution and Bill of Rights.
    A political leadership so stupid it does not believe in global warming, the ozone hole, evolution, geology, dinosaur extinction before mankind evolved, or cancer-causing cigarettes.

    Fortunately, for you conservative republicants I have the one true solution, the one that guarantees that another Republicant will never lose.

    STOP RUNNING YOUR CANDIDATES!

    See, my solution guarantees you will never suffer another defeat.

  11. paulie

    I like Paulie taking this woman to task, but I don’t like him giving up the fight before it happens. She is ruled by her own fear, and has become the very thing she hates even though she doesn’t realize it. Paulie thinks Libertarians are here just to influence the major parties. He thinks debate is a valid substitute for action. In Florida we’re in it to win, and the only reason Paulie has any credibility in his debate is because of those Libertarians who risk to win and not just talk.

    You have misunderstood my position. I’m all for winning ouright when and where we can. However, she is correct that there are many races where it is extremely unlikely that we will win in any given cycle. I am pointing out that there are ways to win without winning. Our ultimate goal is to influence policy, with winning elections outright being just one of several means to achieve that goal. Participating in elections without winning also helps us achieve that goal in a number of ways.

  12. paulie

    I agree more with Pete than Paul. I don’t want to influence the major parties. I don’t seek the continuance of the two party system, I seek its destruction.

    I agree with that too, but in the meantime I will take what I can get by putting pressure on them.

  13. paulie

    Here in Arizona the number of registered independents is growing (as is the number of registered Libertarians) while the number of registered Republicans and Democrats are decreasing.

    Same with most states.

  14. Ayn R. Key

    * * * OPEN LETTER TO DEMOCRATS AND THEIR CANDIDATES * * *

    (From a Tea Party Republican)

    Please cease and desist from splitting the conservoprogressive vote. Please just STOP IT. You don’t have the numbers, and you never will. Here’s a few facts for you:

    #1: In the last two or three decades in Texas, third parties have split the votes and thrown elections that should have been between just two candidates.

    #2: The same above can be said nationally, and in other states.

    #3: All third party candidates have really managed to do is split the votes away from Republicans and Democrats JUST ENOUGH to throw the race to the second most popular candidate in tight races. (and don’t think for a second that the third parties don’t appreciate their “involvement” in these victories!)

    Case in point(s):
    At least FIVE different state house races were thrown to the second candidate in just the last 4 election cycles – because of third party candidates. And for the most part, these were GOOD first place candidates!

    Look at the state of Virginia! Their gov race! Had a libertarian NOT been in that race, they’d be enjoying the first place governor right now! But thanks to the libertarian, they have to endure the second place for governor.

    The absolute MOST a libertarian candidate can hope to achieve *IN TEXAS* is MAYBE 6%~8% of the vote. (That’s being generous) But when the race is tight between a republican and a democrat, that percentage can be the difference maker. But it damn sure won’t be won by the dang libertarian!

    Progressives are supposedly “conservoprogressive”, right? So my question to you is this: If you KNOW in your heart of hearts that third parties are letting second place candidates win, why do y’all continue with your delusional thinking that they should still be allowed to run? Is “voting your principles” so sacred that you’re willing to throw a race to the NON-CONSERVOPROGRESSIVE? SERIOUSLY?

    My collectively-given suggestion to ALL progressive democrats running in state house, senate, and even the governor race: STOP IT!!! END YOUR RACE RIGHT NOW! DROP OUT. Do NOT eff-up this election with your ridiculous mind set that third parties should be allowed to decide who will win! Read my lips: IT. WON’T. HAPPEN.

    Join forces with the one political party that so closely matches your ideology! The republicans would rather NOT have to fight you at every turn. They would rather have you join them, and work on the tiny issues that you differ with.

    Now don’t get me wrong… The republican party has it’s issues. I’ll be the first to admit that! They’re not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. There are some candidates that I’m gonna have to hold my nose and vote for in November. I get that this is the last thing y’all would ever do. But do you REALLY want the third parties taking advantage of you like this? Because they damn sure know that they have a pretty good chance of spoiling a clean victory! How’s that make y’all feel? Sanctified? Or stupid?

    Let me ask you this: Why, do you suppose the Tea Party never started it’s own political party? Answer: WE’RE NOT THAT STUPID. We knew that we’d end up doing the same exact thing y’all are trying to do right now! Splitting the conservoprogressive vote! Instead, we decided to join forces with the one *established* political party who’s ideology matches the closest with ours. It’s really that simple. And through their structure, we are making a difference! From precinct captains to delegates, and all in between! Sure, we have our own issues. We’re fighting libertarians, and rogue element types all over the place. But I’ll tell you this: I’d rather fight within our ranks, and continue to put better and better candidates in office, than I would spend fighting against third party vote splitter, only to keep what would be a clean second place candidate beat a clean first place candidate, just because of vote splitting! There’s plenty of room in the republican party for progressive! They already exist! And they’re doing a great job!! Rome wasn’t built in a day, but if y’all don’t wake the hell up, Rome can burn to the ground real quick. History has a way of repeating itself. We need to join forces.

    With that said, I urge every progressive democrats reading this – especially if you’re a candidate running against a republican in November – drop out NOW. I’ve personally worked way too hard to get *my* republican candidates this far, by working WITHIN the republican party – not against it! And I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let y’all ruin everything all of us grassroots folks have busted our collective backsides for, in getting the RIGHT candidate in office – just because you won’t work WITH us. YOU may be able to live with more second place candidates in office (at your own doing), but not me!!! Together we’re strong. Divided we FAIL. It’s time to fish or cut bait, and there’s still time to do the right thing.

    So… What’s it gonna be?!?

  15. Ayn R. Key

    * * * OPEN LETTER TO REPUBLICANS AND THEIR CANDIDATES * * *

    (From a Occupy Democrat)

    Please cease and desist from splitting the conservoprogressive vote. Please just STOP IT. You don’t have the numbers, and you never will. Here’s a few facts for you:

    #1: In the last two or three decades in Texas, third parties have split the votes and thrown elections that should have been between just two candidates.

    #2: The same above can be said nationally, and in other states.

    #3: All third party candidates have really managed to do is split the votes away from Republicans and Democrats JUST ENOUGH to throw the race to the second most popular candidate in tight races. (and don’t think for a second that the third parties don’t appreciate their “involvement” in these victories!)

    Case in point(s):
    At least FIVE different state house races were thrown to the second candidate in just the last 4 election cycles – because of third party candidates. And for the most part, these were GOOD first place candidates!

    Look at the state of Virginia! Their gov race! Had a libertarian NOT been in that race, they’d be enjoying the first place governor right now! But thanks to the libertarian, they have to endure the second place for governor.

    The absolute MOST a libertarian candidate can hope to achieve *IN TEXAS* is MAYBE 6%~8% of the vote. (That’s being generous) But when the race is tight between a republican and a democrat, that percentage can be the difference maker. But it damn sure won’t be won by the dang libertarian!

    Conservatives are supposedly “conservoprogressive”, right? So my question to you is this: If you KNOW in your heart of hearts that third parties are letting second place candidates win, why do y’all continue with your delusional thinking that they should still be allowed to run? Is “voting your principles” so sacred that you’re willing to throw a race to the NON-CONSERVOPROGRESSIVE? SERIOUSLY?

    My collectively-given suggestion to ALL conservative republicans running in state house, senate, and even the governor race: STOP IT!!! END YOUR RACE RIGHT NOW! DROP OUT. Do NOT eff-up this election with your ridiculous mind set that third parties should be allowed to decide who will win! Read my lips: IT. WON’T. HAPPEN.

    Join forces with the one political party that so closely matches your ideology! The democrats would rather NOT have to fight you at every turn. They would rather have you join them, and work on the tiny issues that you differ with.

    Now don’t get me wrong… The democratic party has it’s issues. I’ll be the first to admit that! They’re not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. There are some candidates that I’m gonna have to hold my nose and vote for in November. I get that this is the last thing y’all would ever do. But do you REALLY want the third parties taking advantage of you like this? Because they damn sure know that they have a pretty good chance of spoiling a clean victory! How’s that make y’all feel? Sanctified? Or stupid?

    Let me ask you this: Why, do you suppose the Tea Party never started it’s own political party? Answer: WE’RE NOT THAT STUPID. We knew that we’d end up doing the same exact thing y’all are trying to do right now! Splitting the conservoprogressive vote! Instead, we decided to join forces with the one *established* political party who’s ideology matches the closest with ours. It’s really that simple. And through their structure, we are making a difference! From precinct captains to delegates, and all in between! Sure, we have our own issues. We’re fighting libertarians, and rogue element types all over the place. But I’ll tell you this: I’d rather fight within our ranks, and continue to put better and better candidates in office, than I would spend fighting against third party vote splitter, only to keep what would be a clean second place candidate beat a clean first place candidate, just because of vote splitting! There’s plenty of room in the democratic party for conservatives! They already exist! And they’re doing a great job!! Rome wasn’t built in a day, but if y’all don’t wake the hell up, Rome can burn to the ground real quick. History has a way of repeating itself. We need to join forces.

    With that said, I urge every conservative republican reading this – especially if you’re a candidate running against a democrat in November – drop out NOW. I’ve personally worked way too hard to get *my* democrat candidates this far, by working WITHIN the democratic party – not against it! And I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let y’all ruin everything all of us grassroots folks have busted our collective backsides for, in getting the RIGHT candidate in office – just because you won’t work WITH us. YOU may be able to live with more second place candidates in office (at your own doing), but not me!!! Together we’re strong. Divided we FAIL. It’s time to fish or cut bait, and there’s still time to do the right thing.

    So… What’s it gonna be?!?

  16. Ayn R. Key

    Ha, my open letter to the Republicans from an Occupy Democrat was comment 420. I like that number.

    One more of my comments on her post.

    ***

    Dear Republicans,

    After decades of having your party spit on us, you want us to shut up and deliver the vote yet again? The big secret of politics is that you actually have to earn our votes, they are not a give and they do not belong to you.

    If you want to earn our votes, the way to do that is to run candidates capable of earning our votes. The Republican Party has shown no inclination of doing so. We remember the way your party treated Ron Paul, and sorry but the son is not the father. Pointing out Rand Paul, or even more laughably Paul Ryan, is not the way to earn the votes of libertarians.

    The point is, your call for us to join the party that most closely matches us has been heard, and that is why we are splitting the vote. Your party doesn’t do it. Your party is a party of big government, big budgets, crony capitalism, police state, and war. What is there for a libertarian to like about that?

    Assuming the libertarian Republican candidate, we also have seen something that we won’t soon forget. We saw the way that the Republican Party treats libertarians within their ranks. We saw the way they actively work to disenfranchise and silence libertarian Republicans. The message is “shut up and deliver the vote, don’t try to sway the party in a more libertarian direction, do not try to assume anything resembling a leadership position.” If you want support for that point, look to the 2012 Republican Convention, but there is much more.

    If your excuse is that you actually do not support all of that but that only the elected leadership does, then perhaps you need to follow your own advice, have the Republican Party stop splitting the vote, and for you to vote for the next Libertarian Party candidate.

    You still don’t realize, the Libertarian Party is not “another conservative organization”. It is a libertarian organization, with all that entails. Saying that libertarians agree with conservative involves adding so many exceptions that you might as well say the same thing about libertarians and liberals. We’re with you except on drugs, prostitution, homosexuality, war, police, currency, religion, abortion, and even taxes. Do you really think of us as “another conservative organization”? Perhaps you should read more about the party you are criticizing.

    I would say the real answer is to advocate that the Republican candidates drop out and clear the way for the Libertarian candidates. After all, you even mentioned the RINOs in your post, but when the RINOs are the majority of the elected Republicans then they aren’t “in name only” but are the real thing. So you should advocate that the RINOs all drop out. You really should.

    A libertarian

  17. Sean Scallon

    I don’t know what that fella’s worried about, he lives in Republican dominated Texas. If anything the LP is needed just to have an opposition to GOP in certain parts of the state.

    Is Wendy Davis moving up in the polls for Mr. Tea Party to get nervous?

  18. Losty

    Sea,. We can only hope. Then again, How bad is the Lt. Governor there, we may not have to worry about Mr. Um, Uh, Oops for that much longer.

  19. Alicia P. Keaton

    Dear Kelly – thank you so much for your concern about my voting preferences. It’s nice to know someone out there cares. However, I am at a loss – why DO you care so much? Granted, the stakes are high – but they’re high EVERY election. So I’ve been told by the political apparaniks, anyway.

    You sound very angry, though, which is pretty scary. And a turn-off to my libertarian ears. We’re the kinda folks for whom “live and let live” means something. It sounds like you’re really angry that we’re acting out of principles – not very “live and let live” at all.

    So, please – vote for the person of your choice. But yelling at the people whose support you claim you need is not very smart marketing. It sounds like you think we’re deliberately trying to doom the GOP. We’re not – you guys are doing a bang up job all by your lonesomes.

    Have a nice day.

  20. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Yes, Kelly is a woman, in her early fifties since she went to school with some of our Texas family. She’s not too popular with them, even though most of them are members of the GOP. 😀

  21. George Whitfield

    Both Paul Frankel’s and Bill Cushing’s replies were well thought-out and expressed. Thank you for giving Ms. Canon some pointers on tightening her expressions and delivery.

  22. Scott Lieberman

    Libertarian Party candidates who run for Water Board or Sanitation District and win those elections are one of 5 or 7 votes that control (eg:) a $5,000,000 or $10,000,000 budget. Libertarians who run for State House and get 6% of the vote control nothing.

    Which of those scenarios would you rather see happen?

    Until Libertarian Party members elects leaders who realize that political parties are supposed to win elections to enact their policy goals, people like Kelly Canon will be able to correctly complain that Libertarian nominees **appear** to steal votes from Republicans. Unfortunately, in political campaigns, appearances are much more important than reality.

    When my political party, the Libertarians, start winning State House seats on a regular basis, it will then be much easier to enact libertarian legislation, or at least to amend bad legislation to make it much less bad. And it will become much harder for disgruntled Republicans to make the “wasted vote” argument against Libertarian candidates.

  23. langa

    Freedom can’t be dictated from the top down. By the time libertarians (big or small L) start winning elections on a regular basis, the battle will have already been largely fought (and won).

  24. Joshua Katz

    History of warfare shows the difficulty of fighting on two fronts. Make the anti freedom forces do so, and they will lose. In fact, make it three fronts. The LP elects candidates and blocks bad actions locally, and leverages that into larger wins. The philosophical movement fights the battle for minds. Leakers fight the information battle.

    If we use tools for purposes they aren’t built for, we get subpar results. Mine craft players will know that.

  25. langa

    The philosophical movement fights the battle for minds.

    The battle for minds is the only battle that ultimately matters. The idea that libertarians can trick non-libertarians into electing them, and then use legislation to ram liberty down their throats, is absolutely laughable. As long as people see the state as, on balance, a good thing, we will never be free, regardless of who wins which elections.

  26. Robert Capozzi

    L: The idea that libertarians can trick non-libertarians into electing them, and then use legislation to ram liberty down their throats, is absolutely laughable.

    me: Yes, that is kinda laughable. But I’d submit that no one that I know points to such a model. Generally, in an evolving political process, the idea is to offer workable, incremental changes that validate a perspective for more and more people. Call it a virtuous circle approach.

    Waiting for a critical mass to buy into a stateless society without evidence that such a social structure is sustainable is also good for a few yucks on a few counts. MNR suggested as much with his Leninist strategy, where a subterranean cadre was in training for the revolution. To be fair, it kinda, sorta did work for Vladimir, but the other sides offered him a perfect storm of sorts to step into, iirc.

  27. langa

    L: The idea that libertarians can trick non-libertarians into electing them, and then use legislation to ram liberty down their throats, is absolutely laughable.

    me: Yes, that is kinda laughable. But I’d submit that no one that I know points to such a model.

    Really? You’ve never heard libertarians advocate “hiding” certain libertarian positions that are supposedly “too controversial” for public consumption? What is the purpose of this, if not to trick the public into voting for candidates who they would not vote for if they knew that candidate’s true position?

    In a somewhat related matter, I have heard some libertarians/Ron Paul supporters defend Rand Paul’s frequent deviations from libertarianism on the grounds that they were part of such a “Trojan Horse” strategy, so that Rand could get elected and then govern like a libertarian. (For what it’s worth, I don’t subscribe to that theory. I believe that the vast majority of Rand’s non-libertarian statements are a reflection of his true beliefs. He’s not a clone of his father.)

    Generally, in an evolving political process, the idea is to offer workable, incremental changes that validate a perspective for more and more people. Call it a virtuous circle approach.

    I have no problem with libertarians advocating incremental changes, as long as those changes always work to move things in a more libertarian direction. I do, however, have a problem with libertarians attempting to deceive the public as to what their philosophy actually entails, and I have an even bigger problem with libertarians advocating clearly non-libertarian policies* (like the Fair Tax or “marriage equality”), in an effort to pander their way to electoral success.

    *Do not take my opposition to “marriage equality” to mean that I in any way support government prohibitions of gay marriage. On the contrary, I am strongly opposed to any such measures. However, I am equally opposed to laws which use the threat of force to compel third parties to recognize the legitimacy of any particular marriage (gay, straight, polygamous, or whatever). Rather, I support the actual libertarian position, which is that government has absolutely no business being the arbiter of marital legitimacy.

  28. Sean Scallon

    My apologies if I got this person’s gender wrong.

    You know what? Me thinks someone isn’t really nervous about Texas but a lot of states where there are close races where Libertarians have good single-digit polling numbers and in some cases more than that. Is she worried the Republicans may not win the Senate because of the LP? Wouldn’t that be a hell of a narrative on Election Night.

    Who know who else would like a narrative like that? Rand Paul.

  29. Joshua Katz

    I’m not tricking anyone into electing me. I told people exactly what I’d do in office, and was elected on that standard. See “the radical pragmatist manifesto.” I could have campaigned on less and tried to sneak in. I could have campaigned on things I couldn’t actually do, and lost with no difference in what I’d actually have done in office had I run. I’m not talking about using the political process to hide our libertarianism. I’m talking about, while the battle for minds continues (we haven’t won yet) taking what small steps we can to prevent actual government actions.

    I said I’d protect private property owners. I have done so. I’ve cast the deciding vote to allow many property owners to do what they want with their property. They shouldn’t have to appear before me in the first place, but my refusal to participate wouldn’t fix that – it would lead to some of those people not being able to do what they want.

    I said I’d stop the town from giving a cent to corporate welfare, or using regulation to protect large established firms. I’ve done so.

    I just cast the deciding vote to not ban donation bins on private property for “aesthetic reasons.” I didn’t kill the Fed, but I did prevent a bad action. I said I would do so during my campaign.

    You are right, such victories will not make us totally free. They will keep some people more free than they otherwise would be. I think that’s good. People are real – each victim of state violence matters.

    Nonetheless, you disagree. Fine. Go fight the battle for minds. I just point out that the LP is a poor tool for that purpose. A differently organized group is subject to less laws than a party is.

  30. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    I don’t believe Ms. Canon is much of a fan of the Pauls, although, if she went to my husband’s high school, she was awfully close to Lake Jackson, which is where Ron Paul lives. I did post a link to this article on her FB page, but I’d be surprised if she comes here. She hasn’t commented on her “open letter” for a while.

  31. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    As far as incremental gains toward a lLibertarian society, I’m all for anything taking us closer to that goal. We still need “big picture” people, however, who can paint a picture of what libertarianism is. There is room in our movement for all of us.

  32. Robert Capozzi

    L: You’ve never heard libertarians advocate “hiding” certain libertarian positions that are supposedly “too controversial” for public consumption?

    me: Off hand, no, I haven’t. Some, like myself, draw a distinction between what is ADVOCATED and what one finds to be an interesting theoretical matter. For ex., I do advocate exiting NATO but I don’t advocate abolishing the Coast Guard. The former is a good idea on a lot of levels and conceivably could happen in say 5-10 years. The latter is a bad idea on many levels and is all-but inconceivable.

  33. Robert Capozzi

    jp, yes, but is it possible that the “big picture” poisons the ability to make incremental change? One L might advocate legalizing pot and marriage equality while another advocates immediate legalizing all drugs tomorrow and legalizing bestiality.

    Can you imagine that the latter damages the former’s efforts by association? And, to be fair, vice versa?

  34. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    RC said: ” Can you imagine that the latter damages the former’s efforts by association? And, to be fair, vice versa?”

    No.

    We’ve talked about this a couple times, and I have no interest in discussing it again.

  35. paulie

    Libertarians who run for State House and get 6% of the vote control nothing.

    Only partially true. See my portion of the responses in the article.

  36. Been There, Done That

    More special than would be politically correct to comment upon any further. But I am going to, anyway.

    Republicans are obviously in panic mode. I would rather not cast a vote for any candidate than to hold my nose and sacrifice my principles. And that is the very concept that no Democrat or Republican will ever understand, hence this woman’s tirade against liberty that she claims to be working toward. She has become nothing more than a useful idiot.

  37. paulie

    Republicans are obviously in panic mode.

    Excellent!

    hence this woman’s tirade against liberty that she claims to be working toward

    Where did she claim to be working towards liberty? I thought she claimed that we were working towards her goal of restoring the mythologized past (“conservative”)…you know, back in the good old Jim Crow days when gays were in the closet and women were the property of their husbands and routinely ordered by judges to remain in abusive marriages. Everything was great back then and we need to get back to the way things were according to conservatives.

  38. Been There, Done That

    lol! Good catch. I should’ve said she was working toward her version of liberty, as you succinctly described it. Voltaire was right. It is indeed difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.

  39. paulie

    Yes, we can all harken back to the great liberty of antebellum days, when everyone that mattered was free and happy. Is that what conservative-libertarian fusionism is about?

  40. Been There, Done That

    Well sure, why not? Not to mention having spheres of influence, making a multi-party name for one’s self, and empty promises to garner support, money and votes.

  41. J Henry Phillips.com

    Conservative is a euphemism for prohibitionist. Simply visit the prohibition party website, and that’s where they get their ideas. Anyone can google “The Case for Voting Libertarian” and see (and hear and see) how 3rd parties changed the constitution for the worse without putting candidates on the government payroll. Orwellian as it may sound, in party of principle politics, “Losing is Winning,” provided it changes the laws. I am a dues-paying, card-carrying, taking orders from customers LP member, and I vote!

  42. paulie

    Anyone can google “The Case for Voting Libertarian” and see (and hear and see) how 3rd parties changed the constitution for the worse without putting candidates on the government payroll. Orwellian as it may sound, in party of principle politics, “Losing is Winning,” provided it changes the laws.

    J. Henry Phillips, my point in the article above exactly.

  43. J Henry Phillips

    Yes, I understood it, finally, after 27 years. Until I understood the spoiler vote mechanism the looter claim that “they’ll never win” seemed like a relevant argument. I put up the web page so that people of the engineering and statistical persuasion could (in two languages) clearly see the spoiler lever working over decades to shift the laws and policies. I wish more objectivists would support the LP, and believe we should consider adding the “Atlas Shrugged Amendment” to the platform, or perhaps endorsing it as a referendum measure. Of course the looters and power seekers are preoccupied only with putting their taxing or banning spokesman in a position to change the laws. But their looter political parties–that call the shots–care only about having a hand in the till, and that gives us a lever for change–provided we keep our integrity.

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