Libertarian Party chairman: “How to talk with your Democratic friend”

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The following was written by Libertarian Party chairman Nicholas Sarwark and posted on LP.org today (H/T IPR’s Paulie):

Dear Libertarian,

Many of us have Bernie-supporting Democratic friends who are feeling pretty jaded right now. I bet you know someone who is. Maybe a close friend, a family member, a Facebook friend…

They just worked so hard for a candidate they believed in and have come face to face with the corruption and rigging of their party process. Their nominee is exactly what they didn’t want: a wholly owned subsidiary of crony corporatist banksters and “defense” contractors. They will never vote for her, and asking them to feels like a slap in the face. At the same time, the wrongness of Clinton doesn’t make Trump any more right. They feel disenfranchised, disrespected and maybe just a little bit… politically homeless.

Remember that feeling?

Let’s try to welcome them – and their votes – to the Libertarian Party. We NEED to if we want our candidates to succeed!

But we need to be diplomatic about it and resist the urge to kick their guy when he’s already down. We need to be sensitive about where they are coming from and meet them where they are, politically.

Bernie supporters don’t see every issue the way we do – and that is ok. We can keep talking to them. Right now, we need for a lot of people who are searching for political options to feel comfortable enough with us to vote for Gary Johnson this fall.

Here are a few strategies that I have personally found most effective when reaching out to Bernie fans:

– Acknowledge their sense of betrayal. It is real. It is painful and personal to them. Resist the urge to gloat or taunt. Most of them won’t take that well. If we want our party to grow long term, it won’t be through insulting or alienating people who probably really do belong with us!

– Keep reminding your friends that there are options beyond Trump and Clinton, and that Governor Johnson will be on the ballot in all 50 states. Johnson is a proven leader with executive experience, and has very broad appeal across the political spectrum.

– Share points of interest about Gov. Johnson. He was a two-term governor of New Mexico. He’s a successful entrepreneur. He’s an athlete. He’s ethical, candid, honest, likable, trustworthy, and highly qualified. He is funded almost entirely by individual donations (not PACs) and has taken strong stances against crony corporatism in politics and in government. He’s pro-choice, he’s in favor of legalizing marijuana and ending our senseless wars overseas. He supports LGBT rights. Really, there is so much for progressives to like about him!

– Encourage other mutual Libertarian-leaning friends to talk with your friend. Let them see that other people they know are voting Libertarian. Some people need to see this before they will do it themselves.

– Encourage them to vote with courage. If we all voted for who we really thought the best candidate was, this country would be better for it. Also, a strong showing for Libertarians in this election will put the oligarchs on notice. The last thing they should want is Clinton OR Trump taking office with a strong mandate. Voting for one of them only encourages them.

– Show them the beautiful diversity of the Libertarian Party. No matter who they are, where they come from, what they look like, what they enjoy, what they believe, there are Libertarians like them. There is not a more diverse organization in America. We respect each other and believe in peaceful coexistence.

Be welcoming. Be kind. Be encouraging. Be respectful.

Let’s show America the beauty of liberty and the merit of our candidates. If we diligently and diplomatically share this message, Governor Johnson might just end up in the White House come January! But even if he doesn’t, our party will be bigger and stronger for your efforts.

Towards liberty,

Nicholas Sarwark
Chair, Libertarian National Committee

(Via American Third Party Report)

10 thoughts on “Libertarian Party chairman: “How to talk with your Democratic friend”

  1. dL

    How to talk to a Bernie Sanders’ supporter? Well, hell, join the club, brah. The LP got sold a bill of goods too by TeamGov. Go vote for Jill Stein.

  2. Darcy G Richardson

    Or better yet…make sure you don’t tell them that Gary Johnson called for an immediate across-the-board $1.4 trillion cut in federal spending four years ago, a draconian measure that would have absolutely devastated the country’s most vulnerable citizens while wreaking havoc on the U.S. and global economies.

    Of course, Johnson could never remember the amount of his own austerity figure and occasionally called for a $1.6 trillion reduction in federal spending.

    Gary Johnson, America’s Heinrich Brüning.

  3. steve m

    dl, free drugs for all Jill is prescribing them. Don’t worry some one else is paying for it all.

  4. dL

    “Or better yet…make sure you don’t tell them that Gary Johnson called for an immediate across-the-board $1.4 trillion cut in federal spending four years ago, a draconian measure that would have absolutely devastated the country’s most vulnerable citizens while wreaking havoc on the U.S. and global economies.”

    Johnson advocates no such thing. Certainly not today.Last time I checked, maybe 5-10% of federal spending goes to the poor. The Welfare State: rents flow to the top, subsidies to the middle, consequences to the poor.

  5. dL

    “dl, free drugs for all Jill is prescribing them. Don’t worry some one else is paying for it all.”

    Damn. She would have my vote, if i voted.

  6. George Dance

    dL ““dl, free drugs for all Jill is prescribing them. Don’t worry some one else is paying for it all.”
    Damn. She would have my vote, if i voted.

    I thought you were claiming to be a “libertarian Libertarian”.

  7. Jim

    dL “Johnson advocates no such thing. [an immediate across-the-board $1.4 trillion cut in federal spending] Certainly not today.

    Darcy Richardson did say it was 4 years ago. Although, the way I remember it, it wasn’t an immediate cut and it would have started with a 43% cut to the DOD, eliminate the Department of Education and HUD, and then balance the budget after that. Budget deficits were so high back then that it might have implied a total $1.4 Trillion cut.

    This year Johnson has called for the elimination of the Departments of Education, Commerce, and Housing and Urban Development, with a 20% cut to the Department of Defense and J/W have said they’ve never seen a government Department that didn’t have 10% – 20% of waste built into it. A 20% cut to the DOD is $115 Billion, Ed. Commerce, and HUD are another $118 Billion, and a 15% across the board cut to everything else is $489 Billion, for a total of $722 Billion.

  8. dL

    “I thought you were claiming to be a “libertarian Libertarian”.”

    When did i claim that? Yes, I am a libertarian. I never said libertarian’s libertarian. If you are throwing the accusation of purist out there, well I consider that be an accusation that you are actually, you know, a libertarian as opposed to being some respectability politics alt definition of a conservative.

    Now if you support the TeamGov, you are supporting the Patriot Act, the War on Terror,Current levels of military spending, more or less the current status of drug illegality, etc..etc. In other words, you have no problem externalizing costs on others for you own personal reasons(best I can tell, just so someone who reads from teleprompter on TV will say something nice about the LP). So given that, I figure I might as well get mine. I figure the WoD has personally cost me around 2 yards over my lifetime…so, I figure you can pay for my free drugs. Consider it restitution.***

    ***learn 2 rbtl

  9. Andy

    This is a good article. I just think that it is a shame that the Libertarian Party is not offering the public a better – and more libertarian – choice in the presidential election this year.

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