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Editorial: Whither the LP

The new LNC, and the National Convention that elected it, is keeping promises to supporters. That’s the Mises-Caucus dominated LNC and its Mises Caucus supporters.

They revoked the act ejecting Harlos from the LNC. They revoked the censure of Joshua Smith.

They launched a bitcoin fund drive. BitCoins are holy relics for some of their supporters. Doing a BitCoin fund drive was an important gesture toward those people. Besides, the LNC did something sensible. They launched the drive now, before BitCoin falls even farther.

The LNC just met. If Caryn Ann Harlos appeared Sunday night to be leading the committee, it is because she had things she wanted to have happen, she had a plan to make them happen, and she had many friends on the Committee to vote for her plan. It remains to be seen what will happen when the LNC advances to considering substantive activity.

Why did Mises win? Some plan beats no plan. They had a plan, which they executed. Their opponents … not so much. They had an amazing organization, larger than the volunteer organization of at least some of our Presidential campaigns. I say that as the Badnarik Presidential campaign’s national volunteer coordinator. The Mises caucus will likely stay around. In 2024 there will be an important difference. The Mises Caucus will have had two years to control the narrative, to do publicity for all their successes, and to do publicity for all of their opponents’ failures. They will also have two years to bring to heel state Libertarian parties not yet controlled by the Mises Caucus.

To opponents of the Mises Caucus: If you want to beat them, you have several paths that may work, but predicting that the Mises Caucus will self-destruct and then sitting back is probably not one of them. Your choices include:

0) DO NOT trash people trying alternative plans. You are making it less likely that your side will win. Oh, yes: Predicting that the other side will fail is not a plan.

1) Organize and try to retake the LNC. At least at one time, you could see the Mises organizational structure on the internet. Consider copying the structure until you have something better. After all, that’s the structure that won.

2) Support alternative Libertarian Party groups, such as the Libertarian Policy Institute. The LNC is a shiny bauble. It glitters but its assets are its membership list, its small treasury, and its building. (Building? Sell high, buy someplace else low. Who can fault a new Nolan building in the town where Nolan founded the LP? At least, sell the current building before the Atlantic starts visiting. ) The LCN has almost no power beyond raising and spending money (In two years’ time, anticipate amusing litigation if the LNC NatCon nominates a candidate, and someone contests state laws that automatically put that candidate on the ballot over the objections of the local state party.)

3) Support an alternative National Libertarian Party with its own state groups and, say, an annual national convention. The state groups may need different names in different states.

4) Launch a new and different national party. As a suggestion, the short platform plank that Mises-proofs the group is the unamendable plank ‘All persons regardless of sex, gender, age, marital status, term of pregnancy, or other condition, have an absolute, unalienable right to obtain, without legal let or hindrance, an abortion.’

5) Join, support and infiltrate the Mises caucus.

6) Consider the Democratic Socialists of America, the party that is not a party, but which instead, like the cuckoo bird, plants its candidates in another party’s nest. They have actual Congressmen as members. Elect libertarians by running them as candidates of some other party.

17 Comments

  1. David Niggemeyer David Niggemeyer July 30, 2022

    Despite its many flaws, the Constitution Party has ballot access in a sufficient number of States to be recognized as a national party by the FEC. Most affiliates on the State-level are small in number. Act accordingly, then nearly every office nomination or party position you desire may be in your grasp, likely uncontested. However, if you advocate the “unalienable right” to unrestricted abortion, then you will not be acting accordingly. If you criticize our “religious crap”, then you will not be acting accordingly.

    As for me, I will NEVER invest all my hopes and my vote in a single political party again, ever. According to ISideWith.com, I am 85% Constitution Party, 84% Libertarian Party, 73% American Solidarity Party, 72% Republican Party, and 50% Green Party. Therefore, I think it’s wise to devout my time and resources accordingly and keep my options open, subjected to none but myself.

  2. J.R.Myers J.R.Myers July 13, 2022

    According to BAN, the CP voter registration numbers are at only 125 in West Virginia:
    https://ballot-access.org/2022/07/12/new-west-virginia-voter-registration-data/
    WV is the home state of 2016 CP Presidential nominee Don Blankenship.
    No, they will never accept an influx of any libertarians. They have become more ossified than they were a few years ago.
    The CP’s fate is already realized, as it is being swept into the dustbin of history…

  3. Joe Wendt Joe Wendt July 12, 2022

    Given that there is a decline in membership and activity in the Constitution Party, and the basic tenets of the party are compatible with Harry Browne style libertarianism (minus the religious crap), The Constitution Party could in theory become a good location for Libertarians to start again in a new party.

  4. Jared Jared July 11, 2022

    From what I gather, the Constitution Party has been suffering a gradual collapse due to infighting and the fact that it served as a home for paleoconservatives during the neocon phase of the Republican Party. Now that paleocons are perfectly comfortable in the Trumpist GOP, it makes sense that they’d lose membership and that dominionists and theonomists would emerge as the controlling CP faction. Not exactly fertile ground for a libertarian takeover, unless you’re somebody like Gary North.

  5. NewFederalist NewFederalist July 9, 2022

    I have to agree with SocraticGadfly. That would be a tough fit.

  6. SocraticGadfly SocraticGadfly July 8, 2022

    Joe, THAT would be a catfight to see — non-Mises Libertarians trying to take over the Constitution Party.

  7. Joe Wendt Joe Wendt July 8, 2022

    Probably the easiest route is taking over the Constitution Party and pulling it away from the Christian right. More Libertarian. If it worked for the Mises Caucus in the LP, why not in the Constitution Party. Plus, they do have some ballot access, I think, what, 13 states.

  8. MG MG July 7, 2022

    Words of wisdom as usual, George.

  9. Andy Andy July 6, 2022

    Starting a new political party is extremely difficult. If anyone wants to try this it really helps to have boatloads of money and one or more persons with celebrity name recognition.

  10. George Phillies George Phillies Post author | July 5, 2022

    Andy, I completely agree that the Mises Caucus had a variety of other motives for descending on the LP. In Massachusetts, the motives were even more complicated than in some other places. However, the point of my suggestion was a platform plank that would strongly discourage them from descending on this new party, should someone want to form one. (Not me, thank you.)

    I will repeat that the LPNH State Chair had no role in putting either of the 2008 LP Presidential tickets on the ballot, except in that he may have signed a nominating paper or collected signatures. There was a collection of voter signatures. Signatures were distributed by volunteers to election officials for validation and turned in to the Secretary of State by volunteers. I supplied my list of electors. The State Chair (iirc, at the time the LPNH convention nominated me, Rich Tomasso) played no role in putting me on the ballot.

  11. Andy Andy July 5, 2022

    This is not why the Mises Caucus descended on the Libertarian Party. Also, some of the people involved with the Mises Caucus had already been in the Libertarian Party for many years prior to the formation of the Mises Caucus.

  12. George Phillies George Phillies Post author | July 5, 2022

    Jared, the suggested bylaw could be tuned down. However, note the ‘unamendable’. The Mises people descended on the LP because they knew they could delete the plank if they had the votes. They did, so they did. This is politics. In my alternative, anti-abortionists do not have this option. The proposed plank in the alternative organization can’t be changed.

  13. Jared Jared July 5, 2022

    You’re turning away a lot more than MiCaucs by insisting on a plank that holds on-demand abortion to be an “unalienable right” at every gestational age. In effect you’d be rejecting all pro-lifers as well as moderate pro-choicers, leaving only the radically abortion-friendly. It’s the devout Rothbardianism and Hoppean-inspired, culturally protectionist border hawkishness of its leadership that turn me off to the caucus, not the right-leaning social views of its membership. But I don’t see how the addition of such a plank would Mises-proof any organization. The National LP had an extremely pro-choice abortion plank, more pro-choice than David Nolan agreed or was comfortable with, and it didn’t deter Neo-Austrians and anarcho-paleocons and reactionary populists from joining the party prior to the takeover. It likely motivated them by providing them with a long-term, concrete objective.

  14. Doe Doe July 5, 2022

    Richard knows better. For example, Americans elect of Oklahoma was not able to put its chosen candidate on the ballot in iirc 2012 because the national party objected. Florida requires presidential candidates to be the nominees of a national party, or otherwise complete a petition process which is not very realistic for the vast majority of presidential nominees. There are probably other examples.

  15. George Phillies George Phillies Post author | July 5, 2022

    Your description of New Hampshire is completely wrong. There were two Libertarian Presidential candidates on the ballot in New Hampshire in 2008, because each of our partisans collected enough signatures. The state chair was a bystander with no role in the matter. The petition iirc listed the electors. Your description is also wrong as it applies to Massachusetts, namely if you are the candidate of a Political Designation, your partisans must collect the signatures, and no state organization has any say in the matter. You also disagree with at least one former LNC ballot access committee, which believed that they sent the certification of the National Convention to the state government, and that put the candidate on the ballot (elector process apparently differed from state to state).

  16. Andy Andy July 5, 2022

    The general trend for Bitcoin is that it shoots up, then falls back, them goes up a little, then becomes more stable, and then it rockets up again, and when it falls back it does not fall back as low as it did firing the previous bull market.

    Do not be surprised to see Bitcoin at $100,000 plus within a few years.

  17. Richard Winger Richard Winger July 5, 2022

    There are no states that automatically put the nominee of the national presidential convention on the ballot. In all states, candidates for presidential elector are the true candidates. In all states, the state parties, not the national parties, choose the presidential electors. The state chairs certify the names of the presidential elector candidates, and the presidential elector candidates tell their state government whom they would vote for if they were elected to the electoral college. That is why the Arizona Libertarian Party in 2000 managed to have L. Neil Smith as the Libertarian presidential nominee. That is why the Alabama Democratic Party in 1968 had George Wallace as its general election presidential candidate. And, of course, that is why you, George, were listed as one of the Libertarian presidential candidates on the New Hampshire November 2008 ballot, even though you were not the nominee of the national Libertarian convention that year.

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