2016 is a year that holds great promise for The People and for Freedom. But as with all things in life, that promise is not free of cost. All true friends of Liberty will have to work hard to deliver on that promise. While this certainly includes hard work in the traditional sense, the reality is that the most difficult challenges can be seen in the mirror, not on the television.
The cause of Liberty has been stalled in a rut. This may be painful for some to hear, but that cannot be a reason to ignore the fact. The cause of Liberty was compelling enough an option to pull in less than 1% of the popular vote in the last Presidential election. Worse still, there are individuals associated with the cause of Liberty that believe this to be an acceptable result: a sign of progress.
I keep reading that the leadership of the Libertarian Party likes proven results, which is understandable. So what have been the results of their approach, and what has been proven by these results? You can obtain a shocking and visible indicator of the truth by asking people to name a champion of Liberty currently holding office in national government. Most people will answer Rand Paul – a Republican.
The truth is plain, in all of its ugliness. Many of the people that admit to voting for the “less evil” candidate in a previous election will go on to assert that a vote for the Libertarian Party is a wasted vote. The same is true for many of the people that chose to stay home. The Party membership and all friends of Liberty have a choice – we can argue with them about this or we can genuinely listen to what they are saying and try to offer them something more compelling.
Ignoring the fatuous and futile first option, the first step towards offering something more compelling is to understand what is going wrong. In my experience, the main reason given for staying home or voting for a “lesser evil” candidate is that the Libertarian Party candidate has no chance. In other words, the candidates they run are qualified to be President but are not qualified to win an election for the same.
Though the candidate problem is a visible target and certainly a large part of the equation it is only the foregone conclusion of a larger approach. The candidates chosen are necessarily not viable because of the approach to the exercise and the nature of the people involved in the process. While we could argue all day over personalities, we can avoid the subject entirely when asking ourselves what is at the roots of failure. Where the failure begins – that first moment when the road forks towards an inevitable and undesired result.
I can see many contributing factors; some may be debatable. But what is obvious to me, and should be equally so to anyone that puts some thought into the matter, is that one of those poisonous roots is quite simply the approach. It is the one common variable across elections, not only with the Libertarian Party but with all 3rd parties today. The election is treated like an election.
So long as this is the case we are doomed. America has reached a point that participation in government is a pipe dream – never to be realized. The same holds true for armed revolution. The only option that still holds any potential at all – and is still far from a sure bet – is to take over the government. A hostile takeover.
The voting base of both major parties is secure. Running a “better” candidate and trying to convince these people with logic has not worked and will not work. If there is any hope for The People at all it lies in the 63% of the eligible population that does not vote. Get them into the polls and we can win. We know they won’t go there to cast a sober vote. Better candidate or not.
America has reached a point such that we can not continue to court defeat in this way. The luxury of parlor talk and cozy conventions is one that we cannot afford in these troubling times. The movement for Freedom and Liberty must quickly develop a willingness to embrace and employ unconventional tactics and to redefine Election Day to mean “Second Independence Day.”
I sat to pen this article specifically for PRL.com because in their name I believe lies part of the answer. To infuse the spirit of 1776 with the energy and charisma of 1977 – punk rock’s breakout year. I’m not talking about the politics – every band and each member had their own beliefs. And I’m not talking about music, either.
I am talking about the willingness to kick in doors that are locked to us. A complete distrust of “the system” and all of its participants. A disdain for the traditional rules of engagement and for establishment fashion and norms. A resolve to do whatever is necessary to win with the only restrictions on action being the letter of the law.
Unfortunately we can neither teach nor preach the philosophy that must be adopted. Indeed, my inadequate description only serves to confuse matters. The best advice I can give would be to listen to some of the music from the period. Loud. Even if you don’t like the sound of it, allow yourself to become immersed in the energy of it. Smash up a chair or two.
Now you’re getting it.