Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Non-Political Party, Can It Ever Win?

I met Mike Kozikowski in 1998.  I was running for the U.S. House of Representatives as a first time candidate on the New Jersey Libertarian Party ticket.  Mike was a UAW shop steward and a staunch Democrat.  He is now also the 12- year incumbent Recorder of Deeds* in New Castle County, Delaware.

Over beer and crabs at the UAW Hall, Mike asked what I planned to do for the working man.  I gave him the typical libertarian line that I wanted to reduce government and slash taxes so as to put money back in workers’ pockets, to reduce burdensome regulation so a as to unleash innovation, investment and fuel economic growth that would benefit everyone.

He was not impressed.  He wanted me to do things for his guys by doing things to other guys.  He wanted me to give things to his peeps by taking away from others.  As Franz Oppenheimer would say, he wanted me to us the “political means” of force and coercion to rob from others for the benefit of his union bros. 

In America there are conservative parties and there are constitutional parties but there is only one party that will call a spade a spade call taxation what it is, “theft”.  It is stealing from a producer / tax-payer for the benefit of a tax consumer.  As the only party that is opposed to the political means of wealth redistribution, the Libertarian Party must be considered to be a non-political party.

The question is, can a non-political party be expected to win political contests?

The good news is that Americans are becoming more apt to voice libertarian sentiments when queried by pollsters.   CNN:
“has regularly asked a pair of questions that touch on libertarian views of the economy and society:
Some people think the government is trying to do too many things that should be left to individuals and businesses. Others think that government should do more to solve our country’s problems. Which comes closer to your own view?
Some people think the government should promote traditional values in our society. Others think the government should not favor any particular set of values. Which comes closer to your own view?
A libertarian, someone who believes that the government is best when it governs least, would typically choose the first view in the first question and the second view in the second.
As of June 2014, the libertarian index was at an all-time high.

The bad news is that many people are unwilling to trust politicians of any stripe to wipe away all government set aides.  They suspect that their little piece of the rock will be chipped away while that of others who are more connected will hold onto theirs.  I can’t say that I blame them or that their fears are unfounded. 
Do not expect Americans to vote en masse for a party that will not vow to protect their narrow interests while possibly letting the other guys slip by.  David Stockman’s classic saga The Triumph of Politics recounts how the ostensibly ant-government Reagan administration was undone by infighting and turf wars to protect well-heeled interest groups.
So do we despair?  No.  Let’s take heart from the track record of the socialists and Marxists.  While theses “fringe” parties never enjoyed significant electoral success in America, they did manage to implement almost their entire agenda over the course of decades.
 Instead freedom lovers must defeat the system issue by issue.  We are winning on school choice, pot, government snooping and the right to bear arms.  The Tenth Amendment Center reports on nullification victories every day.  Traditionally “pro-business” Republicans are awakening to the evils of crony capitalism and out of control central bankers.  Despite the fact the Obamacare is the law of the land, no one really seems to like it.  It has become the poster child for government overreach.  Bitcoin promises to make Ron Paul’s vision of competitive currency a reality.
So libertarians, keep on fighting your electoral battles as I have done twice.  Use your soapbox to spread the gospel of liberty and give voters a real choice.  But do not expect to harvest the fruits of your labor on Election Day.  That will come law by law, statute by statute and state by state.

*An elected off in Delaware if you can believe it.  Also a nice way to reward Party toadies.


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