Why We Must Re-brand Liberty Inside the 2-Party Duopoly.Submitted by Treg on Wed, 02/29/2012 - 16:51
WHATS IN A NAME?
If you are thinking that we need to take our R3VOLution "to the next level" I 100% agree with you. But if you are thinking that we need to go back to the Libertarian Party, I invite you to think DEEPER upon the issue.
Most of all, I hope you focus upon the human psychology that the duopoly rests upon.
When you understand that, then you will realize, as we old libertarians finally have, that what is called for is re-branding INSIDE the two party "system".
So far, we have successfully re-branded libertarianism as "the R3VOLution" and "the Tea Party" under the GOP and gained full access to their voters and their national Television stage.
What is the difference between our R3VOLution and the Tea Party? The R3VOLution is 2 lumps of sugary liberty, the Tea Party is just one lump. We are now deep inside and very influential and now, CENTRAL to the success of the GOP. We are it. Get in there.
Now for stage two: Re-branding libertarianism inside the Democratic Party. The DNC did this themselves with the 99% agenda, a rehash of the DNC welfarist goals. What it purged was the "anti-war 60s" crowd. That is our in. We Ron Paul Democrats need to re-brand inside the DNC and gain access to their voters and their national Television stage.
What we re-brand under the DNC is still unknown. It will come from the grassroots. It just might be BlueRepublican or after the election, "Freedom Democrat" or even a "Peace Democrat". The term "freedom Democrat" is very likeable and sufficiently vague. Its opens up a wide definition in which we liberty patriots can enter. "Wow you sound a little like Ron Paul" -- "Who me? I am NOT a Republican, yuck! Get that out of your mind. I am a Freedom Democrat, always have been, always will be". Or perhaps reuse the older term, "BlueDog Democrat". The one thing that will not happen, you will not be kicked off the democrat team.
Human psychology is amazing and the two-team/enemy model of the duopoly fits tighter than a glove on the human psychic. There is NO room for libertarian party or Green Party. The mental space is all but occupied. Thus you must battle from within. The strange and yet good thing is this. Once you "Wear the D label" or the "R label" then you "are one". Just look at NeoCons. Just look at the Moral Majority inside the GOP....Just look at us inside the GOP.
KEEP OUR EYES ON THE PRIZE: The 2 treasures inside the national duopoly. The nation's VOTER LIST is in a DATABASE, and that database is divided between the two parties. That is the first treasure. Take it. Further, the two parties OWN the national Debate STAGE. Its a stage of "legitimacy" and to stand on it makes you "legit"; don't stand on it and you are just standing on your own cute little soap box. To get on TV and Radio 24/7/365, YOU MUST BE STANDING ON THE NATIONAL DEBATE STAGE and BE INSIDE ONE OR BOTH PARTIES DIRECTLY TALKING TO REGISTERED VOTERS IN THE DATABASE.
Long ago when I proudly wore the L label, I did not know the above. But do not waist your time like I did in 1980 working for Ed Clark or in 1988 working for Ron Paul or in 2000 Harry Browne.... all good candidates who did NOT get to the National Debate Stage. Many of us "woke up" and ripped off the L label and now wish the Libertarian Party, a fast and quick death --(knowing the future course is only to pervert everything it once stood for -- indeed its well on its way) Salvage what you can from her, get the all important 1980 Libertarian Platform and save it to your desk top. Read it, then re-brand yourself inside the GOP or the DNC.
THE TEAM MENTALITY DOMINATES EVERYTHING.
Here is something, an observation that MAY help you understand why leaving the LP is key to success. Humans are humans world wide. They see things in good or bad, they see things as black or white. Evolutionary psychology tells us that as members of 100 to 1,000 member tribes, we honed our good tribe vs bad tribe mindset. This mindset plays itself out in the free market, Crest vs Colgate, Coke vs Pepsi, and Democrats vs Republicans. Its worldwide. Indeed, the USA can be said to be floundering about because we have no "other" to set our collective selves "against".
Take two top teams in the NBA. The rivalry or the championship games. Perhaps its the Phoenix Suns vs The Lakers. The Phoenix fans "hate" the evil Lakers and the Lakers fans "hate" the evil Suns. Millions of Phoenix fans hated "the Shaq" when he was on the Lakers, but when he was on our team, we loved him. Indeed, if you watch closely, all 5 starting players for the Suns can be traded for those 5 of the Lakers, and the Phoenix fans, WITHOUT MISSING A BEAT, will quickly rationalize it and STILL BE FOR THE SUNS. For you see, those formerly 5 Lakers are now "suns" and visa versa. The team players changes, but TEAM LOYALTY DOES NOT. You might at this point ask, what is "it" that makes a team a team? Indeed, the Suns and the Lakers have even CHANGED TEAM COLORS. The Suns went from being white uniforms to being Purple to being Orange. Still, the human psychology held on to this as being a "team" that they fiercely support, even though ALL 5 team starters are gone and new ones are in! So players can come and go, team colors can change, but "it" is still the "same" team. Think about that. Really stop and ponder that.
So what is the "it" that if "it" changes, poof, gone is the "team" and "it" is no more? Think. Guessing? Think some more. Got the answer? The answer is .... a name. We humans are hung up on the name. If the name changes, then all has changed. Freaky weird creatures we humans are! Spock would say "illogical", DATA would say "fascinating". Think about it. If the color stays the same, the players stay the same, but the name changes, well then we all don't know if we will support this "new" team. Yes, that fierce loyalty is all in question now, over a name change. What's in a name you ask? Everything. Doubt me? Try it out on a little league team and see the parents in an uproar and the players all distraught, sad that "their old team is gone". Its amazing mental thing we humans have and this is a very important lesson -- for you in Politics. It is a very important observation of human behavior that YOU SHOULD NOT MISS when thinking about your libertarian "party".
Yes, both Dems and Repubs are like TWO TEAMS. That is YES exactly what I am saying. And I am saying they are the ones that ALWAYS are in the TELEVISED CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES. Get it? The FAN BASE STAYS, yet as you might have noticed, the players (political positions) are traded back n forth. During Bill Clinton's Iraq sanctions, bombing of Bosnia and Ethiopia, Republicans including John McCain and GW Bush was Against it. Indeed, republicans under Clinton sounded like they really wanted a "humble foreign policy". That political player got traded at 9/11. Over the decades you can see that political positions, like basketball players, get traded. TEAM AMNESIA does the rest. Don't be like Glenn Greenwald, who is all lost and confused and thinking "what happened to my civil rights progressives?" when the civil rights player got benched. (see: http://www.salon.com/2012/03/06/attorney_general_holder_defe...)
For these reasons above, I implore you to NOT waist your time with the LP. It has lived its purpose. Now is the time to take our political positions (lets face it, THAT is what we really want, right) into the big time duopoly game.
To win this Duopoly game of the GOP vs the DNC, we will reemphasize some positions and not emphasize others (that does not mean we don't have them of course). Ron Paul has shown us the way on How to be a libertarian Republican. He does his best to emphasize some issues and not others.
Now we must discover how to be a libertarian Democrat. Then to "WIN" both the game and make a real meaningful win for our liberty agenda, we must place up two candidates, one inside the GOP and one inside the DNC. When those to "go against each other", liberty wins each and every time. This is how the very small group of war hawks win, no matter if its Reagan or Clinton or GW Bush or Barack Obama - Warfare Wins.
We (and now you) are on to this MEGA GAME and clued in as to why the human psychology has no problem maintaining the political duopoly. Its an illusion we all share. But when entering the either the DNC or GOP to gain access to their voter database and national debate stage, we must always keep in mind two "blind spots", one for Liberals and one for Conservatives. Keeping this in mind will aid you in moving up into the highest levels of the two party duopoly.
WHAT LIBERALS NEVER GET: Liberal Cognitive dissonance
Taxation and Regulation is an Insiders Game, or as Dr. Milton Friedman called it; “It’s a matter of the self interests winning out over General interests each and every time”.
While liberals call for more taxation and regulation to go to the government, it tends to feed the very problem that they are so upset about in the first place. With Regulation laws and Regulatory Boards over an industry, it becomes in the immediate self interest of individual companies to influence the legal laws affecting them and even CONTROL the regulatory board over them. The first company or companies to do so, - wins.
The first thing these companies do once they capture laws and regulatory boards over them is get government to pass still more laws “to protect the public at large” (wink, wink). Meanwhile what these new laws and regulations really do is raise the cost and raise the barrier to entry into that industry, thus cutting their exposure to the always demanding & regulating price system found in the free market. This can be seen in all the major industries from media, mining, finance & banking, to real estate, insurance, trucking, and airlines.
As the market becomes more centralized under this Crony Capitalism that has been created, the liberal thinks this is a call for still MORE taxes and regulations. Those companies already on the inside can accept the higher taxes and greater regulations, those on the outside, cannot and so go out of business. Eventually few companies remain in that industry as it get concentrated. This intern inspires liberals to demand still more taxation and regulation upon the ever bigger corporations.
Then to their horror, like Dorothy looking at the Great Oz behind the curtain, they find that all of government is one big lobbyist cesspool of greed, graft, and corruption. The Great Oz, the great Government, is a hollow fraud, a fake, a phony, a shame of Crony Capitalism that uses tax dollars and laws for personal gain. Yet does the liberal declare that there should no longer be a great Oz to worship? No, he makes calls for a “new government”, a new regulatory board, and new and “better laws”. Again the liberal fails to see the incentive he has created in a big all powerful government.
WHAT CONSERVATIVES NEVER GET: Conservative Cognitive dissonance
The principle that "war is the health of the state", as Randolph Bourne put it. During and after every major war, the role of government in American life has grown by leaps and bounds. Now that we live in an age of perpetual war, the growth of government power has escalated far beyond what even the most pessimistic conservative would have imagined twenty years ago. As our government in Washington has moved into Pakistan they are moving into your bank account, your email, and your private business, and they’re doing it on every front. Our eternal "war on terrorism" is an all-purpose rationalization for our government to wage war on its own citizens.
The government, the USA government, has started the following wars: The War with Spain. We liberated both Cuba and the Philippines from Spain only to turn around and start killing and enslaving her. It started with a sunken ship in Cuban waters. Then War with Mexico. It started with a President who lied about a Mexican army invasion across the Rio Grande River that never happened. It resulted in a New Mexico -Arizona Territories land purchase and a southern railroad route to the Pacific was created. But the northern senators raised the angle of the territory line to Yuma. They did not want to give the South a pacific port.
WWI was started for America with the sinking of several American commercial ships in European waters by German subs, that and the fact that President Woodrow Wilson was a progressive socialist who had dreams of starting the UN. He got his precious UN and he has had America on the road to world empire ever since.
WWII was started with the sinking of dozens of ships in Hawaii that a President Roosevelt, another Progressive leftist, had done his level best to bait to attack, thus getting reluctant America into the war, “through the back door”.
Not long after WWII ended then did a democrat named Truman single-handedly (without Congress) send us to war in Korea, and the Korean War was started. It was going really well until the Chinese came down from the North by the millions sending Americans back to the 51st parallel.
Another president started the CIA and did the dirty work for a British company, BP who had lost its oil operation in Iran. Thanks to Eisenhower, America overthrew the Iranian elected president, and installed the Shaw who did our biding and gave us lots of cheap Iranian oil.
Then Liberal JFK wanted to appear tough after the Bay of Pigs in Cuba and sent lots of “advisers” out into Vietnam to help some wealthy French rubber companies. The Vietnam War was soon started by the false claim that a ship had been attacked, not harmed mind you, just attacked. The claim at the Gulf of Tonkin never happened in Vietnam, but 50,000 Americans died for that lie.
Another little war Congress never authorized and yet president and secretary of state lied and we secretly bombed Cambodia.
Then another president Bush Sr., lied about Panama and took the president of another country and stuck him one of America’s prisons. That same president then lied about Saudi Arabia being threatened and in danger and took this country to war to kill thousands in Gulf War I against Iraq.
Another then President Clinton, lied about Bosnia as the aggressor and sided with the Muslims in Kosovo. There were no concentration camps, massive deaths, only staged photos and burned down Christian Orthodox Churches. He bombed Somalia and Afghanistan too.
Another President GW Bush invaded Iraq and had us looking for WMDs.
The latest President Obama has had us bomb Libya and invade Afghanistan, bomb Yemen, do a not so secret war in Iran and soon invade Pakistan. The reason we might soon attack Iran is our National Guard ships just 200 miles off the coast of Iran has no defense and might be attacked if it gets too close. Why the National Guard ship are THERE and not HERE does not cross anyone’s mind.
Americans don’t like their ships attacked, anywhere around the globe, but they don’t mind waging war Anywhere around the globe. They have rarely ever had peace. And the reason for this is because Conservatives fail to see that WARFARE, is just another big government program.
LIBERTARIAN BABIES: THERE WILL NEVER EVER EVER BE ENOUGH -
How Many liberal parents and conservative parents have babies born into their families each year? Think about that number. Now ask, how many libertarian babies are born each year? And now think about that number. Then plot those two lines on a simple graph. Next, just extrapolate those two lines into the years ahead....Now ask yourself, "at what year will the birth rate of libertarians cross the Dems and Reps?" I suggest NEVER. That is because as best that I can tell, of the 3 groups, libertarians have fewer babies, not more babies. Thus, the demographics do not look well for growing many more libertarians. And as discussed above, most people are born into their political identity, just as they are born into their religious identity. "Conversion" is a rare thing, yet everyone deludes themselves that "if just had more conversions".... but that never happens.
Moreover, Thomas Sowell points out that across many cultures and nations and even large time periods, there ALWAYS is two general political forces. Those people who look back and wish to conserve what they once had (the constrained vision), and those that look forward with a vision of what the future COULD be (the unconstrained vision). http://www.amazon.com/Conflict-Visions-Ideological-Political... Thomas Sowell, apparently not an evolutionist, fails to ask "is there something more to this bias?" That question will fall to socio-biologists, who themselves are of the liberal or unconstrained vision. What they are finding shocks them and they don't like the libertarian answer. See Pinker, Gould, Dawkins, and many others. Yet there it is, sitting right there in scientists faces and they don't like it. Indeed Harvard's Robert Trivers the openly socialist evolutionists did not like it so much that he turned what we would "rational self interest" on its head by calling it "Reciprocal Altruism" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reciprocal_altruism But there is is, science is at the libertarian door step, and it conflicts with the scientists own "unconstrained vision" as Thomas Sowell would put it.
So what? What does all this have to do with our movement? It means this: We have two clients to sell liberty too. And we most likely will ALWAYS have two clients to sell liberty too. Get use to it. We cannot "grow our numbers" for our numbers will always be a minority. Just as more people are born right handed over left, so it is also true that most people will lean either right or left politically, in any time period, in any culture. That is how humans are made.
It is we, we rational political philosophical junkie libertarians who are the 'freaks of nature', yes we are the "10% queers". Yes, we libertarians are like those strange musical savants who are deeply into their music or deeply into mathematics. Yet only one in a thousand of us are born. Find any libertarian and ask them, when where you a libertarian? And the answer will be, "I think I ALWAYS WAS A LIBERTARIAN, I just did not know the name for it. I knew from the 8th grade that I was not a conservative and not a liberal...it was not until I read/heard (name any 'gateway libertarian'; Thomas Jefferson, Herbert Spencer, Isabel Patterson, Rose Wilder Lane, Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard, Karl Hess, Milton Friedman, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Ron Paul) that I realized I was a libertarian."
So the short answer, we will never ever EVER outnumber the liberals and the conservatives. There are plenty of them in nurseries right now sucking on the plastic pacifier and soiling themselves wearing plastic diapers. That rebellious screaming baby who won't take the pacifier and somehow manages to lay there naked, that baby was probably you. You've gone your own way since the 8th grade when you read 1984 & Brave New World. To attempt to "convert" these pacifier loving babes is foolishness and a fools game.
The wonderful book, a classic, HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE has some great advice for us. Sell them what they want. To conservatives uncomfortable with change, sell them Liberty as a "Horse & Cabin". For liberals uncomfortable with the status quo, sell Liberty as a "Better Future for us ALL". And rest assured, like the Schrödinger's cat paradox, liberty does BOTH; it takes us back and moves us forward. So relax, you are not speaking out of both sides of your mouth.
Liberty has always been like that, doing two things at once. Pursue Liberty and it will give us BOTH Equality and Prosperity. But pursue Equality or Prosperity, and it will give you Tyranny and Poverty. Yes the Liberty principle is counter intuitive to the average Joe, hence why he leans right or left. Its our job to Sell Liberty WITHIN their Conservative or Liberal paradigm. That is where we will find success. Hence, we must all move to go INSIDE the 2 Party Duopoly.
THE MASTER NARRATIVES: The Conservative, Liberal, and the Missing Libertarian Master Narrative.
Now the Liberal and Conservative Cognitive Dissonance blind spot all comes about because of a successful Master Narrative. This Master Narrative gives them their winning popularity but also gives them their blind spot. For Conservatives its an emotional based sense of security & safety (even if it means killing to get it), and for liberals its an emotional based sense of guilt & worry expressed as caring & helping (even if it means killing to get it). One can watch the GOP and the DNC go through its arguments to each-other using their Master Narrative of Safety vs the Master Narrative of Helping. One narrative is emotionally fear-security based, the other fear-caring based. There is much to be said about all of this, but what really needs to be discussed here is the "something" missing in the Master Liberty Narrative.
Yes, there is a deeply essential connecting 'thing' that has been completely missing from the libertarian Master Freedom Narrative MFN. To date it has been just this, 'leave me alone'. Not too inspiring. Emotionally it is anger based. The problem as we have seen, just look at the countries behind the Iron Curtain, is that the Security & Helping narrative can still trump a leave-me-alone short lived impulse.
The Master Freedom Narrative: Still Missing All These Years
In the world of politics, master narratives are all come down to and are based upon single emotions. For both liberals and conservatives that master narrative is always based upon the Fear-Security Emotional Complex. Thus both conservatives and liberals can always press this emotional button. Rational reasoning will go out the window and the blind fear-security emotions will over take the better part of experience and learned judgement. For liberals its: "what if you loose your job?" and and "What happens when you are too old to work?" and of course their latest one, "What if you get terribly sick?". For Conservatives its: "What if THEY attack us?" and "What if THEY are secretly trying to destroy us?" and of course "What if they have THEY have many more guns, jets, ships, and armies than us?"
So how stable is that? The answer is very stable. To argue in a rational and reasoned fashion, using experience and the best facts available, will not silence and squelch that nagging Fear-Security Emotional Complex that we all have; its in our human psychological evolutionary DNA if you will. The best that we can do is attempt to calm and delay and quiet those fears, and to do this it will be at great effort. Indeed, we in the freedom movement spend perhaps 90% of our efforts just doing that. So if we look around in the world, as Thomas Sowell did in some of his books, we find a consistent pattern of conservatism and liberalism. It is no accident that the "two-party system" is also very stable, for it all rests upon this emotional Fear-Security complex.
Now you might ask, can freedom rest upon it too? That answer, I believe is no. Now I will not go into it here as to what the evidence is or why this is, suffice it to say (for now) that the answer is no.
So you might then ask, what strong Emotional Complex that we humans all share MIGHT a freedom be based upon? Moreover, is our efforts to promote and maximize freedom centered upon this strong Emotional Complex, or are we missing it entirely?
Liberty & Utopia PART II.
The reason why liberty & freedom advocates do not connect into the Emotional Complex is they fail, I think intentionally out of fear to be proved wrong, to constantly IMAGINE UP what a Utopian Liberty World (ULW) would look like. Libertarians know that the future is wide open under a regime of freedom that respect everyone's individual rights. They wisely note how unpredictable it is. Yet the fact is we humans NEED, indeed CRAVE such visions. We eat up Star Trek and Star Wars. Indeed we've made many of those technological visions come true. These are NOT dystopian visions of the future, these are Visions that we ASPIRE TOO. And so, they show problems solved and best of all solved with freedom, reason and peace. Unlike Ayn Rand's dystopian Shrugged or George Orwell's 1984 or Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, what the Liberty movement is SORELY MISSING is a "ten years from now" Utopian vision of liberty. From small detective shows placed 10 years into the future to medical shows placed 10 years into the future, Americans and the world is missing that vision. Its a vision that can show PROBLEMS solved with liberty.
Allow me to quote from this: "A New Freedom Strategy:
Liberty & Utopia PART II"
2012: St Louis Missouri
"Raker is a 50 year old detective who is use to dealing with drug crimes and the seedy side of life in year 2012. Suddenly while going through a crack house on the West side of the city, Raker gets hit hard on the back of the head.
Raker wakes up, to his surprise, 10 years later. Turns out his only daughter hung by him all these years and refused to "pull the plug" on him. When the "new drug" came, all it took was a shot to wake him out of his coma. "What year is it? he asks. "2022" she answers, "Its been ten long years dad".
Raker and his daughter leave the hospital and have a nice talk, catching up on things as they ride down the freeway in her car. Then Raker suddenly notices that she is not really steering the car. Why the car and all the cars and even the freeway is "networked" and "drives itself". He looks out and sees that many things have changed, and for the better!
Then he asks what time it is, and the car replies "its 5pm". He now notices there is NO TRAFFIC JAMS. Wow, things are for the better! "How did THAT happen?", he asks.
"They privatized the roads" ...
"What?!!! You've got to be kidding me!" he says.
His loving daughter explains to him, "there are lots of good changes dad, since we freed the country from our old ways". Still curious about what happened to him, he asks to return to the seedy side of town, to the crack building where he got hurt. What does Raker find? Clean new condos.
"What happened?" he asks his daughter in shock. She says "dad, a lot of good things happened, lets get the drugs the doctor suggested." ...Then Raker asks as they enter the drug store, "Where's my prescription?" and the daughter answers "The doctor just um, emailed, yea he emailed it to my T-Phone and I sent it here. Its waiting for us now."
As the two walk in Raker notices and recognizes a well known, yet well dressed, but former crack-head walking out of the store. Raker looks stunned. The daughter says, "Dad, drugs have long been legalized. There are no prescriptions any more too, you just take the doctors advice as to what medicines to get, or not. The medicines I like are FDA stamped recommended, but we can buy cheaper ones too if you like."
Raker replies, "Dam, I guess 10 years has gone by. I am 60 years old now, but I don't feel a day older. Hey my hands look young!"
And the daughter replies, "It will take me a while to explain that one dad. Lets just say 5 years ago I gave you lots of new treatments, ok?" and she hugs him, "Welcome back dad, I love you."
(anyway, you get the idea -- the FUTURE under freedom and deregulation and privatization is BETTER.)
Fictional Libertarian UTOPIA that is 10 years out is SORELY missing. And it is that VISION, that EMOTIONAL vision of YES, THINGS CAN GET BETTER (with freedom) that will supercharge our movement.
Reagan had his "shinning city on a hill". We will should give them the "shining PLANET in the Universe".