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Starting the Libertarian Party was a Huge Strategic Mistake

When I met Nolan here at the 2010 ISIL convention I found a moment to ask him.... "Upon reflection, now that some 40 years has past, was it a strategic mistake to start the Libertarian Party?" I believe he just looked at me like I was crazy or his mind was spinning on the puzzling thought.

So I added, "Back in 1970, coming out of the 1960's, there were two general social movements, one that held a big concern for the earth, plants and animals and that all folded under the "Environmental movement".

"The other social movement were the the various liberty-self determination movements: ie. liberty-self determination for black Americans in the workplace, social life, and home-life, (Google Malcolm x).... liberty-self determination for women in the workplace, social life, and home-life, (Google Betty Friedan) ....liberty-self determination for Indian Americans in the workplace, social life, and home-life (Google Russel Means and watch the cult hit movie "Billy Jack"), .....liberty-self determination for Mexican Americans in the workplace, social life, and home-life (Google Cesar Chavez) ....liberty-self determination for Gay & Lesbian Americans in the workplace, social life, and home-life... and these movements were also "anti-Vietnam war" movements.

Here is my point, the Environmental movement was able to capture all the various interests under one banner, even the health movement fell under its large umbrella. And they stayed as a social movement, and never became a party at the time. They then were able to work BOTH PARTIES. They even got lots of major legislation done for them as a political movement that did not become a party.

But the libertarian movement that came out of the 1960's was also anti-Vietnam war and it was pro-gold, pro-free market. By breaking free of the GOP, free marketers wanted liberty-self determination for all Americans. As a movement, the libertarian movement could have captured all the other liberty-self determination movements across the spectrum. But instead, it quickly formed a political party and went no where fast. It did not grow. It chose a gay California philosophy professor, Mr. John Hospers as its first Presidential candidate and Ms. Tonie Nathan as the first woman VP in 1972 but it failed to attract the both woman and gay American who desperately wanted liberty & self determination.

Throughout the 1970's the Environmentalist movement grew wide and broad and deep. If a republican or democrat pushed their issue, it did not matter. And they gained huge social acceptance for their ideas. By the end of the 1970's "everybody cares about the environment" was a real success. It was a moral high ground that meant that politically you could not be seen as Not PRO-Environment.

Meanwhile, the various liberty-self determination groups were absorbed into the liberal progressive socialist democratic fold. While each group aspired to liberty & self determination, their "friendly" liberal-socialist was there to tell them that to get it, you need government favors, grants, and 'special rights'.

And during the 1970's the LP went nowhere, FAST. In the 1970's it was a debate society that brought together the philosophy of Ayn Rand, the economics of Milton Friedman and Murray Rothbard, and it hung out with the anti-communists because they were the only ones who would listen to boring free market economics. In the 1980's it was a refuge for those who did not buy into the PC sweeping the country. By the 1990's it was a computer geekdom refuge.

My point is, by becoming a political party in 1971, Nolan and Rothbard single offhandedly killed the chance to use the libertarian philosophy to shelter and home the various self-determination groups that came out of the 1960s.

Today the R3VOLution is not a Party. Thank gawd for that. It can grow. It can breathe. Notice that in the 2000 the Environmental movement died. Do you know what killed it? It became a political party, the GREEN PARTY. Most of all, to do that, it adopted socialist progressive economic assumptions and thus churns out those "solutions". This has resulted in the very people who love wildlife, killing it. See 60 minutes here: http://www.dailypaul.com/209683/exterminate-liberal-thought-...

The R3VOlution has a real chance in bringing lots of various groups back to the liberty-self determination fold. The problem is that in the last 30 years these groups have swallowed a lot of Political Correctness, "educated themselves" about the virtues of "democratic socialism", and have created a sub-political culture that has not only its own style, its own coolness, its own hip, but also created its own "mating network". As any sociobiologist can tell you, once you have females selecting males upon this criteria, you have a future movement.

Well we in the R3VOlution are not so mature, we are just 5 years old if that. We are just now gaining a culture, gaining a style, and most of all gaining females who select us as "any friend of Ron Paul is a friend of mine". With females comes a future. Notice that in the 1970's, 80's and 90's and even today, the LP is 90% men. Yes, its a dead party, a dead movement. We on the other hand, are a real MOVEMENT. The R3VOLution is alive and well. It is diverse, from country to rapp to punkrock, to folk, we are alive. We are about liberty and self determination, or have I repeated myself?

This is not to say that the environmental progressive left is not unbreakable. Science itself is doing the breaking, from Sociobiology, to free market "voluntarist economics", yes we have our in-roads to the left. We need to be in these circles.

So, keeping the R3VOLution outside of the GOP and DNC, means we mingle with all the rest, from the 99%'rs to the Greens to the Constitutionalists, to the Birthers, to the John Birchers, to the Gold Bugs, to the LGBT community, to the Gun Rights to the what have you.... The R3VOLution can incorporate it all because freedom and liberty and self-determination are common popular values. We come from the point of view that COMMUNITY is something voluntary "3VOL", a bottom up creation, and its a good thing. We also come from the point that top down govt controls can and does kill community. "Farmers markets are free markets" - Now that is a bumper sticker that gets an environmentalist to thinking.


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Ballot access is exposure,

Ballot access is exposure, would be my guess.


Hopefully, Ultimately, We can achieve an enviroment of NO


Parties have many negatives and ? positives.

Parties foster/thrive on US vs THEM and breed a lazy electorate ripe for abuse by "Party Insiders"

Abuse by "Party Insiders" is the raison detre of parties-ALL PARTIES.

"You are a den of vipers and thieves."

I mean to rout you out!

-Just because you are among us, does not make you with us

-The door is wide open, anything can slither in

Only if you change human

Only if you change human behavior... and here's a little observation: You can't!

Left completely to their own devices, people quickly establish a social pecking order. This is simply the reality of social interaction, self-selection and specialization of work. Personal preferences and market forces (for lack of a better term) ensure this. I'm not a psychologist or an evolutionary biologist, but I am an observer of human behavior and innate personality types and group behaviors form patterns that repeat and end in the same outcomes almost every time. I don't know that I could lay out a simple formula to describe the cycle, but the entirety of human history is a great start.

Understanding Human nature is critical-it is THE KEY

I do. Long have. It has not changed nor will it ever. If there is a human without eternal human nature, it is not human.

Essentially agreed so far.

Where we differ, perhaps, is why human nature has been expressed as it has been historically.

Human nature has never had the luxury of being expressed in a multi-generational environment where top down world does not exist nor is there PR for TDW. In an environment where TDW is clearly recognized for the scam it is by every human on the planet for at least three generations I suspect that how human nature is expressed in societal interaction and all human activity could be surprisingly different. Different in a very constructive way for humanity generally and each human that makes up that humanity.

No one can know for certain what will result in such an environment but what is certain is that is the only environment that is truly just to the rights of human kind.

"You are a den of vipers and thieves."

I mean to rout you out!

-Just because you are among us, does not make you with us

-The door is wide open, anything can slither in

Very good observations

This is the root of our problems and I am not sure we will ever be able to cure it. I am slowly losing faith in humanity. History has presented very little to display any improvement to date.

Unconstitutional War - "The story you are about to hear is true; the names and places are being changed to protect the guilty."

Personally, I believe our

Personally, I believe our desire to have computers and machines do our bidding will so intertwine our existence that we will reach a point where we cannot survive without our digital and robotic assistants. In about 30+ years time a single desktop computer will exceed the power of all human brains combined, this is an estimate supported by Gordon Moore, the founder of Intel, and Ray Kurzweil, another tech luminary.

I agree and it raises a question?

Do we really need this? Honestly, I sometimes wonder if we would not have been better off if the Wheel had never been invented? Pure greed and laziness was the cause of Slavery, Abbreviations in Language,The Industrial Revolution and The PC Mouse. I wonder?

Unconstitutional War - "The story you are about to hear is true; the names and places are being changed to protect the guilty."

The OP and comments

imply, or state flatly, that 3rd parties don't work. I think that notion is wrong. Good candidates, from whatever party, win elections. And, good ideas, from whatever party can take hold. Good people with good ideas are good candidates.

In terms of presidential politics, the Libertarian Party has done all the hard work (on the ballot in 50 states I believe) and simply needs a good candidate. Gary Johnson may be that candidate. Certainly we would all agree that Ron Paul could head the Libertarian Party ticket. If he did he would probably get to the 15% national threshold immediately and be in all the presidential debates. I think we would all agree that the debates are crucial. If RP did well in them the game would change. We have seen the debates change primary elections, and the final election, many many times.

If, Ron Paul doesn't win the GOP nomination, then rational supporters will have to make a decision about the presidential election. For my part, in that scenario, I will vote for Johnson. Best case scenario he gets in the debates and makes an impression as a viable alternative to Romney/Obama. Anything could happen.



in that viable leadership is indispensable to any just cause.

We are very fortunate to have that today in multiple ways: Dr. Paul politically, Judge Napolitano publicly, Alex Jones informatively, Sheriff Mack civically etc

"Good candidates, from

"Good candidates, from whatever party, win elections." To believe that you have to believe that, in modern times, their has never been a good 3rd party candidate for President. Since in modern times (arguably in our countries entire history) we have never elected a 3rd party candidate. Ron Paul ran as a 3rd party candidate in '88. Ron Paul is a good person with good ideas and a good candidate.


Obviously, they don't win every election. But they do win. I wasn't just talking about presidential elections.


Its a lot harder for a 3rd

Its a lot harder for a 3rd party candidate. A couple of years back we had an excellent Libertarian candidate in CT's 4th. He ran an excellent campaign. He got into all the debates. He did so well in the debates even people who disagreed with him said he won the debates. He raised enough money to buy radio and a couple of TV ads. On election day he received less than 1% of the vote. Their is no doubt in my mind that if he had a "R" after his name rather than a "L" he would have won.
A 3rd party candidate has to start off with name recognition and money. They also have to get very lucky.

Multiple parties could work, but not in current corrupt system

And the corruption cannot be ended until the source of corruption is ended; counterfeiting.

Therefore to restore sound money and eliminate the corruption the only real chance we have is to take over the corrupt system which will never allow a third party to compete. Once the source of corruption is eliminated, parties could compete fairly, however it would be even better if we learned a lesson that political parties are ultimately destructive of representative government.

Only individuals can run for individual offices.

I like Jesse Ventura's idea, only allow names on the ballots, no parties. A party cannot file or run for office, so why are they on the ballot?

We disagree

but, tell me, because I really don't remember, Did Jesse Ventura win the Governor's office as a Republican or Democrat or 3rd party?


Independent IIRC.

Party free.

Free includes debt-free!


What is "Independent IIRC" ?


IIRC -If I recall correctly


Free includes debt-free!

So did Ventura

run as an independent or as a 3rd party candidate? I still don't know what IIRC stands for. If anything.


According to Wikipedia, Reform Party ticket

Ventura was elected on a Reform party ticket, but he never received support from Ross Perot's Texas faction. When the Reform party was taken over by Pat Buchanan supporters before the presidential elections of 2000, Ventura left the party in February 2000, referring to it as "hopelessly dysfunctional"


IIRC is an acronym for If I Recall Correctly.

Please Write in Ron Paul

Gary Johnson would want you to write in Ron Paul instead of voting for him I think. Heard that he is there as a steward for RP.


An organization that lives or dies on the fortunes of one man

will not survive. Both men are needed, yet so many more are necessary.

I doubt that Johnson

is a "placeholder" for a 76 year old who has retired from Congress. I voted for RP in '88 and have supported him ever since. Like I said, rational people will have to consider their options IF Dr. Paul does not win the GOP nomination. For me, my rational choice will be to vote Libertarian.


Please check out my link below and tell me if you change your


See: http://www.dailypaul.com/217383/go-libertarian-or-go-freedom...

Yes, please BUY this wonderful libertarian BOOK! We all must know the History of Freedom! Buy it today!

"The System of Liberty: Themes in the History of Classical Liberalism" ...by author George Smith --
Buy it Here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/05211820

No, it didn't.

I read util I got to where you wrote "waist" instead of "waste" :)

I respectively disagree with your ideas. You have had many good posts over the years but, for me, this isn't one of them.


You are living in Lala land

If you think that the Libertarian party just needs a good candidate, you don't understand ANYTHING about all the obstacles third party has had to face, not to mention the effort required JUST TO GET ON THE &^%$&*% BALLOT (excuse my language).

Winning the presidency is all about playing the perception game. But to play that game, you first need the means to gain exposure, so your name will become renowned.

I don't need to mention that the Libertarian Party is barely on the radar for most people. That's not a coincedence. There are laws preventing them from ever getting that exposure. I daresay that there are some Americans who aren't even aware that the Libertarian party exists. Not to mention that the Libertarian party is not seen as a serious party, which is fatal where perception is concerned. Even if they had the means to get exposure, they would first need to expend considerable resources, just to change this initial impression.

And then I'm not even talking about where they would need to get those enormous sums of money to overcome above problems. Third party needs to spend considerbaly more to accomplish the same level of progress as a Democrat or a Republican. And needless to say, for a party that isn't seen as serious, getting those funds is a major headache itself.

First, correct me if I am wrong, but

I think the Libertarian candidate, Johnson, will be on the ballot in all 50 states. So, as I said, that part is done. Give them credit. If you have voted Libertarian you get credit too.

Yes, the perception game. I understand. Step one is get on the ballot. Step 2 is participate in the debates. See what happens. Debate participation is free and equals millions of dollars. I think that is obvious. It worked for Dr. Paul and others so I don't see why it can't work for Johnson.


Because the effort required

to take those steps you mentioned are already sabotaged from the start.

Remember those laws I talked about? Those laws result that a Libertarian candidate has to spend HALF his money just to get on the ballot. So the money that's left will hardly be enough to compete with a Democrat or Republican.

And step 2? AGAIN, there are laws in place EXCLUDING the Libertarian candidate from ever participating in a debate. When was the last time you saw a debate between Democrats, Republicans AND Libertarians? You can't remember, because there never was any debate. And the debates are an incredible means of getting exposure. It's one of the most effective means available. If you can't participate in the debates, forget ever being able to win the presidency.

RP was able to enter the debates, because he went in as a Republican. That was the main reason for his rise in popularity. A third party candidate won't ever be able to enter the debates. The Libertarian party has existed for several decades already. You think they haven't tried what you suggested in that time?

There's only one way for the Libertarian party to stand a chance. Someone on top must change the laws. But that can only happen through the two party system. But even if you infiltrate the two party system, you still need considerable power so that your changes won't be reversed.

It is my understanding that the

Libertarian Party is on the ballot in all 50 states ALREADY. They have spent the $$ and got the votes in years past so automatically qualify in most states. This process began many years ago. IMHO the Libertarian Party has been a success in terms of ballot access.

So Step 1 is DONE.

Step 2. The debates, as far as I know, are open. I remember Perot debating, George Wallace, etc. What I have read, is that 15% in national polls is some sort of qualifying measure. It may be that with a Ron Paul endorsement (or maybe without) Johnson could meet that %. If he does, I hope he gets a debate coach and works some magic.

Step 3. Vote for anyone that isn't Romney or Obama


This is correct, I don't know

This is correct, I don't know why the other poster is ignoring your point completely.

Raleigh, NC


In time the RPR might seem like a strategic mistake. So the agorists and voluntarists point out and not without logic. But had the internet been available to Nolan and the rest, would they have been successful and in what ways? And what were the alternatives at the time, post-Goldwater?

For now we've tested and found that "third party can't work" but we have yet to deliver a presidency. If times shows us being co-opted we might be called a strategic mistake.

Most of those who think so actually don't and most of those who think sew actually rip.