7 Changes Required For Libertarian Views To Become Widespread
What I write here will not be popular amongst some of the more fringe members of the Libertarian Party. So who and what constitutes fringe? Those opposing the policies and programs that would see our Libertarian views grow rapidly amongst a larger rank of the populace.
Additionally, I would add to this statement “fringe issues”; the issues that push people away versus bringing them into agreement and cooperation. They are the type of issues that are distracting to the more crucial economic situations our nation faces, generate the most argument and lend to us the least potential progress.
Zealots Squelch Movements
A small handful of zealots can cause the whole movement to be ostracized because their message does not find enough common ground. Once those few become even more desperate, they tend become violent, argumentative and otherwise rude and condescending.
While enthusiastic and possible even well grounded in some of their arguments, they rapidly breed an overall view that is not representative of the majority of the members. The media, looking for controversy, will drift towards these zealots and fringe issues, and position the movement as such.
On the other side, some of these zealots are rabble-rousers who are anti-social and do not actually want our success to be accomplished. They are happier when there is conflict, turmoil and recriminations within the group that they supposedly seek to support. Often, these are sent in by opposing groups for the sole purpose of infiltrating and thus generating upset within the group and public flaps. This is an old KGB tactic know as “Active Measures”.
Do We Want To Grow?
If we seek our Libertarian views to grow into the hearts of many more people and eventually into the policies of how to govern our affairs, we will need to make some fundamental changes to how we go about in our message and programs.
Never has there been a greater time to find people to grow our ranks. Larger amounts of disenfranchised middle class members, who feel frustrated with the traditional parties who are so entrenched in marginal issues and bickering as a main line activity, are ready for a change. The bulk of working Americans have not be offered any solution to the issue that truly concerns the majority of these people: economic security.
1. Drop The Zealotry. If not, we will be passed on and seen as
such. You cannot attract common sense, every day folk with zealots who
appear a bit mad. Allowing the zealotry to take command of the message
is what opens the door to being marginalized and branded by a bigger,
well-funded opposition. We may need to be willing to set to the side a
small handful to then gain a much larger base of supporters.
2. Agree On & Establish A Workable Platform. To advance, all factions of the Libertarian movement will need to come together and adopt a formal platform. While not all will agree with every single point, we do need to establish a public platform that is true to our beliefs and that we can promote to the general public. It has to be clearer than the other parties and one that is simplistic enough for the average man to share with his neighbor, but comprehensive enough to address the issues.
3. We Must Become Better Organized. For the Anarchists, I know this sounds like blasphemy. To those who are, it is. Sorry, but for a movement to take hold in the lives of many, it will require better organization. I do not mean bureaucracy. Small groups can have tremendous success where they are tightly organized around a common and rational objective.
4. Ignore The Fringe Issues. Fringe issues garner the most fervor and froth, it gets the most press, yet attracts the least amount of new members. Issues such as abortion, gay rights and other issues that are important. Yet they need to be addressed with the simple premise that we believe that a person has a right to live the way they want as long as they do not infringe on the rights of others. It is not we seek a right answer for everyone as a general policy or that we do not have our own personal views on these matters. We just need not have them as the core issues consuming our valuable time, distracting us and our resources from the most important issues. Move the focus to what is important.
5. Forward The Movement With Sound Economic Policies. The majority of people are concerned with having a job, their personal economics and financial security. This is the main issue that we will make our greatest progress with on the Libertarian movement. Why? Because both the Left and the Right have become ineffective in drawing up rational solutions that the majority of people can comprehend and support, all with the resultant benefit to their own lives. Comprehensive economic policies and solutions is our greatest potential area of appeal, and thus expansion for new members.
6. We Must Publish & Broadly Distribute Educational Content. We live in a era of social media, YouTube and blogging. Obama made his advance in 2008 by embracing the younger, more vocal generation that knew how to spread his message via social media. The younger people are who we need to reach, as we have a generational problem. We must reach out to them and grow a new generation that will see our policies and objectives forwarded. We need to start inculcating the Libertarian views & philosophy into teens and even preteens. Regardless of the age group, the Libertarian movement needs to become extremely conversant and competent on the use of video so as to educate clearly on our principals.
7. We Must Revive Volunteerism. We must convert our intellectual potential, as well as our angst, into positive action amongst the members. Drop the idea that all action and effective messaging with come from HQ. If our ideals include the freedom of individual, then this requires walking the walk by empowering them to carry the message forward. By enlisting our members to blog, join local groups, speak to businesses and to schools and colleges, we start to shift the views and open the discussion to the Libertarian views and ideals.