Re: Harry Browne

From: Technotranscendence (
Date: Mon Apr 17 2000 - 21:41:18 MDT

On Monday, April 17, 2000 3:49 PM Lee Daniel Crocker wrote:
> > True, though one thing that Libertarians do all too often is run for
> > offices without having candidates for local offices. A lot of people I
> > to vote not so much for who they want, but for who they think can win
and is
> > closer to their views. (I.e., they already narrow it down to two
> That's another thing I and the LP have to fight--the irrational, stupid,
> counterproductive, and dangerous idea that there is some value in voting
> for someone with a chance of winning. You'd think people would understand
> the difference between a vote and a bet: you don't lose your bet or
> anything else when your voted choice doesn't win the office. You only
> lose when your preference is not expressed--and there's no better way to
> utterly fail to express a preference than to vote for a front-runner you
> don't like and have your vote lost in the landlslide.

I agree with Lee Daniel, but the point is the average person does not. The
problem is it's much harder to get people over the "I don't want to throw
away my vote" or "I'd rather have the lesser of two evils now, then wait ten
or twenty years for the political landscape to shift" humps than to run in
places where one can win. There are many races, local or otherwise, where
competition is less. If, e.g., only one of the majors is running for a
given office, there's a good place to put an LP candidate. He or she will
probably be able to get double digit %ages if not a win in such races.
(It's happened before. Several years ago, an LP candidate in NJ got
something like 22% of the vote because one of the majors pulled out of that
race. I forget the office, but it was in the early 1990s.)

> > One can complain, but it just shows that the current system is not
stupid or
> > dead. It has to be outwitted -- not just bemoaned -- if you wish to
> > Adrian Tymes in another post makes some good points on this.
> If you think it's that easy, do it. Nice of you to just cast aside an
> organization with thousands of members and 20 years experience. The party
> is not the incompetent little startup it was 20 years ago; it is now an
> experienced, capable, political machine fighting an uphill battle.

I actually _DID_ do this with the Libertarian Party, specifically the
Somerset-Middlesex Counties (NJ) chapter in the early to mid 1990s.

BTW, the LP has been around for 30 years -- not 20.

> > Building up relationships with journalists is important too. A lot of
> > Libertarians just expect to get covered, but it takes a lot more than
> > and an LP candidate is always going to start with this handicap. One
> > complain and continue to lose or do something about it.
> Now you're just talking out of your ass--you have no idea of the amount
> of work we've been doing. Harry and the rest of us have worked long and
> hard, and spent lots of money, building relationships with journalists and
> spoon-feeding and supporting the press in every way imaginable. When we
> are not covered, it's because the press is deliberately choosing not to
> cover us, not because they don't know or haven't been coddled like the
> spoiled brats they are.

I've worked in libertarian political campaigns and causes before. I know
the usual complaints. I don't disagree that the Media in general is
anti-Libertarian and typically pro-Establishment, BUT there are always a few
in the Media that are willing to listen and cover. When I was more active
in politics, we -- the people I was active with --tended to get coverage.
Of course, we focused on local issues and events so that we could be big
fish in a small pond. Yeah, we didn't always get exactly the coverage we
wanted, but we got enough to balance the good with the bad.

(Sadly, though, we did not have a lot of people running for local offices.
It was fun and exciting to help with the Karlan for Governor campaign, but,
in hindsight, it was a waste of resources. Surely, Sabrin did a lot better,
but by then I was already losing interest. I still think local offices are
the way to go.)

Aside from this, the point is you have to deal with the realities as they
are or find some other method of getting what you want. Whining does not
work. If it did, every third party would have held the Presidency at least
once during the 20th century.

Daniel Ust
Dave Euchner for Congress at:

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