Tuesday, June 01, 2004

LP National Convention Report 1

I had gone on at some length in favor of Gary Nolan for President with previous posts, so it should be no surprise that I was fairly disappointed that Michael Badnarik instead won the nomination of the Libertarian Party. Nolan was a strong finisher, dropping off the ballot with only five fewer votes than Badnarik on the second round of voting.

My disappointment is two-fold:

1. I am a County Chair, and as such, I want a Presidential candidate who will focus on boosting top affiliates at the state and county level. Nolan did this in the months leading up to the Convention. Badnarik only did a marginal job. Nolan promised to boost Indiana and Hamilton County. Thus far, no word from Badnarik, though I will make overtures.

2. The kook factor. Badnarik carries some baggage that is sure to have him labeled a kook in many quarters. Nolan was free of this. You cannot expect that with today's lightning quick communication, that one's kook notions can be kept from view for long. Check out this string on blogcritics. Fellow Hoosier Libertarian Al Barger is a regular contributor at blogcritics, and his report on Badnarik's victory was quickly followed by kook sightings.

Americans are so completely sold on the two-party system that they are automatically on the lookout for reasons not to like a third-party candidate. Of course, I believe this is misguided, but it is the reality, and reality must be dealt with, not a preferred ideal. Our candidates cannot give voters reasons to dismiss us out of hand. We must always be compelling. More importantly, we must be exceedingly normal. A Republican or Democrat can be forgiven as a rapist and elected before a Libertarian can promote gold or militias or even the Constitution and be supported by the average American. Until we learn this, we will suffer the kind of abuse the blogcritics readers heaped on.

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