Friday, June 18, 2004

Boortz Blasts National LP

Neal Boortz has suffered his annual attack of the kind of bleary-eyed frustration that so many of the leadership of the Indiana LP suffer on a daily basis. In a new Townhall article, he blasted that National LP's convention planners for showing a pro-cannabis piece during the down time between the nominations for president and the vote tabulations.

Libertarians! You blew it. You had the chance to make an impression on the media and the American people, and you blew it.

I’ve been promoting the libertarian philosophy for many years on talk radio, and I’ve won a lot of converts. I believe to this day that if individualism, freedom, economic liberty and constitutional government are to be restored and preserved in the United States it will be the libertarianism, if not the Libertarian Party, that gets the save. The way the party is playing right now, that save looks in doubt.


It is all-too common for people, when they discover that I’m a card-carrying member of the Libertarian Party , to respond with “Oh, you’re the people who want to legalize drugs.” Now if you give me 10 minutes of quality time with any person reasonably capable of rational thought, I will convince them that the most sensible way to combat drug usage in the United States would be to end the war on drugs and move to a treatment-centered drug policy. I need those ten minutes though, and those ten minutes usually aren’t there.

I’ve found that when I’m trying to sell someone on the libertarian philosophy I usually have around 10 seconds to make that first impression. If I say the wrong thing in those 10 seconds, I’ve lost them. If someone asks me “what do you people believe in?” and I respond, “Legalizing marijuana!” I’m written off as a kook. One convert lost.

This has been our experience in Indiana, too. Run on legalization issues, and you condemn yourself to a 4% finish where, had you avoided that topic, you might have gotten into the 30% or even 40% range.

I hope Neal doesn't give up on the National party altogether. The other thing we saw from the convention is that the leadership of the LNC is made up of more politically savvy individuals, rather than ideologues. This could well lead to a greater emphasis on small business, property rights and economic issues, and a de-emphasis on legalization. Of course, if he does, he can still come to an Indiana convention and feel right at home.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Low Blog Activity

There haven't been a lot of posts in the last week, and probably won't be too many over the next week, either.

In local libertarian news, Job One is getting candidates on the ballot. That search has consumed the time I allocate for politics. In personal news, my son is arriving from Spain, and my wedding anniversary is five days away, so the rest of my non-work time is so devoted, with a happy, significant reduction in my political time.

Keep watching for mass transit items... which is to say you probably will have to look at media in other cities. There is little opposition to the light rail boondoggle right now. We'll change that, though. There is excellent blogging on the subject in Seattle to check out. The Cato Institute and the Goldwater Institute also have excellent studies on the sort of losers these proposals tend to be. Hat tip on Goldwater: LP candidate for US Congress Barry Campbell. Check out Barry Campbell's website.