Thursday, December 08, 2005

Excellent Lake County Visit

Monday Night Football and a political roundtable with pizza and drinks. What could be better? Well, the football game wasn't very good, but we hardly noticed anyhow.

Big thanks to Jim O'Gallagher and Bert Bell for putting the event together. Also to the Lake County Libertarians, who invited curious friends who have voted for other parties in the past. I think we may have a few converts. The manager at Zuni's took our "Overtaxed Small Business Owner" bumper sticker and small business pamphlet before I left.

The most important things to come out of the conversations:

1. The Woody Allen Rule. It states, "90% of success is merely showing up". This is so true, especially as our state has become so dominated by one party in most counties. Lake is certainly no exception. Because the #2 party is such a distant second in most places, there is effective one-party rule in the vast majority of our counties. By simply showing up, Libertarian candidates make a big difference. When we are on the ballot in Lake and other such counties, the elections are no longer over at the May primary. Candidates keep talking issues until November's general election. In a Democratic-dominated county like Lake, it may seem pointless to talk about smaller government and lower taxes. If the Republicans aren't showing up, Libertarians get all the votes Republicans might have gotten, plus the independents, plus their base. That's enough to make incumbent Democrats nervous.

2. Comfort Zones. While it may be perceived that because Lake is so dominated by Democrats that it is pointless to talk limited government, the flip side to that is that maybe with the absense of active Republicans, there is a significant portion of the population that does believe in limited government, but they stay home on election day because nobody speaks their language. Be undaunted in speaking limited government! Many people will support you and vote for you if you champion them where it matters most. Being a candidate can be uncomfortable business. People want to poke holes in your positions, say you have no chance, etc. That goes with the territory. But it is when we stray beyond our comfort zones that we begin to reap the greatest rewards.

3. Small Business. Even in a heavily unionized area like Lake County, there are still entrepreneurs, and the major parites do not speak for them. This is the Libertarian Party's natural constituency, but like the tree falling in the deep forest, the message isn't heard if it isn't broadcast. It isn't necessary to do expensive advertising. Rather, letters of invitation can be sent to business owners to attend a Small Business Forum. Ask entrepreneurs to tell you where government makes their lives more difficult and more expensive. They sure will tell you, but more importantly, they will understand that you were interested. When was the last time a government agency, or a Republican or Democrat actually asked about how their policy proposals affect them?


LP Mike Sylvester said...

I have not been to Lake County yet.

You sure are getting around Indiana!

Mike Kole said...

Yep! 17 counties so far!

The offer is always out there to any County Chair or anyone else. Host an event and I will speak, schedule willing. I'll travel the corners of the state!