Monday, June 13, 2011

Are we there yet?

The idea that a libertarian government will not happen until and unless there is a major cultural shift in our society, has almost become a mantra among libertarians around here. Imagine what that sounds like to new enthusiastic young or even older libertarians. Wait until the time is right, then we will come riding to the rescue and like the cavalry in the old cowboy movie, and we will win the day. Just wait!

Its time to cast aside that idea, because that kind of thinking only blocks action, stifles creativity, and squelches debate. We must accept that day will never come, we will never know when the time is right, and no one will whisper in our ear the magic word: "now!" It's not going to happen.

So here is a challenge, how can we make this happen? How can we engage the unengaged? Those people who know in their gut that something is wrong, but can't imagine an alternate universe, and can't or won't get out of the rut of our current paradigm. (I'll have more on this soon)

If the libertarian idea is so powerful, why do we have such a problem making it sound desirable?

How often do you find yourself using negative terminology when explaining an issue in a casual conversation with someone. For example, on health care: libertarians would abolish government programs, yes they would. On education: libertarians would get rid of the public school system, in a heart beat. On energy: libertarians would privatize the electrical system and remove government from its monopoly on power.
All of these issues are ULTIMATE GOALS of libertarians, and more often than not, expressed in a negative way. We would remove this entitlement, or stop that monopoly and of course rarely do we offer a better option. That's a turn-off, no one likes to have the status quo upset and turn expectations into uncertainty. Most people would argue that things are working fine, maybe not as well as they could be, but "I'm satisfied" they would say. "The governments are trying, and if they screw up, well, we are free to boot them out. Whats wrong with that?" 

Isn't that what you hear in the conversations you have? I hear that ALL THE TIME. That's the problem, our so-called solutions aren't really solutions, they are dreams and most often improperly framed and poorly presented. People then walk away thinking: "what a kook with a kooky idea." Before long libertarian equals kook, and can you blame them?

So, to the question in the title, I think we're there, and I'll have more to say on this.


  1. You have captured the climate I run across all the time. No one wants to hear anything I want to say. I come away feeling incapable of communicating any positive message. And yes, people walk away saying "what a kook."

    This, overall, is detrimental on many levels:
    1) advancing the party
    3) communicating our great ideas
    4) exuding a professional demeanor
    5) sounding like a complainers, instead of a problem solvers

  2. Agreed, time to change our approach. Stay tuned.