L. Neil Smith's
Number 188, August 26, 2002


[Letters to the editor are welcome on any and all subjects. To ensure their acceptance, please try to keep them under 500 words. Sign your letter in the text body with your name and e-mail address as you wish them to appear.]

Letter from John P. Slevin

Letter from Mark Etanerkist

Editor of The Libertarian Enterprise,

It's that time of year again. Candidates are phoning us, sending us mail and filling our email boxes. Those of us who are Libertarians would do well to note a simple fact: unlike Republicrat candidates, most Libertarian "candidates" are asking only for money, not votes.

Why is it that most Libertarian "candidates" send-out appeals for money but make no effort to get votes? The answer is simple: Most Libertarian candidates are not candidates. Not in any real sense.

Being on the ballot does not make one a candidate. Having one's name in the newspaper does not make one a candidate. Trying to get votes is what defines a real candidate.

By that standard, most Libertarian "candidates" are in fact a burden foisted upon taxpayers by a Libertarian Party scheme which is at best, ignorant and which is more likely and in most instances a fraud.

It does cost real tax money to conduct elections.

The theft of these tax dollars by these Libertarian "candidates" is aided and abetted (hell, it's instigated) by a National L.P. and State L.P. hierarchy which consists almost entirely of pretend activists and con artists.

And what defines "real activist" and "trying to get votes", which, again, is the standard of a real candidacy versus a Libertarian "candidacy"? Voter I.D. and Get Out The Vote (GOTV). That's what the Main Tent candidates do (most Libertarian "candidates" are like the guy who lurks outside the circus grounds trying to hawk a stolen watch to those attending the show). Voter I.D. and GOTV. Candidates do it fairly well or they don't get many votes and rarely are they elected.

Voter I.D. consists of techniques whereby a campaign identifies voters most likely to support or oppose that campaign. GOTV consists of techniques for getting likely supporters to cast a ballot. Do it well enough, and you at least get lots of votes. Don't do it at all and you weren't campaigning.

Here's the first step for any real Libertarian candidate: sit yourself down in a quiet room, with a pen and paper, and make yourself a huge list of absolutely everyone you have ever known who does not absolutely hate your guts. That's how you begin to get your votes, your supporters. I mean the butcher, your kindergarten teacher, the parents of the friends of your children.

Don't wanna do that? Then don't run for office. Don't call me for money or other help. You are the definition of a loser; and, when you scheme to require honest people to put your name on the ballot, thus costing honest people, you are a thief.

If you cannot ask your grandmother, your kindergarten teacher and your butcher to support you (and the people who ride the subway with you) then what intelligent voter will waste a vote on you and what right do you have, morally, to take tax dollars to put your moronic message on the ballot?

Less than one tenth of one percent of all registered voters have ever or will ever give so much as one thin dime to any political campaign. That's a fact.

It's a fact which has eluded the genius types who for so long have held sway in the L.P. and for whom monstrous stupidities like Project Archimedes -- and for a current example, consider the last fundraising scheme put-out by National, where they propose to target high recognition congressional candidates like Rep. Barr, of Georgia -- pass for professional campaign management. Most Libertarians, because they don't know any better or because they are con artists (see the people who proposed and voted to do Project Archimedes, or the current Carla Howell campaign -- and for that matter, whatever she runs for next time -- and the Massachusetts campaign to end the state income tax) continually propose schemes to enhance and expand the membership rolls. That is their self-defined goal.

Remember, less than one tenth of one percent of all registered voters have ever or will ever give so much as one thin dime to any political campaign -- excepting, of course, what Libertarian "candidates" steal from them in the form of taxation.

Take that one little tidbit from Campaign Management 101 and commit it to memory and you now know more than the majority of Libertarian National and State Party committeemembers. You know more than most Libertarian "candidates".

And what do you do after you make that list of everyone you have ever known who does not absolutely hate your guts? What are your next steps for Voter I.D. and GOTV? And what is feasible for underfunded Libertarian campaigns?

Knock on some doors. Call some voters. Get off your butt.

For next to nothing, Libertarian candidates can print-up some brochures, with a nice professional photograph, and go door to door distributing that to voters and asking for their vote. For next to nothing Libertarian candidates can call voters, with a one-issue at a time survey or can circulate plebiscite petitions on one-issue matters. As an example, Libertarian candidates can circulate a petition saying something like: "I support the right to keep and bear arms. I will vote for candidates who share this belief and I will oppose candidates who oppose my right to keep and bear arms." Do the same on other single issues, like the Drug War and on Taxes and pretty soon you have a list of likely voters for any Libertarian. That's whom you concentrate on getting to the polls, or into whose hands you want to get an absentee ballot request form. With lists like you generate with phonebanking, doorknocking and petition circulating you set-up the GOTV of your campaign.

If the sum total of your "activism" is attending Libertarian conventions and supper clubs, stay at home. Don't spend money attending stupid, unavailing Libertarian conventions and supper clubs. Nothing important has ever happened at a Libertarian convention or at a Libertarian supper club, because for most of the attendees that is the sum total of their "activism".

Libertarian conventions are for wine tasters and cheese nibblers. You meet and recruit (and are recruited by) activists when you are active. It's that basic. It's hard work, and it is a whole lot different than going to some overpriced hotel or diner to listen to stupid speeches by a bunch of unknown loser nincompoops who have never and who will never ask a single voter for a vote.

If that misanthropic offshore scamster Harry Browne were running for President again, the best Libertarian slogan would be, to paraphrase Ronald Reagan's in his first campaign for governor against Pat Brown: "If it's Browne, flush it!" Flush the National L.P. Flush your states' L.P. Flush all those Libertarian candidates who ain't for real. Rid yourself of the Browne Cloud of con artistry campaigning and save the taxpayers some money. Any Libertarian candidate left standing? Support that Libertarian.

The election is coming in November. Watch your mailbox and your email for candidate brochures and remember who phones you to ask for your vote. It won't be Libertarians, unless they want some bucks. They won't be asking for votes so don't give them your money.


John P. Slevin [directaction@yahoo.com]

Last week, Corinne Low had these disturbing things to say:

"But to those of you who just flicked on the TV, and thought about how much better you were than those of us who had stooped to participating in the political system, I pose a question: What did you think you were proving?"

I have no right to tell you how to live your life.

"Indignant, self-righteous libertarians accuse voters of condoning a political system that deceives, plunders, and even kills. Yet these same self-righteous folk still live within this country's borders. If we choose to live here, choose to pay taxes rather than sit in jail, choose to read the mail that the post office delivers, well then we are all condoning the United States government. We are all supporting it."

Somebody call a private detective! Ms. Low has been abducted and replaced with a statist! It's the only possible explanation. Otherwise, this would be the first time I've seen a libertarian use the "if you don't like the government then leave" argument.

Here, Low makes the mistake that government is inherent in life. Apparently she believes (because it certainly wouldn't be thinking) that without government there would be no property, so all private property is tied to the government that claims to governs it. So, the argument that "I live on private property, therefor I have every right to live free from any outside force" would be useless on her.

"But a vote for the libertarians? That means rebellion. Dissension. Non-compliance."

But raping old ladies (instead of targeting who every other rapist targets)? That means rebellion. Dessention. Non-compliance.

Please. There's no virtue and especially no act of rebellion in voting Libertarian or in participating in the electoral process in any way. If voting were such a rebellious act, the government wouldn't be constantly trying to get more people to vote.

"Getting somebody elected within the current system wouldn't have too much effect anyway. That's just us saying "Hi, I'm a libertarian, and I believe I'm more qualified to run your life than you are." And that's what all those non-voters are worried about. But if we don't compromise our values for popularity, if we get our candidates on the news, if we give them credibility with our votes, we can do more than get someone elected -- we can change the current political climate."

If it wasn't obvious before, this shows Ms. Low is nothing more than a statist who wants her people in power. But at least she is honest about it, unlike most other libertarians who vote and claim they are in no way compromising anything and in no way initiating force.

If you're really interested in power, Ms. Low, maybe it's time you join one of the real political parties, or just get a job as an airport screener. Not that I condone that sort of thing.

Mark Etanerkist [mark_etanerkist@yahoo.com]


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