Thursday, August 13, 2009

Libertarian Prospects for Office

Underneath the Beltway has an interesting post on the impact of the Barr Presidential run on long term Libertarian Party prospects for relevance.

with the selection of Bob Barr as it’s nominee, the Libertarian Party received more mainstream media news coverage than at any other point in it’s history. And it was specifically because of who the candidate was. Not only was it due to the fact that there was no small degree of media fascination with the idea of a former Republican Congressman (and not just any Congressman, but one who had led the Clinton Impeachment drive) was running as a third-party candidate, it was also due to the fact that Ron Paul’s candidacy had brought attention to libertarian ideas, and the LP had selected a candidate that was both media- and politically savvy. It was, as many observed at the time, a smart choice for the LP

As long as the LP keeps embracing an all-or-nothing approach to policy they will continue to be marginal fringe has-beens.

Too many people see too many libertarian ideas as wacky, especially from a policy standpoint.

The only way that a libertarian-like party can ever gain any relevance is to approach marginal changes to mainstream views.

Run on a platform that takes the best of the right and the best of the left, perhaps throw in something that is new. But adopt something too radical and no one will take them seriously.

What they really need to do is adopt a populist rhetoric around libertarian ideals. Denounce corporate welfare. Frame regulation as monopoly enhancing. Create villains that can be rallied around. But that isn't every going to happen because most LPers are nutjobs.

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