Saturday, July 15, 2006

Thoughts on the recent Libertarian Party convention

I am not strongly interested in electoral politics. I have not voted in an election for any level of government since the 2000 election (when I voted for Browne), though I do not take the hard-line Voluntaryist position that voting is always wrong. That said, I have a few thoughts on the recent controversy concerning the Party convention in Portland:

1. I agree with the idea of eliminating the Pledge. I agree that it is potentially off-putting to minarchists and libertarian sympathizers, without any compensating benefits.

2. The decision to weaken the antiwar plank, and the failure to come out strongly against involvement in Iraq is a huge mistake, not merely as a matter of principle but on purely pragmatic grounds. This is ironic: the Libertarian Reform Caucus, the group largely behind the toning down of the platform, bases its arguments on the idea that the Party must dilute itself to appeal to a larger portion of the electorate. The war, however, is one of the few issues where the majority is actually on our side, or at least moving in that direction. LRC supporters vehemently deny being crypto-Republicans, and I'm sure most of them are sincere, but this is the sort of thing that makes people suspicious.

I'll probably have more about this when I've had more time to peruse the Libertarian Reform Caucus homepage. Stay tuned. The website Boston Tea Party has more stuff on this topic, as does the personal site of its founder, Thomas Knapp.

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