You asked about brochures. I just remembered that I have around 30 Left vs Right brochures that need address change (I can do that by Thursday evening), and around 100 of the old world smallest political quiz.
I also have some posters, but would caution about displaying them in a Tea Party crowd. The posters are fine for the rowdy crowd at Pride (the purpose for which they were approved); but maybe not so fine for this gathering.
Agreed regarding the posters. The Tea Party types tend to be
anti-immigration, anti-gay-marriage, anti-prostitution, anti-teenager, and
pro-physical-brutality to minorities, so fully half of the ten panels on our
poster would offend them.
It's probably best to stick to those issues where we agree -- lowering taxes
on the rich and opposing gun laws.
When I hear local leftists attacking the Tea Party movement, I often
note that I spoke at a Tea Party event and that my comments against
the Drug War were well-received (though my comments on immigration not
so well, but even there, some of the audience appreciated what I have
I think we should bring the posters and engage in educating folks on
issues where they may not yet be pro-freedom. This not only helps them
understand the differences between libertarianism and conservatism,
but helps avoid tying us too closely to the Tea Party in the minds of
other San Franciscans not part of the rallies who may see us there. I
want to be able to say that we are taking a strong civil liberties
message to the right wing, not just getting in bed with them.
Okay, I'm off to City Hall for the Entertainment Commission hearing!
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))
Starchild, I so understand your point of view, that we need to "educate" folks. As you know, I never shared that view. Just as I can't "educate" you, you can't "educate" me. In my view, the best we can do is to seek common ground, and focus on that. Our common view with the Tea Party is smaller government. I am at a loss why we can't focus on that when we are working with them.
Or maybe the challenge is the "Me" focus described in Ron's recent post; i.e., the "social issues" are important to us. But we did not organize the event, pay for the venue, etc. etc. In my view, if we want to piggy back on their efforts, the civil thing to do is to abide by their rules.
You'll note that I didn't mention the granny smoking weed as one of the 5
panels that would anger them. Nobody ever accused them of not being
stereotypical pot-smoking Republicans.
That "Me Libertarianism" article sums up the Tea Party quite well.
Sorry, but I cant resits pointing out that pot smokers to Tea Partiers are a "Oh, wow, how about that" issue; since they are focused on the $14 trillion national debt and subsequent country going to the dogs as a result. So, maybe if we work with them, we might want to keep that in mind.
There seems to be a huge misunderstanding about what the Tea Party believes.
Everyone really needs to see what they're telling the pollsters:
The average Tea Partier clearly has no clue how the budget is spent, since
they oppose cuts to Social Security. This quote pretty much sums them up:
"We're spending ourselves to oblivion—we haven't seen a comparable level of
spending since the Roosevelt era," he said. "But Social Security is not the
right place to trim the budget."
It's fine if you want to outreach to them, but please, please, please don't
think it's about fiscal responsibility. They are the epitome of the "Me
Libertarian" in that they want their taxes to decrease, but they don't want
to receive fewer benefits from government. We can reach out to them on the
tax issue on tax day, because we want to lower taxes, but don't mistake that
agreement on that tax issue as agreement on the spending issue. They are
not with us on cutting military or entitlement spending. And when you
exclude those two things, there's only about 15% of the budget remaining,
and even cutting every penny of that wouldn't balance the budget.
Hi Marcy! How about I come by after work on Thursday evening and pick up
whatever you have? It just occurred to me that I could bring some voter
registration forms also, since maybe we could sign up some new potential
voters. (Starchild gave me a big stack of forms.) As for the posters, well,
maybe I'll bring one--but I'll leave it in the car. No point causing a
Tea Party Riot!
I'm curious. What leads you to believe we can't educate folks?
Warm regards, Michael
As I said, work with the Tea Party in areas of common interest, such as lowering taxes.
The answer is simple! Have I succeeded in the last 8 years in "educating" you, for instance, on the futility of anarchism? Or, conversely, have you succeeded in the past 8 years in "educating" me on the benefits of anarchism? In my opinion, the best we can do is mobilize those who already possess views similar to ours.
Although I have had many failures, as in your example, I also have had--and
continue to have--successes.
Rather than debating these two different strategies, why not simply suggest
each person use those approaches which he or she prefers?
In addition, I see much value in mobilizing "natural libertarians" as you
suggest. I attempt both.
Warm regards, Michael
Hi Marcy & All! Just a brief report on the tabling at the Tea Party Event last
Friday. Both Jawj and I felt it was a worthwhile venture. Not sure if we
changed any minds or hearts, but we did have some traffic at our table of
brochures (no rowdy posters). Most people were quite nice, and I didn't feel
the vibes of anger or hate that I often hear associated with the Tea
Party crowd. Several people expressed agreement with many of our core issues
but high disapproval of our stance on legalizing drugs. One man who gabbed with
us for quite a while complained about immigrants lowbidding him on contracting
jobs he was trying to get, but this seemed more like bitter grapes than anything
else. One guy (a little person) stopped by briefly and said he used to be a
card-carrying member of the Libertarian Party; if this was true, this is pretty
disappointing to hear that we're losing members to the Tea Party--it should be
going the other way. One lady took some of our brochures and said that actually
she felt she really is a Libertarian at heart. A nice kid named Thomas
Randle from Bay Area Liberty On The Rocks stopped by and gabbed with us for a
while--we talked about speakers and socials as a way of perhaps getting some new
fresh blood into our group. Jawj noted that even the dogs that people brought
were on good behavior!
On the announcement scene, one man mentioned that there is a Yemen protest going
on next Saturday 04/23 1-4 PM at the UN Plaza. (Hark, do I hear Starchild?)
All in all, Jawj and I were glad we tabled and hope it might have done some
good. We are up for more in the future and wouldn't mind if others joined us.
Just as you said, Marcy, talking to the people really is the most interesting
part--the three hours went by so quickly.
And I did send Sally a brief but gracious thank you for allowing us to join
That's all for now.
Thanks for doing that outreach! The one lady who took brochures and said
she's a Libertarian at heart is worth it alone.
Anyone want to report on the movie? I think I'll make Kai go see it with
I loved the movie. The seven libertarians I was with felt similarly. I plan
to purchase the DVD when it's available.
I found it thrilling, moving, and magnificent overall. It was the first time
I ever applauded at the end of a movie. (I don't know why I did, since none
of the participants were around to hear it.)
I suspect non-libertarians will not be touched by it.
Warm regards, Michael
Amazing. *Most* though not all, of the reactions I heard after the
screening of "Atlas Shrugged" in South Lake Tahoe seemed quite
positive, if perhaps not as enthusiastic as yours. By contrast, most
of the Students for Liberty group who watched it on Friday apparently
felt as I do -- that the film was little short of a disaster. I don't
think it communicated Rand's ideas well at all; I think you're right
that non-libertarians won't be touched by it. I wasn't touched either;
I thought most of the acting was mediocre, or perhaps it was mainly
the fault of the casting. In any case, the characters did not convey
the nobility and heroism, nor the villains the contemptibility or
evil, that the book did. Setting the story in the present did not work
for me either. What did you find laudable about it?
Aubrey and Marcy, thanks so much for tabling at the Tea Party rally.
I had meant to attend as well, and had even written to Sally asking
about speaking (she said I could speak during the open mic), but ended
up not having enough time before heading to Berkeley.
Thanks also Aubrey for the heads up about the protest for Yemen, and
Marcy for passing along Ann's message about the important Police
Commission hearing on Wednesday. I hope to attend both those events.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))
I am so glad (and grateful) you did the tabling and you enjoyed it. It does not matter that you did not convert people on the spot. In my opinion, the idea is for LPSF to have a presence, to communicate its ideals, and to let what we say sink into the minds of the audience.
Aubrey and Jawj are the heroes of the tabling. All I did was paste the new LPSF address on the brochures.
Huummm, shame that the movie might have left something to be desired. It sounded like a great opportunity for the general public to become acquainted with Rand's principles.
I'm more with Starchild on this one. His earlier observation that the
actors were ordinary people was spot-on. Given my perception that it
takes genius to play genius, and strength to play strength, I had low
expectations. I wasn't surprised that the villains did a better acting
job--Wesley Mouch, Brady the union man. I thought it was fine that they
didn't come off as so contemptible as they do in the book. Their
real-life counterparts don't, either (though I would have to make an
exception for LBJ and Bush 43). Taylor Schilling made a creditable
effort as Dagny, but still smiled too sweetly too often. Francisco was
execrable. Like Gary Cooper, he didn't get it; his lines came off as
bizarre. There were some things I thought were done remarkably well,
like justification for the prominence of railroads in the near future,
or the beautiful foundry shots. The beautiful autumn leaves on the July
22 run of the John Galt Line were an unfortunate lapse, on the other
hand, as was the ridiculous design of the bridge.
I'm more with Michael on this one. While it wasn't exactly a 5-star (and let's
not forget we only watched 1/3 of the story), I was not disappointed in the
movie. After some initial reluctance to accept the way the stars looked
different than the way I had pictured them in my mind, I got totally wrapped up
in the story and was sorry to see it end. I agree that the Francisco character
could have been better, but I was not bothered by the other acting. There is a
very interesting article about the movie in Reason magazine this month going
into the history of all the failed attempts to make this movie in the past, and
the problems they ran into making this movie. One sad (for Libertarians)
speculation is that the movie might be seen more as a story of feminist
empowerment than anything else. If that's all people get out of the movie, then
indeed it is a Disaster. All in all, I would recommend the movie to anyone,
though I agree that Libertarians and anti-statists would be more likely to
embrace the movie and its ideas. I definitely hope there will be a Part 2 and
a Part 3.