Campaign Advice


� 2003 Copyright Carla Howell

The Libertarian Party platform calls for a dramatically smaller
government than what we have today: a government that is authorized
only to defend our lives, our liberty, and our property. Nothing

No income tax. No War on Drugs. No corporate or personal welfare. No
anti-gun laws. No government-run health care. No government schools.
No involvement in the United Nations, the World Trade Organization,
the International Monetary Fund, or any international organization.
No foreign aid, no foreign bribes, no foreign intervention. No
victimless crimes. No laws that in any way prohibit free speech or
freedom of the press.

Small, Libertarian government demands an end to all these Big
Government programs, and an end to the taxes that fund them.

To achieve our Libertarian end, we must repeal, dismantle, and de-
fund thousands of Big Government programs. Slash taxes at all levels
of government.

How can Libertarians possibly accomplish such ambitious goals?

The government policy we'll end up with pre-exists in the campaign
proposals and promises and in the ballot initiatives on which we run.

Some Libertarians, not wanting to appear too radical, base their
campaign proposals on those of Democrat and Republican candidates and
modify them to be more Libertarian.

This approach limits us to choices that are based on proposals of our
opponents - whose goals are the opposite of ours. It limits our
thinking to politically correct options that exist inside a box
called "Big Government". These options validate and empower the
notion that government is the solution to human problems. They
condone the devastation to life, liberty, and property caused by
existing Big Government programs.

A means that is inside the Big Government box yields an end that is
inside the Big Government box.

If we campaign on Big Government issues, we'll end up with Big
Government. If we campaign on non-Libertarian issues, we'll end up
with non-Libertarian government. If we campaign on limiting
government, we'll end up preserving and protecting Big Government.

If we campaign on tiny, timid, tepid reductions in Government, then
we need to ask ourselves: What if we were to get these cuts enacted
into law? Would government actually shrink? Would revenue go down? Or
would other forces keep it just as high? Or higher?

If it shrinks, would success depend on having a majority of
legislators or Congressmen that propose and pass those reductions
year after year? For how long? Ten years? One hundred years? How long
would it take to make government small?

How many lawmakers would we have to trust to make it happen? Would
one bad election - or another war - allow it to grow back overnight
and wipe out any gains that were made?

Would it change things so little, or so slowly, that voters would be
unable to perceive significant benefit in a Libertarian government?
Is it even possible to reduce the size of government by small

But if our means is small government; if we proudly campaign on bold,
small government proposals that dismantle Big Government programs; if
we propose to dramatically cut taxes and visibly and immediately
benefit voters, then our end will be small government.

If our means is small government, we'll have a shot at actually
bringing forth small government. A shot at ending the income tax. A
chance to end the War on Drugs. A possibility of 100% health and
education freedom.

Big Government means yields a Big Government end. Compromising means
yields a compromising end. Timid means yields a timid end.

Bold, small government Libertarian means yields a bold, small
government Libertarian end.

Emerson said, "The sower may mistake and sow his peas crookedly; the
peas make no mistake, but come up and show his line."

We must constantly recast, redirect, and reshape the political
debate. We must propose alternatives that are based on Libertarian
small government.

Then we must persuasively communicate what we offer. Highlight the
inevitable failures and the damage of Big Government. Hail the
virtues of small government. Spell out specific small government
proposals and their benefits.

Some Libertarians claim a Chameleon Strategy can work. They say we
can run on non-Libertarian, moderate Libertarian, or even anti-
Libertarian proposals so we appear like Democrat and Republican
candidates - claiming our candidates will simply vote Libertarian
once elected to office.

Not so. Leonard Read said it best: "No politician can fly higher in
office than he flew while getting there."

Some say that a bold, small government Libertarian means can't win.
But why would we want to "win" if "winning" means more Big

Our ballot Question 1 to end the income tax in Massachusetts
demonstrated that bold tax cuts can get just as many votes - or more -
than moderate ones.

Massachusetts ballot Question 3 in 1990 offered a tiny reduction in
the income tax. It won 40% of the vote. Massachusetts ballot Question
1 in 2002, our Libertarian Initiative to completely end the income
tax, won 45%.

Why? Huge, immediate, direct benefits for every single voter. A
reason to get out and vote! $3,000 back to each of 3,000,000
taxpayers - every year! 300,000 to 500,000 desperately needed new
jobs. Huge, immediate, direct benefits!

The same applies to proposals made by Libertarian candidates. There's
not a shred of evidence that a Libertarian running on a moderate
platform gets any more votes than a bold Libertarian campaign.

In fact, the two biggest statewide votes ever achieved by Libertarian
candidates were my US Senate race in 2000 against Ted Kennedy and
Michael Cloud for US Senate against John Kerry in 2002. Both were
very bold, small government Libertarian campaigns that proposed
dramatic reductions in taxes and spending.

45% for Question 1 to End the Income Tax in Massachusetts was by far
the best Libertarian vote ever won. 885,683 votes in the tiny state
of Massachusetts - a Big Government, liberal stronghold.

It may well be the only way Libertarians can change politics in
America is with proposals that are so bold, and that offer such huge
benefits, that we motivate voters to show up at the polls.

Libertarians have two choices. Follow the issues of our Big
Government opponents or lead with our small government libertarian

We can set the agenda. We can propose bold policies with huge
benefits to voters that re-define the political landscape.

And we can propose bold, small government at any level of government.

Federal candidates can advocate ending the federal income tax, ending
the War on Drugs, and ending Social Security.

State candidates can end state income taxes - or whatever tax feeds
the state coffers the most; dismantle government health, education,
and housing programs; turn down federal bribes and refuse federal

Local candidates can refuse to take state bribes, dramatically cut
local taxes, fire any police chief who refuses to issue a gun license,
and fire police officers who arrest people for victimless "crimes".

Mahatma Gandhi is respected and revered today, but he wasn't when he
was alive. Winston Churchill called him "nauseating" and a "half-
naked fakir."

But Gandhi held strong. He lived his vision of an independent India.
He didn't play by the rules of the British colonists.

His means was set on his terms, on his goal of ending British rule.
His end was total independence. Gandhi changed India forever.

Gandhi said, "Take care of the means, and the end will take care of

Bold, small government Libertarian campaigns are the means to a small
government end.

# # #

A condensed, edited version of the essay above appears in the July
2003 issue of LP News.

# # #

Carla Howell is Co-Founder and Chair of the Committee for Small
Government, sponsor of Massachusetts 2002 ballot Question 1 to end
the state income tax.


Was the essay above thought-provoking and interesting to you"

Did it stimulate your thinking? Prompt new possibilities?

What did you get out of "The Bold Path is the True Path to Liberty"?

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Thank you.

-Michael Cloud and Carla Howell

Hi Everyone,

I want to remind everyone about the Political Chat
this Wednesday. First of all, I want to know who can
commit to be there. Can you please e-mail the discuss
group and let us know.

After I get some committed people who will be there,
I'll ask for suggestions on a topic.

After a topic is decided, I'll ask people to bring in
some research or literatue on the topic, which will
then be shared at the chat, and then commented on.
Again, the goal of the chat was to be better informed
on libertarian solutions to issues so we can share
this with others when we have the opportunities to
inform others of our party.

I can't be there this Wednesday, as I have a meeting
until 10:00 PM that night at my work. However, I will
monitor the e-mails and hope people will commit to
keep the chats going.

Also, I'm starting school again at Hayward State, and
my once a week class, which begins September 24th,
happens to be on...Wednesdays (unfortunately). I'm
hoping people will still feel free to meet on
Wednesdays to keep the chats going. I will continue to
remind people and set up issues to be discussed over
the discuss group.

Dave Barker.

If there are at least 2 other commitments to be there, I will attend.
I propose that the topic for discussion should be theory vs. action.
Is "The Party of Principle" all Principle and no Party? Included in
this discussion should be whether or not it serves the interest of
the LPSF to continue these philosophical chats when no more than 4
people ever show up. Also, we should discuss at some point during
the meeting whether it's a good idea to move the gatherings to a
different location (such as Harrington's or elsewhere within a couple
minutes of BART/Muni along Market) to boost attendance.


P.S. I've put a poll in the Yahoo Group to find out why our turnout
is still so low after several months. Please stop by and vote if
you've got a Yahoo ID:

- -----Original Message-----

I'd recommend a different day of the week as everyone seems to use wednesdays as an event day.

-- Steve

Dave - I'll be there.

By the way, thanks again for coordinating this. At the
least, I have enjoyed getting together with like
minded people and not having to feel like I have to
bite my tongue all the time.

Also, as far as future directions for this - I've been
to all of the past 5-6 chats and I believe last week
was the least attended of them all, but no less
valuable. I seem to remember a couple of others with
around 10 or so attending where the group actually
started to fragment at times. Maybe 7-8 is a good
size? I suspect now that summer is over things may
pick up..not sure.

I've also brought along friends on a couple of
occasions along who have been 'on the fence' about
libertarianism. They were quite happy with the
gathering in general and plan to return in the future.
So it may be a better LP recruitment venue - as
opposed to the biz meetings...



--- dave barker <dbarker_sfusd@...> wrote:

I intend to be at the chat tonight, but I don't guarantee it.


Rob Power wrote:

Same here.

-- Steve