Gotopless.org

This appears to be a serious organization lobbying for the right of
women to go topless in public.

Note: although the website is tasteful, it's probably not safe for work

http://www.gotopless.org/

It's interesting that the LP has never, to my knowledge, made any
outreach to nudists, though they would be an obvious constituency.
Given that nudist organizations have judged that any legal progress
depends on their maintaining a puritanical stance in relation to
sexuality, however (The slogan of The Naturist Society is "Nude is not
lewd."), sex workers comprise for me a more appealing target for
outreach.

Dear Mike,

If it is any consolation to you, the LP (or LPSF) has not done a bang
up job of outreaching to the small-business community either, a
constituency which in my personal opinion is infinitely more "obvious"
than the nudist folks, or the sex workers for that matter.

Marcy

There actually was, as you probably recall, a stillborn program from the
national office at outreach to small business, as part of a "branding"
effort. As important as outreach to small business is, I was less
enthusiastic about that target myself, out of concern that it would
enhance the existing public perception of the LP as right-wing.

Hi again, Mike,

Yes, you are correct, there was a half-hearted effort to outreach
small business (as you say, "stillborn"). Regarding the perception
that LP is right wing, well, that is another story! I think it depends
on what side of the LP's personality split the entity expressing its
perception is most familiar!

Marcy

Marcy:

You make a very important point here. My implicit frame of reference is
academentia, and the major media. These groups, even when they are
honestly trying to understand libertarianism, perceive it as right-wing,
as the party of business. But you are quite right that, to
conservatives, the LP will appear very leftist. That's all very much as
it should be, given that we take both conventionally "left" and
conventionally "right" positions. The problem, to my perception, is
that the national Party has consistently emphasized economic issues and
downplayed social ones (in their available literature, for example). I
think that's just because the people in the national office, and on the
LNC, have mostly themselves come from the right. As has been pointed
out on this list before, members coming from the right are generally
those with money; those from the left are mostly students, artists, and
the like, who can't afford to travel to lots of meetings and
conventions, nor to make influential donations. Conceivably that
imbalance may change, if electronic media obviate face-to-face meetings.

That said, there are still many neglected constituencies out there.
Although the Democratic Party usually pays lip service to issues like
gay rights, for example, their real focus is on powerful, wealthy
groups, rather than the socially oppressed and marginal: sexual
deviates, nudists, drug users, and the like. If you add all these
people up, and their familes and friends who care about them, it's a
significant number. My perception is that the LP will continue to
ignore these potential supporters just because most present members
don't want them in the Party.

Dear Mike,

I concur with your assessment. And would venture to add one more
possibility to LP National's apparent emphasis on economic issues:
the "National" in the name. I believe we Libertarians in San
Francisco tend to adopt an insular vision of frolicking sex, healthy
nudity, and woohoo! for unusual habits; however, most of the rest of
the nation see these subjects as rather strange. As you point out,
some might not feel at home with the marginal in our society -- if the
marginal come in, the more mainstream go out; so what have you gained
in the way of political influence?

Marcy

Marcy,

  To me, attracting members and winning votes is not the only consideration. These things are important, but I think consideration should also be given to the importance of educating people, bringing them around to our positions, getting them to be more tolerant and accepting, etc. Today's mainstream is yesterday's marginal, and vice-versa, and I'm sure the same will be true tomorrow. I think there is political value, as well as moral authority, to be gained by being ahead of the curve.

Love & Liberty,
        ((( strachild )))

Dear Starchild,

First, congratulations on your initiative qualifying for the ballot.

Now, for my confession that I was thinking of your response exactly as
you posed it in your e-mail when I mentioned attracting members (or at
least no losing some as we attract some)! However, I am simply
reiterating my usual litany that the objective of a political party is
to attract members and win votes, thereby implementing the party's
principles (even if those principles include doing away with government).

And, any political party needs the "mainstream" on its side if it is
to achieve such an objective. So, addressing special groups
(Brazilians, sex workers, nudists, whatever) is great, and we should
do so; but the dialog needs to affect a much wider audience, i.e., the
"mainstream."

Marcy

Mike: If the small business owners took their clotehs off, would it
increase their chance of your support? :slight_smile:

-Derek

Derek,

  I can't speak for Mike, but if a small business owner didn't take his or her clothes off, it might decrease their chances of getting *my* support, because I might not want to spend much time around someone who never showered. 8) Now of course I don't demand that any particular person have the courage to do publicly what he or she almost certainly does privately on a regular basis, but I *do* insist that the rights of those who want to appear in public without exercising the form of self-censorship that we call "wearing clothing" be respected, and I think we as Libertarians ought to proudly stand up for this extremely basic human right.

Love & Liberty,
        ((( starchild )))

Love the question. Guess I would have to say yes, since they qualify as
doubly oppressed by the state.

Thanks, Starchild. I couldn't agree more. And I would say the same
thing about "right-wing" issues. Paul was derided for his emphasis on
the gold standard, especially in today's context, but I think it's by no
means too early to be explaining that as our ideal. Given how very far
the mainstream is from libertarian positions, I think our proper place
is well out in front, as opinion leaders, rather than back in the pack.
Change, when the time is right, can come with startling abruptness; it
would be embarrassing for Libertarians, of all people, to be lagging
rather than leading.

AMEN

Dear Starchild, Mike, and Mike,

I capitulate! The arguments remain unchanged! Glad you are all still
trying after 38 years!

Marcy

Thanks Marcy,

If anything...we try.

:>)