For those not on the LPCal Peace Caucus list: A good essay by Allen Hacker on the state of the Libertarian Party. For those interested in more proposed changes that will be brought up in the upcoming LP National Convention you might want to check out the Libertarian Reform Caucus at reformthelp.org.
I strongly disagree with Allen Hacker's comments. Sure, conservatives like the members of the xenophobic "Minutemen" group, the Constitution Party, and the extreme right-wing John Birch Society would probably feel more welcome under his proposal. They are more concerned about preserving "the country" than about preserving liberty. They are nationalists, not libertarians. Their way is also a dead-end road. The future belongs to globalization and multiculturalism, and any gains we could derive from railing against diversity and immigration are short-term at best.
Our platform should be based on freedom, not any state document. The right to put what one wants into one's own body, and the right to peacefully cross national borders, are non-negotiable. It is a sign of the danger we're in that such a proposal, advanced by prominent LP members using such arguments, is being seriously considered.
By challenging the "cult of the omnipotent state" and defending the rights of the individual, we *are* taking an anti-state position. It does not mean we are necessarily anarchists, though some of us are and that's fine too. As Libertarians wisely agreed at Dallas in 1974, we can cross that bridge of what to do about the last 10% or 5% of government when we get there. When firefighters are battling an out-of-control blaze, they do not worry about whether they should turn down their hoses lest they be viewed as "anti-fire."
The fact that Allen is willing to dismiss freedoms I value as "Bad behavior" tells me a lot about just how tolerant he is, his desire for more tolerance in the LP toward Christians notwithstanding. If you want to throw away the cause that Libertarians have been fighting for over the past three decades, by all means follow his advice and vote for the misnamed "ReformTheLP" agenda to invite the conservatives to come in en masse and take over a party that is already tilting their direction.
Or we can stand up for liberty and fight to keep the Libertarian Party libertarian.
Yours in liberty,
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Insightful and articulate statement! I am a lifetime member of the LP and completely and heartily agree with your sentiments.
We are not here to challenge the state, we are here to challenge the
cult-think that says the state is omnipotent.
Your statement does not accurately reflect the entire LP makeup. Some of us do challenge the state. (We see it as an agency empowered to violate rights in order to protect rights. This is an impossibility.) However, we have all agreed to work together toward our mutual goal of shrinking the state.
BTW, please call me "Michael."