This may not quite count as "good press," and the SF Weekly journalist misdiagnoses what ails the party, but at least he's giving a decent national LP press release some coverage:
Here's the response I posted (though as of this sending it has not appeared on the site):
Bashing ideology has become fashionable in the media of late. And unquestionably, ideology has its dangers -- many of the most brutal regimes in history have grown out of ideological movements (Communist China under Mao, Nazi Germany under Hitler, etc.) Strangely however, contemporary critics of ideology rarely focus on that historical record, but tend instead to center their criticisms on allegations that ideology (i.e. approaching public policy with a clear set of principles) is *too rigid*, *impractical*, *unpopular*, etc.
Peter Jamison has done some admirable pro-freedom writing for SF Weekly, including this piece documenting SF city government's wasteful war on graffiti among many others -- http://www.sfweekly.com/2009-12-09/news/coverup-worse-than-crime-s-f-outspends-other-cities-fighting-graffiti. His frustration that the Libertarian Party nominated former Republican Congressman Bob Barr for president in 2008 is completely understandable.
Nevertheless, I think he should give ideology a chance. Just as some of the worst people in history have been highly ideological, so have some of the most kind, noble, and enlightened. Consider what Mahatma Gandhi said about adhering to principle:
“A principle is a principle and in no case can it be watered down because of our incapacity to live it in practice. We have to strive to achieve it, and the striving should be conscious, deliberate and hard.”
In an era when politicians are generally *expected* to be lying hypocrites, and when most of them plainly view politics as a career opportunity to gain money and power -- i.e. they are willing to say or do whatever will "maintain their viability within the system" (as Bill Clinton explained his craven decision to go against his own beliefs by supporting the draft) -- I find political figures who have a consistent set of principled beliefs rather refreshing, even when I disagree with them.
I would rather see the Libertarian Party stick to its principles, even at the risk of remaining "distant from the levers of power," than sell out those principles and become just another vehicle for the ambitious and the corrupt. Ironically, the party's 2008 nomination of Bob Barr that Peter Jamison rightly criticizes was not an example of being too ideological, but just the opposite -- a triumph of misguided "pragmatism" over ideology. Barr was and is far too conservative for the LP, and I believe most of the Libertarians who voted to make him our presidential candidate did so mainly because they saw it as a chance to make the party more mainstream and attractive to voters.
Libertarians who opposed Barr's nomination, including myself, widely viewed the choice as a horrible mistake and gave his campaign only lukewarm support if any. My hope is that those party members who were seduced by the apparent possibility of getting closer to the "levers of power" by running a prominent former member of Congress have learned their lesson from this failure, and will not make a similar mistake again.
Instead of faulting the LP for not doing more to grasp for power, well-meaning journalists like Peter Jamison would do better to help educate the public to make better choices and understand the importance of voting for smaller, alternative parties that are not bought and paid for and candidates who take positions based on their beliefs rather than on expediency. A lot of people who supported Obama out of a desire for real change may be ready to hear this message.
I'm proud to stand for the ideology of libertarianism, because I believe non-aggression is the fairest, most compassionate, and most harmonious way to achieve social justice (see e.g. http://www.isil.org/resources/introduction.swf).
Love & Liberty,
Candidate for SF Board of Supervisors, District 8
If you post a comment, I hope you won't be too hard on Jamison -- if he wasn't sympathetic to our point of view, he probably wouldn't have bothered to write about this press release at all.
Love & Liberty,
((( starchild )))