John Spivey is the Big Daddy of the Tarrant County Libertarian Party and the Tarrant County Libertarian Meetup Group. I don't know anyone who has been working harder to advance the Freedom-Lover agenda. He's a frequent commenter on these pages, under the name "Tarrant Liberty Guy".
John doesn't have a website, but when I asked him to Guest Post (while I'm on vacation) about what libertarians need to do differently, he sent in this gem, prefaced with a shot across the bow of the ideologically creaky vessel manned by yesterday's guest blogger, Dr. Ralph:
Being asked to guest type for The Whited Sepulchre is somewhat intimidating as I typically enjoy reading his original witty takes on current events and then making outlandishly long and snarky commentary not unlike the closeted communist, Dr. Ralph. But I digress... I believe I was asked to give my $.02 on the future of the Libertarian Party or libertarianism in general. So here's my take:
As Chair of a County Libertarian Party, I've seen tremendous gains in our local libertarian scene. We've gone from 6 members meeting every two years to affirm a handful of pre-nominated and non-contested candidates to a group whose grassroots ranks are numbering in the triple digits, alliances with philosophically aligned 'major' political party campaigns and supporting candidates who, doggone it, looks like they have a very legitimate chance to win an election to a high office in the county's largest city (population 700,000-ish)! Libertarian straight ticket voters increased by a greater margin than the overall increase in total voters in this Obama-fueled electionapalooza. Straight ticket Democrats increased, but not as much as the overall total. Even with the total turnout increasing by over 60% in our county, straigh ticket GOP voters, DECREASED by about 4%. Seems like the GOP's message of warfare state, daddy-state smack downs of civil liberties and personal freedoms, exclusivity and intolerance is wearing thin. Even in this formerly deeply red county.
However, truth be told, in saying that, it's like saying that our regular savage beatings by two large giants are slightly less savage and by slightly smaller giants. Until we do a few things, we're still going to get smacked, but, as you may have read, David gets his eventually. First, since the LP caters to no special interest group, we're not going to get much in the way of mega-corporate/union 'sponsorship'. No biggie, since Ron Paul showed that you can raise $35 million, one person at a time. The trick is getting those donors over to our side. Tough to do when the LP Presidential candidate, Bob Barr, basically bitch slapped the good Doctor during election time. However, I believe with time, that wound will heal and those Republicans will leave the GOP and find their proper home with us. They bring money, volunteerism and best of all - infectious and rabid enthusiasm!
Also, we're going to have to work to improve our image. Taking the "Apple vs. PC" advertisement as an example, we're definitely the 'PC' guy. We HAVE to get 'cool'. Generally speaking, that means getting celebrities to flog our message. Penn and Teller are OK, John Stossel is better, but what we really need is a Leo DiCaprio or two to bang our drum like they do for Rev. Al Gore. Cultural relevancy.
It will take time. Hopefully not as much time as Cato Insitute studies report that New Deal programs prolonged The Great Depression (eight extra years). But eventually, our message of sound monetary policy, sane fiscal policies, peace and personal freedom will find its place in the mainstream of American politics. It may take some failures of nationalized industries first. Ayn Rand may have not been too far off the mark. I hope we can get going before Atlas goes into full shrug.
I'm becoming more and more convinced that we must take a bottom up approach. We're just going to have to win some local races first folks. That means locally, you'll need to support our candidates with your time and money - and of course, votes! My toast for the new year and for libertarian victory nationally? Bottom(s) up!
John, thanks for contributing, and for all you do. Bottom(s) up, right back atcha.