Dear Mr. Sarwark and the Libertarian Party:
Let’s face it, the 2016 election could have gone better for the Libertarian Party (LP). While the Party had, at one point, hoped to receive a double-digit share of the Presidential vote only to revise it down to getting 5%, the final tally of 3.28% of the popular vote was rather disappointing.
As has been 2017. The Democrats and GOP have spent most of the year bickering and pointing fingers at one another while the deficits increase unchecked and the Constitution is something that people merely pay lip service to.
With the revelation of the Congressional slush fund to pay off those who have been sexually harassed by the politicos, it is clear the abuse of power knows no bounds. In this year, which is rapidly becoming the year of #MeToo, the Democrats have been saddled with Al Franken who has been accused of sexual harassment by five women. And we also have John Conyers, the 81-year-old dotard from Michigan who has not only been accused of sexual impropriety, but has paid out money to settle claims. Have either of them been forced from office for abusing their offices? Of course not. Franken is issuing mealy-mouth apologies while Conyers’s actions have been given the official Democratic Party seal of approval by Nancy Pelosi’s pronouncement of Conyers as an “icon.” Though apparently determining the winds of political fortune have shifted, Pelosi has now suggested Conyer might step down now, as opposed to next year when he has decided to no seek re-election. Of course, according to Conyers’s fellow Congressman James Clyburn, we shouldn’t really believe these allegations because all of the accusers are White Women.
And then there are the Republicans and Roy Moore.
JFC, where to begin.
Roy Moore, a man who, while in his 30s, thought it was appropriate to date teenagers. And who may or may not have been banned from going to the Gadsen (Alabama) Mall. Republicans are rallying around Moore like Democrats are rallying around Conyers. In fact, yesterday this rallying reached its acme:
It’s almost enough to make one want to emulate a convicted Bosnian War Criminal.
This is where the LP comes into play.
Mr. Sarwark, in the aftermath of the 2016 elections you said, “Your tears are delicious and your parties will die.”
Well, it appears the parties are dying. 71% of Millennials want a third party. And who can blame them. Republicans and Democrats have now been shown to be nothing but two tribes who value nothing but the destruction of the other. They have shown themselves to be out of any ideas and who will say and/or do anything simply to stay in power. And once in power, will do anything they can with that power. And it is not just the steady erosion of our liberties in the name of the “Common Good” and “Security”.
Which is to say to you, Mr. Sarwark and the LP: The time will never be better to capitalize on this institutional rot. Please do not screw this up.
There are 340 days until the mid-term elections. (As much it would be nice to have a viable LP candidate in the AL race, there is just not enough time). You must use this time to not to find candidates to run for the House and Senate, but viable candidates. This means candidates who can identity foreign policy hot-spots (<cough>Aleppo<cough>) and who have no skeletons in their closets. People who could actually win.
But that is not all. The LP and the State LP need to spend money on traditional forms of advertising for these candidates. While it is cool and hip to post political ads on Youtube or social media, it still remains that a large number of people do not go to those sites looking for political ads. Money needs to be spent on television and radio ads. Television remains the single most critical factor in gaining name recognition. Without name recognition, there can be no hope of people even being polled about whether they would vote for the candidate never mind any chance s/he could win.
A good example of this is the 2017 Virginia Gubernatorial election. Cliff Hyra might be a fine individual, but I seriously doubt Virginians who do not live, eat, and breathe politics (i.e. the vast majority of the Commonwealth’s population) knew Hyra was the libertarian candidate. But he was in none of the debates. Why? Because he had no name recognition. Why didn’t he have any name recognition? He had no presence on tv and radio. While the LP may want to focus on social media, people still pay more attention to the traditional media outlets. To paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld, you have to go with media you have, not the media you want.
I know I have banged this drum before, but it needs to banged again and again: if libertarians want to be a serious force for change they need to get serious. If the LP truly wants to be an actual third political party in the United States, then it needs to act like a political party and put ads on tv and radio.
So please LP, don’t screw this up.