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Liberty Revealed Episode 10 Show Summary
This episode is about Libertarian candidates and how they can exhibit great leadership, enabling them to get elected.
Listen to Liberty Revealed Episode 10
Liberty Revealed Episode 10 Show Notes
Welcome back to another episode of Liberty Revealed with me, your host, Mike Mahony. Today I want to discuss how I believe Libertarians should change their approach to running for office.
We live in a society where there are many ideologies on the political spectrum. We have two major political parties here in the United States and a multitude of smaller parties, including the Libertarian Party. It is important to remember that even members of the same party will see the issues differently. There is just nothing as a political party where every member agrees on every part of the party’s platform.
As I’ve traversed the social meetups within the local Southern California Libertarian scene, I’ve noted a problem. I’ve noted the same problem on Facebook pages and groups frequented by Libertarians. What is up with the “all or nothing” philosophies libertarian candidates have?
Any candidate from any party that thinks they will run for office and if elected, change things to their way of thinking is completely out of touch with reality. There has to be a process wherein that person who won the election convinces others that their ideas are worthy of consideration. The hard work begins upon winning the election. This is exactly what I would like to discuss today.
I believe strongly in Libertarian values. In my opinion, a Libertarian government would afford the best society possible. It would make us all happier and more prosperous. So why am I'm arguing against an ”all or nothing stance” you might ask? I feel that the only way to slowly change the world to a libertarian viewpoint is to take things one step at a time. This is where my recommendations that follow come from.
Libertarian candidates need to be realistic in their platform choices. When I ran for Orange County Board of Supervisors, I did a lot of research, attended meetings, spoke to potential constituents and then came away with what the people feel is important. One of the big issues was homelessness and another was crime. Both of these are directly addressed by libertarian ideas.
As I researched the homeless issue I determined two major things–the county had almost $1 billion that was given to it to solve homelessness and mental health issues and people felt law enforcement wasn’t doing enough. Now, generally speaking, I don’t like spending public tax dollars on social issues. I feel that is wrong in general. However, with this situation, it was an all or nothing proposition. You either spent the money on what it was meant for or you would lose the money to some other crazy project. I could have taken a hardline libertarian approach and said “We cannot spend public money on the homeless,” but I knew that morally I couldn’t ignore the homeless on the streets, so I opted to include spending that money as part of my platform. It was unpopular with some libertarians until I explained my reasoning, at which point many came to my way of thinking.
It was the same with crime. People wanted to change the laws and be tougher on crime. I was fine with that idea as long as non-violent drug offenders were not sucked into the mess that is the criminal justice system. To me, crimes involving fraud and harming of others should always be prosecuted and that’s it. If you want more details on this, have a listen to Liberty Revealed episode 5. This, too, was not a popular stance with libertarians, but mainly because they thought I would be advocating for non-violent drug offenders to be jailed. They felt this way because the common public sentiment is to repeal Propositions 47 and 57 here in California. These propositions made it misdemeanors to possess certain controlled substances. I would never have advocated for such a thing. I would have definitely gotten behind being tougher on fraud and being tougher on violent crime.
What do you see from the two examples I gave just now? With the homeless issue, I was trying to handle the concerns society brought up while also servicing those in need. Any plan I would have put into effect would have included private charitable organizations running the show. I would not have wanted the government running these programs. Had I been elected to the 5 member board, I would have had to use my leadership abilities to convince the others that this was a good approach. I would have had to show them why the libertarian approach was the right one to accomplish our needs. Eventually, I could have convinced 2 people to vote my way and since you just have to learn to count to 3 to pass resolutions on the Board of Supervisors, I would have gotten my program into place.
This is what Libertarian candidates seem to miss. You can attempt to do the all or nothing approach, but the majority of those in society don’t think like you do. Instead, you have to be a leader and show them why your way is the right way and potentially the only way. You have to be willing to compromise.
Had I been elected to the Board of Supervisors, I would have immediately reviewed my staffing needs and would have cut down the staff to a reasonable size. I would have argued with my colleagues that they should do the same. In this way, I would have started advocating for smaller government. With a small victory such as reducing staff size, I could have shown my colleagues the real cost savings associated with the staff cuts and could potentially convince them to make cuts elsewhere in the government. By taking a one step at a time approach, I could have begun the path towards making county government smaller and agiler.
If Libertarians want to see their beliefs propagated to the current system we have they are going to have to exhibit strong leadership. They will have to look for small victories and use those to show others how their ideas worked for the better. By taking things one step at a time they will be able to affect many changes over the course of their time in office. There is no way to make sweeping changes all at once without some sort of revolution and that is not something I want to see as a Libertarian.
If you are a Libertarian and you are running for office please consider the approach I’ve outlined. Stay true to your beliefs. Vote against tax increases and increasing the size of government. Do your research on the issues. Compromise where needed. We must not come off as the extremist party and we are in danger of that when we take an all or nothing approach. It is time to show society that our ideas will work and will change things for the better.
That’s all for today’s episode. .If you like what you’ve heard, please rate us 5 stars on Apple Podcasts and Google Play. If you’d like to learn more about personal liberty, grab your free copy of my book “Liberty Revealed” by heading over to http://yogispodcastnetwork.com/libertyrevealed. Until next time…stay free!
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