Worth Reading: Membership Strategy

This is an excellent article from Liberty For Sale’s Tim West on the Libertarian Party’s obsession with membership over actually winning elections. Very much worth reading the whole thing in my opinion.

From Liberty for Sale:

When the LP stops having it’s entire focus on “outreach” and the impossible attempts at bringing new members into the “club” of libertarians, I’ll start giving you money beyond my annual dues. The LP does not need outreach programs. You and your predecessors in in your position have been “outreaching” since 1971, and it has gotten you and the LP NOWHERE. The reason why is becuase all you ever do is bring in a new crop of “members” to replace the burned-out tapped-out “members” that were in the party for the last 4 years, but have figured out the game and have gone away. Rinse and repeat, every Presidential cycle.

The LP has outreached itself to death, Joe. The reason why you cant raise any serious cash is becuase you are running out of bodies who either have not been through the LP mill long enough to know the game or the ones who have know what the game is and they are tired of playing with, until very recently, no success. And the success we did have didnt have much to do with the LNC. Ben Brandon owes his success to Ben Brandon and the GA LP, not to anything the LNC did for him.

There’s only one outreach program I want to see continue, Joe. Thats the program that indentifies possible excellent LP candidates like Ben Brandon in GA, and supports them in their run for public offices around the country. THAT’S YOUR JOB.

“Membership” is for a church. “Membership” is for a closed social club. “Membership” is for a Secret Society.

Having “Memberships” be your admitted FIRST PRIORITY in a fundraiser ( same as it ever was ) really bites when you are supposed to be a political party.

5 Responses to “Worth Reading: Membership Strategy”

  1. joe average Says:

    boy… that’s a lot of dirty laundry being aired by the LP.

    thank’s for the focus this week, it has given me a lot of insight.

  2. Otto Kerner Says:

    Yes, the fixation on “membership” as the sign of success was always a scam. I figured it was tied into the pocketbook interests of the party’s leadership, but I don’t know exactly how.

  3. Timothy West Says:

    To their credit, they have come out with the Iraq Exit Strategy, which of course have the “true” libertarians, the ones who believe selling privatizing roads and such to the public instead of actually identifying what positions consistant with the platform may be winners ( such the recent eminent domain ruling ) and rolling on that.

    Racheal Mills also gave National a raft of crap over the same crappy fundraising letter this year: she gave them 2 bucks and a letter similar in tone to my posting.

    I need to note that I have reupped my membership, donated 50 bucks, and then did a 25 dollar a month pledge to the LP since the Iraq Exit strategy came out, to encourage other such plans that will help us in 2006 and 2008, not becuase they are the best plans ever, but becuase the LP is finally trying to tap political action to acheive success.

    Also please note that generally the most vociferous people against the IES are not in fact LP members.

  4. Douglas E. Says:

    It’s a shame that memberships don’t translate to votes.

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