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Step Two: Tasks for Every Party Group

We’ll start with activities every Libertarian group including the LNC should be doing. We’ll identify some of these as Mission Critical Activities, some as Important Activities, and a few as Worthwhile Activities. There are absolutely critical activities like fund raising, membership recruitment, and back office operations. Without those, Party operations come to a stop. Then there are Important Activities like candidate support, volunteer mobilization, voter base development, and public outreach.

Some people thought we could skip Important Activities for a while when times got tough. After all, nothing in particular happens if you don’t run ads for a month. Those “some people” are wrong, dead wrong. Those people have almost killed our party. Candidate support, volunteer mobilization, all those activities that look like you could skip them for a bit? Those activities are the reasons that we exist. If we aren’t doing them, if we aren’t supporting candidates, mobilizing volunteers, advertising the libertarian message…we aren’t doing anything. We’re just a parasite on the libertarian body politic, collecting donations without delivering benefits.

So what are the activities for every party group?

Number One: Do Real Politics.

Justify your existence through your deeds. Justifying your existence is a Mission Critical activity. You justify your existence by doing real politics. There are lots of ways to do real politics. You don’t have to do all of them. But you have to be doing something.

Here actions talk, but words count for very little. Because if you are not doing real politics, in the long run the invisible fist of the political market will mark you for removal.

How do you do real politics? You do those Important Activities. You don’t have to do all of them, all the time, but if aren’t doing any of them, you are not Doing Real Politics, and Doing Real Politics is a mission-critical activity.

Number Two: Candidate Recruitment and Support.

Candidate Recruitment and Support is an Important Activity.

We are here to elect Libertarians to office. There are half a million elective offices in the United States, and we’d like to see a Libertarian elected to every one of them. Well, every one we didn’t abolish first.

You can’t elect someone unless they are on the ballot. That means you need to persuade them to run–because most candidates need persuading–you need to help them handle ballot access, and you need to give them the support required for an effective campaign.

The National Committee can’t do all that by itself. And it shouldn’t. That’s why we have state and local groups, because bottom-up organizing is just as important as top-down organizing.

What the National Committee can do is set the tone for all libertarians: Running for office is good. Supporting your party’s candidates is just as good.

Number Three: Volunteer Mobilization

Volunteer Mobilization is an Important Activity.

There are lots of obstacles to volunteer mobilization. The National Committee can work to overcome them. The National Committee can and should maintain an internal education campaign: Take charge of your political life. You don’t need permission to become an activist.

The National Committee can’t ask every Libertarian individually to volunteer. It can do its share of that asking. It can support the activists who respond to its call.

Persuading casual members to become more active in the party is equally a mission for the LNC and every activist. We need to persuade people to organize, run for office, carry petitions, handle a campaign treasury, and stuff envelopes. And we need support materials so that when casual members become activists they are not trying to build bricks without straw, clay, or forms.

Number Four: Develop Our Voter Base

Developing our voter base is an Important Activity.

What is the voter base? They’re the people who will vote for our candidates no matter what. To win, we must gain a large voter base. We can’t buy a voter base. We can earn one if we do the right things.

Most people change parties once or twice in their entire lives. Once you move someone into our voter base, they are probably ours for life.

Outreach to young people is an important part of voter base development. College outreach is good, but outreach to people who have settled down after college is far more important. Those people will stay put rather than needing to be replaced every two or three years. We need young-adult outreach.

Number Five: Public Outreach

Public outreach is an Important Activity.

What is public outreach? It’s advertising. It’s press releases. It’s earned media. It’s all the things that put our party’s name and ideas in front the public. It’s all the things that convince the public to support our ideas.

One Comment

  1. George Whitfield George Whitfield December 8, 2022

    The tasks you discussed are vital for success. I especially was impressed by number four: “Developing our voter base.”

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