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Editorial from Nicholas Sarwark

The current Libertarian National Committee Chair is not competent,
presiding over the loss of half the staff and a dramatic drop in revenue
and membership, driving national Libertarian Party into insolvency. She
blocks all critics on social media to avoid being held accountable for
her actions. The GOP is going through similar problems, with their Chair
being entirely captive of the man who was so insistent that he won the
last election that he sent a mob of supporters to overturn the will of
the American voters. It’s a tough time to be a party member, when a
Chair is biased.

There’s a few hundred people alive who have been Chair of a National
Committee for any political party in the United States. It’s a tough
gig, keeping the various factions together, trying to grow in popularity
with the American people, trying to get your policies enacted. But it
gets a lot tougher if you are in the tank for a few people or a small
faction inside the larger party. Inner circles are incestuous, patronage
and nepotism strongly correlated with poor performance and donor mistrust.

Party leaders should work for the good of the party. Our country is too
partisan right now. That’s why I haven’t had an official position in a
political party since July 2020. The policies are more important than
the party, that’s why I founded the Libertarian Policy Institute, to
bring together people from all parties (or no party) to do good.

The national Libertarian Party is an organization I was given the
responsibility of leading by an overwhelming majority of delegates in
2014, 2016, and again in 2018. During that period, we were growing in
members and donors, running thousands of candidates and breaking
fundraising records.

The current GOP chair is in the tank for a candidate, in violation of
the party’s neutrality rules. But it doesn’t matter, because the only
person who matters in the GOP right now is the candidate she is in the
tank for. She did the same thing in 2020 when Bill Weld ran.

Likewise, the national Libertarian Party chair is in the tank for the
candidate preferred by Michael Heise of the Mises Caucus, since she owes
her position to him. This has presented challenges for candidates who
are not favored by Heise, keeping other candidates from entering the race.

A good political party chair works to create a fair contest with rules
that apply equally to every contender for the nomination, because a fair
process encourages good candidates to participate. When the system is
rigged, people are discouraged from participating. Time to unrig.

When a Chair replaces a competent executive director with a less
competent executive director, then replaces the executive director she
hired with herself and then hires her baby’s father who lives in the
same house on a lucrative contract, that’s a breach of fiduciary duty.
A Chair who engages in repeated, flagrant, unrepentant breaches of
fiduciary duty ought to step down. Board members who uphold their
fiduciary duties of oversight should remove a rogue Chair. Sometimes
board members won’t do their job, e.g. the NRA board and Wayne LaPierre.
As we saw in the case of the NRA, the organization had to be brought
into court and dragged through the court of public opinion until there
was enough pressure for Wayne LaPierre to step down.

But the damage to the organization was done. Revenue and membership
down, trust lost. Service as an officer or board member of an
organization is a responsibility, not a privilege. Not everyone is good
at board service, not everyone has the temperament or skills to do the
job well. If you care about the organization, you step down for someone
more effective. A Chair who cares more about herself will block critics,
refuse to answer questions, grow increasingly paranoid, blame outside
forces for her failures, take credit for the work of others. She will
spin excuses and promise success just around the corner after a 90-day
turnaround.

Nikki Haley is learning what kind of Chair the Republican party has
right now. All the Libertarian candidates other than Heise’s
hand-picked pro-Trump candidate for the nomination are learning what
kind of Chair the Libertarian Party has right now. It’s hard to watch.

But there is hope. The national Libertarian Party convention will be
held in May of this year in Washington, D.C. Libertarian delegates from
around the country will have an opportunity to change the direction of
the party away from MAGA and back to being pro-choice on everything. Big
tent!

Former Republicans who believe in the rule of law and the peaceful
transfer of power in our constitutional democracy will find a home in
the Libertarian Party. Those in the GOP who have tied themselves to
Trump to go down with him into a dark chapter of American history.

The transformation of the GOP into a cult of personality has resulted in
those who are unwilling to worship a demagogue leaving the party to
those who are loyal to MAGA. It is impossible to win in the modern GOP
without bending the knee to the previous President. Unsustainable. As a
political party appeals to a smaller, angrier base, people who are
unwilling to engage in corruption, deceit, violence against political
opponents, and hatred of neighbors for political disagreement abandon
the party, making it more extreme and less able to win elections.
Political parties that are unable to win democratic elections have to
use other methods to achieve the power necessary to implement their
goals. Cheating, lying, rigging, gerrymandering, buying support,
propping up straw candidates, increasing ballot access hurdles, and
violence.

There was an elected Libertarian public official and current Libertarian
candidate for public office who changed party affiliation to
unaffiliated because her state Libertarian party had turned into a club
for misogynistic podcasters. That’s their goal. Drive good people out.
They may prefer to call themselves “Libertarian” instead of “MAGA” or
“alt-right” or just plain “Republican,” since those other, more
accurate, labels are presently unpopular. Right-wing reactionaries are
would prefer to hide under a “Libertarian” umbrella. Don’t let them.
That’s not to say we can stop them from paying party dues, registering
to vote as Libertarian, seeking internal party office or running for
elected office. It’s a free country, people can call themselves what
they want, but “Libertarian” refers to a particular platform.

Please share message with those who feel alienated by the MAGA versions
of the GOP or national Libertarian Party and want to help. @nsarwark

[Editor: We anticipate some level of controversy on this post.]

 

 

8 Comments

  1. Dana Carney Dana Carney February 7, 2024

    Some of the editorial is true. The parts that are not true:

    1) Trump “sent” a mob. Nonsense. He told people to protest vigorously, but peacefully and legally. 96% or so the people who were there to hear him speak did not storm the capitol. Of the 4% or so that rioted/trespassed, that is several hundred people, the vast majority had no such plans of any kind and mindlessly got caught up in the moment and followed a herd. The number that had anything even remotely approaching a plan – and it was very, very remotely approaching – was maybe in the dozens, if that. More likely you could count them on your fingers. Actual proof of coordination between those knuckleheads and Trump is lacking.

    “Proof” consists of alleged “coded language” and other such BS, and the fact that it took Trump several hours to publicly ask them to cease and desist. Maybe he was trying to figure out how to best phrase it to make things better and not worse, maybe the secret service had concerns for the president’s own safety, maybe there could have been hundreds of other reasons why he wasn’t immediately available for public comment. Presuming it was because he actually supported the riot, much less “sent” a mob, is propaganda based on rumors and suppositions lacking even the slightest of hard evidence.

    2) there’s hope for the l.p. Sorry, no, there’s not. False optimism based on sunk costs is quite understandable, but it’s also quite obvious that the moose**** cuckus has rigged the game to the point that any chance of taking the party back from them at convention is negligible. Regardless of whether I, Nick, or anyone else is happy, sad, mad, livid, or resigned about it, fact are facts. Regardless of whether or not they’re competent at anything else, that’s the one area where they have demonstrated competence and focus.

    3) the idea that MAGA/Trump movement or whatever you want to call it is solely, exclusively, or even primarily about Donald John Trump Sr personally. No, it’s not. It’s a set or cluster of ideas that was not always led by him, and will continue to exist in some way when he’s dead or retired. Pat Buchanan ran on very close to the same ideas as Trump runs on now. Perot emphasized many of the same concerns. Regardless of its name or original purpose, TEA party movement had large overlap with Trump/MAGA now. And so on.

    DeSantis and Ramaswamy were unsuccessful presidential candidates who were basically MAGA while attempting to run against Trump, among others. They or others will take up the mantle of that set of ideas or policy direction after him; we don’t know yet how successfully. MAGA has close parallels to political movements and parties in other countries. While it has overlap with Trump cult of personality, that’s not primarily what it is.

    Trump just happened to be a person who was good at sensing and harvesting those energies for personal political advantage. How much he even actually agrees with his own public views, or cares, is questionable.

    4) the idea that Nikki Haley and other antiTrump Republicans are even relatively better or marginally more libertarian than proTrump Republicans is wishful thinking. If anything, they are less so. Any suggestion that large numbers of them might join the LP without the party becoming thoroughly unlibertarian is divorced from reality.

    Our hope for a larger, politically relevant LP lies in the Cheney’s, Romney’s, Bushes, Lincoln Project, et al, and their alleged support base? Those people weren’t remotely libertarian when they led the GOP. They’re not more libertarian now than they were then.

    All Trump did was blow up the delusion that their prior control of the GOP was based on large numbers of people who supported their views. It’s now conclusively proven that it was based primarily on top down control and interlocking relationships with elitist top down control types in business/finance, media, etc. The only reason they ever appeared to have any nontrivial level of popular support was because people who later went on to find Trump to be better than them were more concerned with perceived lesser evil vs greater evil.

    By now it’s clear their popular base was a mirage. AntiTrump Republicans to beat him in 2016, 2020, or 2024 primaries went nowhere. Haley will also fall flat on her face, not because the GOP process is rigged, but because Trump is just a lot closer to the vast majority of Republican voters. Many of her “supporters” in NH would have still voted Biden over her were she to become the nominee.

    Trump and his supporters are at a minimum marginally more libertarian than those folks on at least some issues, for example foreign military interventionism.

    Build a bigger, better l.p. from prowar Republicans? Fanciful notion, clearly not real world.

    • Jim Jim February 8, 2024

      Steward Rhodes and the Oath Keepers brought a cache of weapons to DC and were apparently in contact with someone at the white house with direct access to Trump, including a phone call on Jan 6. Rhodes was expecting Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act and have them assist the Secret Service with arms. Republicans were also giving unofficial guided tours to the people who stormed the capital the day before it happened, so they would know the layout and where to go. It was pretty clearly premeditated and at least some connected Republicans knew it was coming. To think some Republicans knew and Trump didn’t is unlikely.

      • Dana Carney Dana Carney February 9, 2024

        Attempts to explain why your reply is neither accurate nor particularly relevant to my larger point were a waste of time, since my reply message was not approved.

        • George Phillies George Phillies Post author | February 9, 2024

          Editor: We are not offering space for arguments, especially extended ones, about duopoly candidates. Also, the email address you supplied is invalid.

  2. George Whitfield George Whitfield February 6, 2024

    Very astute observation, NewFederalist. I agree with you.

  3. NewFederalist NewFederalist February 6, 2024

    Nice editorial BUT… the LP should be more than a refuge for disaffected Republicans who don’t like the tyrannical nature of Donald Trump. There has to be a number of of disaffected Democrats that have been repulsed by the extreme progressivism of the current controllers of their party. JFK is still a powerful symbol and by today’s standards he would probably be unwelcome in the Democratic Party. If the Libertarian Party is going to come out of this period of extreme political polarization as a stronger and more widely accepted party, I believe there must be appeals to all people of goodwill who can still debate issues. I’m probably showing my age but the LP of today could very well be a significant factor if populated by Goldwater Republicans and JFK Democrats. Just my $0.02 worth.

    • Jim Jim February 7, 2024

      This isn’t to say that I agree with many of Biden’s policies, but Biden is a middle of the road Democrat. The Democrats are the only party right now, other than a couple of upstarts, where the extremists are not in control. If the extremists were in control of the Democratic party, Sanders would have been nominated for President with Elizabeth Warren as VP and AOC and her squad of 8 would be in leadership positions. Universal healthcare would be in the works, slavery reparation checks would be in the mail, banks would be nationalized, and corporations would be mandated to turn shares over to employees.

      • NewFederalist NewFederalist February 8, 2024

        I guess your definition of “middle of the road” is much different than mine.

Comments are closed.