Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wild Oats Libertarian "Creeped Out" by Wayne Allyn Root

My PorcuPeace "Libertarians for Peace" button is attracting much attention in liberal Santa Monica. Yesterday I blogged about the Starbucks Libertarian who commented favorably on my button. Today I'll describe the Wild Oats Libertarian.

Both incidents occurred over the past couple of months. Both times the clerk was a twentysomething white male.

While two people initiating comments do not make for a scientific poll, it's noteworthy that no women or people of color commented on my button. After all, women and people of color do work at Starbucks, Wild Oats, and other stores that I frequent. But apparently, the word "Libertarian" does not spark their interest, even when connected with a peace sign.

As with the Starbucks Libertarian, the Wild Oats Libertarian liked most of what he'd heard about the party's ideas, but he wasn't active in the party. He had heard Wayne Allyn Root on the radio, and found Root to be "creepy" due to Root's belligerent war stand.

Wild Oats Libertarian was glad when I told him that Root would likely not get the LP presidential nomination. He was curious as to who else was running for the LP nomination. He'd only heard of Root.

Small wonder, since Reich-Wing Radio has been interviewing Root, and only Root, for many months now. Neocon Radio trumpets Root as "Libertarian presidential candidate Wayne Allyn Root," as if Root were already the LP's official candidate. No balance, no "We Report, You Decide." Not only does Neocon Radio not interview Root's opponents for the LP nomination, it doesn't even mention that Root has opponents for the LP nomination.

I explained to Wild Oats Libertarian that many of us in the LP were hoping that Ron Paul would enter the LP race. He liked that.

Wild Oats Libertarian is pro-peace. He summarized his philosophy to me, which is that we all need to learn non-violence, but that unfortunately many of us haven't "evolved" to that point yet. He's hopeful that humanity will keep "evolving" to a point of "universal nonviolence."

So Wild Oats Libertarian has a very New Agey philosophy, which is not uncommon in Santa Monica, nor at Wild Oats. If you've ever been in a Wild Oats grocery, it's full of organic this, and organic that, and Putumayo World Music CDs, and incense, and green-friendly detergents and toiletries.

Starbucks Libertarian didn't seem so New Agey.

I'm glad that libertarianism is appealing to twentysomethings, though we still need to locate these people and recruit them into the party. Wearing Libertarian buttons seems to help. It attracts their attention so that they initiate contact. Chances are, they've never met a party activist or officer before.

Unfortunately, it seems the LP's appeal is still almost exclusively to white men. Young white men to succeed the mostly middle-aged, white men who currently run the party. We must still figure out how to bring in more women and people of color.

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