Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"The Man" Doesn't Worry About the Libertarian Party

Here's a story I was told by several longtime (decades long) Los Angeles LP members over the years. Whether it’s a true story or apocryphal, I don't know. Does anyone? It’s now told as a joke, with possibly some tenuous connection to truth.

I first heard it before 9/11. It’s supposed to have occurred in the LP’s “early days,” in the post-1960s student rebellion era. Maybe the 1970s?

Here’s how it goes:

One day, the LAPD sent a police intelligence officer to one of the LP’s many Los Angeles supper clubs. His assignment was to infiltrate the LP, and see if it was planning terrorist or revolutionary activities.

When the police officer returned to LAPD headquarters, his captain asked him, “Well, how did it go? Did you infiltrate the LP?”

“I guess so,” the officer replied. “They elected me Chair.”

The point of this apocrypha is that the LP is not worth infiltrating, and that the authorities have long since figured that out. We do everything in the open, and most of what we do is complaining. Ineffectual complaining. Like on this blog of mine.

So, does this joke have any contemporary relevance? Yes, in that some LP members (e.g., LP presidential candidate Robert Milnes) still fantasize that the FBI, CIA, or whoever, wants to infiltrate or sabotage the LP.

Nonsense! The LP isn't worth the effort, and the "The Man" knows it.

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