A little over a week ago, I attended a non-political, arts-related social event. A man recognized me from a couple of years ago, and said, “You're a libertarian, right?”
I explained that I was no longer a member of the Libertarian Party.
He replied that while he was a progressive, and usually voted Democratic, he'd liked some things about the LP, but that in recent years, the LP “had turned really right-wing.”
I asked for examples. I wondered if he could cite specific names or incidents that caused him to feel this way.
He didn't have any particular person or incident in mind. He said he knew several Libertarians, and their general impression was that the LP “had turned really right-wing.”
I don't know if these libertarian friends of his are party members, or just philosophical libertarians.
This man's demographic background: a Latino (fully integrated; no accent), in his early 30s, with wife and kids, who works in the arts and lives in California.
But this is even more noteworthy...
Most folks at this event were progressive Democrats, but I also met a man who described himself as “a former Republican,” but now registered as an independent. A white guy, early 40s, who works in the arts.
He too complained that “the Libertarian Party is too right-wing.”
Again, he couldn't cite any specific names or incidents that made him feel this way. It was just his general impression that the LP had become “too neocon.” (His words.)
When I told him that I'd cast a write-in ballot for Ron Paul, he grew excited. He had voted for Paul too.
He liked Ron Paul, but not the LP. Paul was cool; the LP “too right-wing.”
A couple of observations:
1. While the general public may not pay enough attention to LP candidates or leaders to remember any specific names, the message is trickling down that the LP is “right-wing.”
2. The current LP (brought to you by the Reform faction) not only repels libertarian-leaning progressives, it's gotten so that the LP repels libertarian-leaning Republicans.
LP Reformers (and specifically Wayne Allyn Root), say the LP must focus its outreach on Republicans. Well, there's nothing wrong with outreach to libertarian-leaning Republicans -- but the current LP repels them. Instead, the current LP resembles the Neocon GOP which libertarian-leaning Republicans are escaping.
Rather than provide a home for libertarian-leaning Republicans, the current LP resembles the Neocon creeps they just escaped from.
This former Republican is not unique. I was a registered Republican before I quit trying to “work within the GOP” and switched my registration to Libertarian. I left the GOP because of their pro-war/anti-civil liberties policies.
Only to leave the LP for the same reasons.
The Reform/Root faction says the LP should ignore libertarian-leaning progressives, because the real gains are to be had among Republicans. But the LP isn't attracting libertarian-leaning/Ron Paul Republicans. Only Neocons are pleased with today's LP -- and they'll be voting GOP come November.
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