Category Archives: Elections

Libertarian Food for Thought in 2019

With 2020 just around the corner, Libertarians have a lot on their plate they need to think about. No, I’m not talking about the various elections next year. I’m referring more to the fact that we need to figure out what we’re going to do about the infighting and widespread misconceptions surrounding the Libertarian Party (LP) and its ideas.

We’re the party of freedom, not an “alternative”

Most often, I’ll see a lot of candidates using the “End the Duopoly” tagline. Stop. It’s too damn cliché. Instead, why not communicate the LP’s message? What’s wrong with “Get the government out of your wallet and your private life?” I suppose it’s not three words. But if we’re nothing more than a mere “alternative” in a system that is viewed as being a “duopoly,” we’ve seriously missed the point.

An alternative isn’t chosen. People choose A or B, not C. Here’s a better way to go about it: Become choice A or B. No, I’m not telling you to run off and be a Democrat or Republican — I’m telling you to take one over and make them irrelevant. If a Democratic incumbent failed on the war on drugs and a Republican incumbent passed on an opportunity to shrink the size of government, capitalize on it! Make Democrats and Republicans angry about the failures in their incumbents and promise to fulfill their old promises. Guaranteed, if you’re loud enough, they’ll squirm when the people start biting.

Stop saying “Taxation is Theft,” but also knock the anarchist crap off

I’m far from the first to say that we should stop seriously saying taxation is theft (jokes are usually obvious and totally acceptable). But I’ve noticed an annoying anarchist faction in the party that doesn’t seem to understand that Libertarian ideas are minarchist (meaning minimal government), not anarchist.

A good example of this is protecting the people against fraud or enforcing contracts. While we all believe that these are part of the few roles of government, you can’t be for complete anarchy or voluntarism and believe that the government should have such protections. Not because you’ll never get elected, but also because these parts of our legal system require a judge (part of government). Should we have as few judges as possible? Sure! But complete anarchy doesn’t exist for a reason.

Another great example is school choice with a voucher system. It’s true that taxation is theft in the sense that it’s not voluntary. But absolutely zero taxation, including zero sales taxes, doesn’t allow for school vouchers. The idea of school choice using vouchers is that you use public funds allocated for education (usually the amount spent per student) and let the money follow the student to the schools parents choose. I’m not saying that there wouldn’t be any voluntary donations to help people, but this specific system we all vouch for (no pun intended) requires a little taxation. We should keep taxes to a minimum, but that’s minarchy, not anarchy.

Enough with the purity tests! 

Stop saying someone else isn’t a real Libertarian just because they don’t espouse the same level of voluntarism you do. Not everyone is a “statist” in the way you portray them to be. It’s great to see that you’re principled, but don’t be a jerk about it and then whine when nobody sticks around.

No more paper candidates

If there’s anything good to be said about Democrats and Republicans, it’s that they often have more people running serious campaigns than not. I’m not entirely sure if that’s true for the LP. I don’t want the party to ban them, but if you decide to run for office, you should put in as much effort as time will allow you.

Perhaps my biggest frustration with people telling me “I’d rather have people’s names on ballots so people know we exist than not” is that they’re not thinking about the biggest problem: What if they’re elected? Don’t get me wrong! I would be over the flipping moon if they were elected! But what if they win the election just to say, “Meh. I didn’t really want it, so I’m not accepting this.”

Not only that, what if they’re elected but didn’t realize they can’t find a place to stay nor can they afford a second home near the Capitol (if they’re running for a legislative seat). It is far worse for our candidates to win and look either unenthusiastic or completely unprepared than to not have a name with an L next to it on the ballot. On the flip side, what if the paper candidate is a perennial candidate and wins the primary against a more serious candidate? That does us more harm than good in the long run.

Volunteer, donate, or do both

If we want to get anywhere, we’re going to need to seriously compete with the other two. That takes manpower and it takes money. If you don’t have time to volunteer, donate. Even if it’s just $5 to your state affiliate. If you don’t have money, make time to volunteer. Even if it’s just 30 minutes per week for a Libertarian candidate you support.

Democrats and Republicans kill us in elections for two reasons: They have money and they have volunteers. Volunteers help spread the word through canvassing, making phone calls, and even stuffing envelopes for mailers. The money helps with ads (of course), mailers, voter rolls (data), brochures, and even yard signs. I’m not saying Libertarians need hours of ad space, but without literature, you’re doomed.

Some will undoubtedly ask what I’ll be doing to help (aside from sitting in my ivory tower). I’ll tell you exactly what I’ll be doing: I’m starting a political consulting business focused on helping Libertarians get elected through content, strategy, and grassroots activities. If you’re planning on running for office as a Libertarian and want to run a serious campaign, let’s talk.

Exclusive — Oregon Libertarians Can Learn a Lot from Larry Sharpe's Gubernatorial Run

The November 2018 election in Oregon has an interesting twist — 16 State Legislature seats have incumbents with the Democratic, Independent, and Republican nominations. Most of them are Democrats, but some are Republican. Out of these 16 seats, there are six House seats, and one Senate seat, with Libertarian candidates. Assuming the Green Party doesn’t have candidates in most of these districts, these Libertarians will get a taste of what the two-party system is like.

After seeing video after video and several headlines about Larry Sharpe, the Libertarian Gubernatorial candidate in New York, I decided to reach out to him and ask if he had some details from his campaign or a little message he’d like to include in this article. He graciously offered to do a phone interview. I was excited to take him up on his offer.

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The Real Reason Why Hillary Lost the Electoral Vote

Recently, we’ve heard people call for the abolishment of the electoral college. Mostly, it’s coming from people who don’t like Donald Trump and feel that the popular vote should be the determining factor in who wins the White House. There have been theories such as Hillary not being a decent candidate to Russia being involved (of course, right?). While one of these theories may have some validity, this isn’t the real reason why Hillary lost the electoral vote. She won the popular vote, but many people can’t figure out how she lost in the long run. That’s why I decided to sit down and try to explain it to everyone.

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Trump's Path to 270: The Power of Endorsements

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, has received plenty of endorsements by prominent leaders and other elected officials in America. A few states that I believe would be very helpful to Trump would be in battleground states and likely blue states where he has received endorsements from governors. This includes Maine (4 electoral votes), New Jersey (14 electoral votes), and Florida (29 electoral votes). Does Trump need to put a lot of effort in these states to win? Maybe, but it may not be as necessarily as one might think.

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Trump's Path to 270: How He Can Win the White House

With Donald Trump as the presumptive nominee, it’s time for him to make some decisions about where to start campaigning a little harder. 270ToWin is a great resource for everyone to simulate presidential elections. This year, there’s a setting that allows you to see which states are considered (at least according to this site) battleground states. From there, you can test out your strategy and see if winning certain states will help your candidate. I decided to have a little fun and do this myself. I’ve also done an analysis of what would be beneficial to Trump.

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My Predictions for April 2016 GOP Primaries

Like it or not, Donald Trump is most likely going to win the Republican Party’s nomination before there is a chance for a contested or brokered convention. April has 309 delegates to allocate, mostly winner-take-all or winner-take-most. How are things going to look? Here are my predictions for each state in April.

I will update with new predictions before each primary is held and publish them sometime before each primary.

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Economic Analysis of Oregon's Gubernatorial Election: Oregon Voted for the Wrong Candidate

As everybody knows, election day was this month. This day was a chance for Oregon to move forward in the right direction. Below is a picture of how the gubernatorial election went in Oregon. Even though the majority of the state, in terms of counties, voted for Dennis Richardson, John Kitzhaber won the higher populated areas of Portland and Eugene. In the form of an economic analysis, complete with what we can expect, here’s why Oregon chose poorly.

Oregon is always called a blue state, but results always say otherwise.

Oregon is always called a blue state, but county results usually say otherwise. (Click to Enlarge)

What Oregon Had at Stake

Oregon had a lot riding on this election. More jobs, better education, and less waste of money. These were desperately wanted in Oregon. Now that John Kitzhaber is serving a fourth term, the issues Oregonians really care about will most likely not be addressed. At least, not for the next four years. It was very clear: Under Kitzhaber, we had higher unemployment than the national average and our high school graduation rates were pretty low compared to the rest of America. Under Richardson, we would have someone doing their best to see that all of these things were improved. In order to economically survive as a state, the state needs to ensure that jobs are available to those seeking employment, education is nothing less than top quality, and that state money is carefully monitored.

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