Serf City has a new, yet familiar, home… the Manhattan Libertarian website!
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Snowden German TV Interview Jan 2014
Check out LPNY Convention videos #4: David Andrew Gay’s on government, liberty, social morality and freedom
Check out videos from LPNY Convention #3–Joanne Naughton of LEAP addresses the LPNY 2013 Convention on the evils of the drug war.
Two minute introduction from LPNY State Chair, Mark Axinn.
Volume much better for Joanne than it is for Mark.
Karen’s portion of the speakers’ presentation can be seen online at: http://youtu.be/3dwLzB0kFxI
Spoke to the NY LIbertarian Party Convention
(Speech starts after LPNY introduction, by LPNY Chair Mark Axinn @ 7:00
April 27, 2013, at the Rhinecliff Hotel, Rhinecliff NY
On May 14, Libertarian Party elder statesman Gary Greenberg spoke to the Manhattan LP meeting on the subject of why Libertarians lose elections and what we need to do to win.
While there were a few early victories at the national level, most elected Libertarians for the past forty years have won small local offices. Typically, their victories resulted more from being personally known in the jurisdiction rather than having sold Libertarian values. Mister Greenberg, a veteran campaigner and New York party leader himself, has come up with significant insight into how to move the Libertarian party forward.
Refreshingly, Greenberg did not waste time whining about lack of media coverage or campaign finance laws, hurdles that while real, are out of the party’s control. After forty years, he cites the LP’s biggest challenge: we have not established a coherent identity in the public mind. While some voters may think of us as “gun nuts” or anti-big-government, most Americans cannot state what the Libertarian party stands for. (Like me, Greenberg observes that the same is becoming true of the Republicans and Democrats as well.) Even when a Libertarian position aligns with mainstream voters, we are easily drowned out by the major party bullhorns.
While the Libertarian party is the most successful 3rd party in America, other parties such as the Greens and the Right to Life Party have eclipsed the LP in media attention and votes by creating a strong identity or organizing around a single issue.
Applying these observations and his own campaign experiences, Mister Greenberg says the way forward for the LP is to stake out territory that reflects libertarian values, but upon which the major parties dare not tread. While quick to say these are not the only possibilities, he came up with three compelling examples:
- “90/90”: A proposal that no more than 90% of public employees should make more than 90% of the wages for the same jobs in the private economy. Because of their dependence on public union votes and union benevolence in general, Democrats and Republicans would have to publicly reject this idea, but it has common sense appeal to voters. 90/90 expresses the LP’s value of limited government with a specific proposal that can be publicized all year every year, building an identity in the public mind.
- “All schools, all vouchers”: Again, school choice is popular with voters, but no Democrat or Republican candidate could take a view so threatening to the union/government oligarchy, so the LP will stand apart.
- Mister Greenberg’s third proposal was “Zero% Sales Tax”. Most people understand the cruel and regressive nature of the sales tax, but Democrats and Republicans would never support slashing a major funding source.
These positions share qualities of catchiness, coherence with political philosophy, and common sense appeal. Mister Greenberg believes that if the LP stresses a few clear and unique positions in a memorable way at year-round events as well as during elections, we will finally become the go-to party for the defense of individual rights our founders envisioned.
Conventional wisdom says a vote for a third party candidate is a wasted vote. The Free Agent posits that in New York this November, the only way your vote will count is if it’s cast for a third party candidate.
The Free Agent probably shouldn’t say this, spokesmodel that she is for the Manhattan Libertarian Party, but this November, New York will cast its 29 electoral votes for Mister Obama. The city of New York in particular absolutely adores him. Gothamites will pay forty thousand dollars just to watch the man chew groceries. The poor, immigrants, lower middle class, middle middle class, young people, old people, they not only love Mister Obama, but they are thoroughly conditioned to believe they are incapable of renting an apartment, seeing a doctor, or selecting a beverage without a politician’s guidance and a lawyer’s business card. Mister Obama will carry New York. If you vote for him, your vote is wasted.
If you don’t want Mister Obama to renew his lease on the Executive Mansion, you might be tempted to vote Republican, but a vote for Mister Romney says nothing. Are you demanding X% or X+10% growth in the defense budget? If you favor the repeal of Pee-Pee Ca-Ca, with no replacement, Mister Romney has promised he will replace it, presumably with the not-uncoincidentally named Romneycare. Do you want an end to federal attacks on legal marijuana producers? Would you have the USA Patriot Act repealed? Would you like to see business and state as separate as church and same? Your vote for Mister Romney communicates none of that. Your vote is wasted.
The Free Agent suggests New Yorkers choose one of two candidates whose votes will actually communicate your desires (if anyone bothers to count votes in New York, which they don’t always do). A vote for Socialist Party USA’s Stewart Alexander loudly proclaims Mister Obama has not been aggressive enough in demolishing the constitutional limits to federal power, while a vote for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson says you want the federal leviathan poked back into its constitutional cage.
You know The Free Agent will urge you to vote for Governor Gary Johnson, a candidate she has supported both with her limited resources and her shoe leather. A vote for Mister Johnson could not be more unequivocal—your vote says you demand an immediate end to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (or did every single soldier return home by last Christmas as the current Commander-in-Chief promised?) as well as the devastating war the US has been fighting against its own citizens dubbed by Richard Nixon, the ‘War on Drugs’. Your vote will acknowledge that a third of the federal budget must be cut, and accept that many lives will be disrupted, but that living on borrowed money is passing unearned consumption of today onto non-consenting taxpayers of the future. Voting for Mister Johnson communicates that you jealously defend your rights and the rights of others, and want the natural consequence of those rights—peace and prosperity.
Still, The Free Agent would rather you vote for the Socialist than either of the major party candidates. If what you want to say is that all humans are part of one collective, that we should all reap the same rewards regardless of our ability to pay for them, if you favor “putting workers and consumers in control of the economy” and—to be fair—repealing the USA Patriot Act—if you consider Mister Obama a traitor to the march of history for failing to create a political health-care monopoly, say it with a vote for Mister Alexander.
Can’t bring yourself to vote for either a Libertarian or a Socialist? You still don’t have to vote for a Republicrat. Tick or write in ‘None of the Above’, and your silence will speak volumes.