Monday, October 16, 2017

What’s Wrong with the Libertarian Party?

What’s Wrong with the Libertarian Party?

 By Kimberly McCurry

The infighting in the Libertarian Party is at one of the highest levels many long time members have seen in years.  It’s at a level that has many new members questioning their commitment to the party.

Toward the beginning of the Obama Administration people seemed to feel that the Libertarian Party was Republicans who like to smoke weed.  Today it seems that the party has turned to being liberals that don’t like taxes.  The stress has increased with the extreme right and the extreme left movements that are outside of the party causing those that lean each way to argue about whose side to take – if any.  On top of that there are those who are arguing with both sides within the party, that both sides outside of the party are equally as bad.

And these are just the current events.  Since the beginning there has been a struggle between those that simply want to reduce government with those that want to remove it.  Usually this is because many of those wanting to remove government are overly militant with defending violence against those in the government as self-defense because they are aggressing through the government, making it difficult for the peaceful ones to convince people that life would not be overly violent without government.

So – what is wrong with the Libertarian Party that they cannot easily unite?  Why can’t they work together?  What is leadership doing so wrong they are attacked every day?

The answer is actually nothing in particular.

But then why all the extreme infighting?  Well, there are several reasons.

Besides the proportionally few actual harassment issues with in parties (which parties do NEED to address); more people are either getting involved in politics, or simply complaining about it.  With more people involved, more opinions are thrown into the mix – and they don’t always coincide with each other.  This is not unique to the Libertarian Party.  The old parties (the Republican and Democrat Parties) have the same issues, they’ve simply been around longer so they have a more solid “establishment” to maintain a more unified appearance.  But that is the word…appearance.  Those that are complaining about them have either been fiercely fighting with in their parties or leaving to one that makes more sense to them now.

Leaving a party does not mean that they have necessarily changed (it could be that-but the parties have known to shift in policy support over the years also).  Parties shift stances over the course of several years, however, the Libertarian Party tends to swing a little faster because whenever one party is in control of the government, more people from the losing side get frustrated with their own party, and decide to come to the best possibility at changing things-the 3rd largest party-the Libertarian Party.

This causes the LP to see more fluctuation than the established parties, and can cause more strife.  But the real issue even lies deeper than different factions within a party.  There will always be factions, but the swing of difference shouldn’t be as wide as they are in the larger 3 to 4 parties.

The issue is our government being set up to be more of a 2 party system than truly representative.  It causes smaller groups of people to join with larger groups of people that may not be the best fit for them, just to attempt to balance their ideas out.  If we had more parties that better represented ideas people had, there would be more cohesions within the parties.  Yes, there would still be infighting, but there would be more choices.  And perhaps a voter could finally find  the one they fit with best.  In addition, if there were more parties to choose from, if individuals do find they are being harassed or mistreated by an organization they could more easily leave than have to deal with an abusive “relationship”.

The infighting of all parties are caused by the election system we have and there are ways to change this. Perhaps, instead of talking about who will control each party; maybe people should be working together to make the environment more friendly for more parties.  If there was a party that nearly represented the majority of voters we wouldn’t have 40% of registered voters not voting each election – because they have someone they can vote for.

We may be able to get a few people in here and there but until we tackle the issues keeping us from breaking the glass ceilings of the political party class we will stay stuck in a cycle that forces us to pick and choose from options that may not be right for us individually; and people may continue to blame the minor parties for not succeeding versus the system that holds them back.  Would tactics need to change for this to happen?  Definitely, but this does not mean that the parties need to change their platforms.

The United States needs to break the yolk of the 2 party system in order to move our country forward in a system that is run by the people versus a system by oligarchy.  Hopefully the minor parties of the country can at least work together for ballot initiatives where possible to pass election reforms such as Ranked Choice Voting and Independent Redistricting.  Focusing on a few collective proposals could be the change the system needs in order for more people to feel they are truly being represented instead of feeling marginalized just to make the smallest things happen.  There are active groups working on the two initiatives mentioned already, and not all of the choices are going to be exactly what everyone wants in them, but imagine what these proposals could do for the representation of the people.

Over all there may be some things that are wrong with the Libertarian Party, but what an individual may find wrong with it may simply be that it is not the right party for them.  If you are questioning the party you are working with, you can check out www.isidewith.com.  The quiz even lets you see how you align with parties.  Not all parties are listed but the site can help you see what friends you align with too and you can ask them who they work with.  The main thing is to find a group you CAN work with in order to continue to represent you the best.

Kimberly McCurry a former officer of a state Libertarian Party who seeks a serious effort in the Liberty movement in taking over political committees through elections throughout the country.