Two people can always find a difference of opinion. My wife and I agree on many things but we have arguments and fights. How can we expect hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people to agree on everything? Of course, we can’t. The Libertarian Party has this problem. I learned a lot at the National Convention. Within the 800+ people, there were 800+ opinions. There were several different groups or caucuses. The Pragmatic Caucus, the Radical Caucus, the Audacious Caucus, the Mises Caucus, and even a Socialist Caucus, all had energetic men and women supporting their particular kind of Libertarian Philosophy. Add to that the various supporters of this or that candidate. As Libertarians, we pride ourselves on our individuality. What else would you expect from a group that purports to believe that we own ourselves? On many occasions, I saw people come together and agree, and I saw people passionately disagree. One of the best statements I heard at the convention was something like, “We are on a 3,000-mile trip and we Libertarians like to argue about the last three miles.” I loved that analogy.
What I propose is that we stop arguing with each other about the last 1,000 miles and work with others until the last 2,000. No, I am not expecting a big hug where we all get along. Nor am I asking you to drop your deeply held beliefs. What I am saying is that we stop eating our own. I work for Adam Kokesh, I love his ideas, and some other people may not. I don’t like Bill Weld, and will never vote for him. Can I find things to agree with him about? Absolutely! Why would I want to continue focusing on tearing him down, he is not sending millions to die for lies. He is not funding campaigns to keep medicines like cannabis out of the hands of veterans.
My energies are better spent focused on my goals. My goal is simple; I want my children to live in a Freedom. That goal implies to me that each of us owns ourselves. It also implies that I oppose force, coercion, and violence. You would think that as Libertarians we could all agree on those points. Each of us acknowledges a pledge when we become members of the party it reads- “I hereby certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals.” With that pledge, it is safe to say we will all agree for the first 2,000 miles of the journey towards what we see as the purpose of our political involvement.
Above I said outside of the LP I also am seeking to walk this road with others the first 1,000 miles. As a member of the Libertarian Party, I have been told that I am supposed to oppose both the Republicans and Democrats. On many issues I do. Again, why should I focus on them? I believe in our ideas and I think if presented to the American people they would agree as well. Our ideas should be allowed to compete. I get that the old parties are trying to stop that. Trust me, I see it every day as I reach out to the media for Adam. But, why should I attack people when they agree with me on something. We need to stop attacking possible allies like Rand Paul, Thomas Massie, or Austin Peterson. Beyond that, we should look to work together on issues we can agree on. If a Democrat is doing something to support legalization of marijuana, we should show that we care about that issue too. When a Republican is standing up for gun rights, we should stand beside him or her. We know that they are not consistent. It is time to show that we are. If we are not attending the gatherings no one will ever see that. As activists, it is time to be active, and that cannot be contained in an echo chamber.
I recently wrote an article on the Sioux warrior Red Cloud. He was the only Native American leader to ever win a war against the United States. Not a battle, a two-year war. The government signed a treaty after that war and gave Red Cloud everything he wanted unconditionally. Sure, they eventually broke that promise, which is what the State does. This tactical genius defeated the American Army with a decentralized force whose primary weapons were clubs and bows. How did he do it? He was victorious, simply by uniting different tribes against the common enemy. He also used the weight of the cost of war against them. Our Tribes need to unite and let the weight of the State collapse on itself.
As Libertarians, we need to start using the tools we have. At a discussion about capitalism, send in the free market champions in the Mises Caucus. When socialists gather, let our Socialist Caucus, pull them to our side. If we need to stay focused on the core principles that founded this party, the Radical Caucus is there to defend them. If extreme measures are needed, bring out the dildos and let the Audacious Caucus shine. When those Rs and Ds start to ask about us, the Pragmatic Caucus will help them find their way. By working together we can be far more than a major party; we can be an unstoppable political force.
I know that I have been just as guilty as anyone about attacking, but I am trying. We will all make mistakes. Also, we should have our disagreements; just try not to do it publically. Focus on the enemy, a centralized all-powerful government, and keep the arguments among ourselves behind our own doors. The divide and conquer tactics that the Republicans and Democrats are using are effective. It is up to us to limit their effect. Just imagine if what annoys you about the other kind Libertarian wasn’t working against you but for you. As the “Party of Principle” and the defenders of individual rights “It Is Time To Unite Our Principles To Defend The Individual.”