Sunday, March 18, 2018

Admitting My Error

I think I've made a mistake.

I think I continued to make it for almost two decades.

I used to be that guy who showed up at every LP meeting and invited everyone who was in attendance to make that next step, and to join the LP. I sent well over 1,200 new or renewal memberships to the LP between 1996 and 2016.

I think it was a mistake because the LP's membership efforts -- mine included -- have been too successful...

Too successful at enlisting people who Just Don't Get It.

In the seventies, even many minarchists would have been at great pains to describe even one government regulation that they agreed with; and which they could justify being left among the powers allowed to government.

Now we have self-styled "Libertarian anarchists" who have no trouble suggesting that there are, indeed, government regulations that have a libertarian justification for supporting them.

In the past week, I have read commentary by two people I have known for a long time, saying that there is a libertarian case to be made for preventing people under 21 from owning a firearm.

A month ago, a whole bunch of self-styled "anarchists" -- not to mention "libertarians" jumped on the "under 18 cannot consent" bandwagon -- despite the fact that it is just another government regulation like any other.

We appear to have a deep-seated misunderstanding of what anarchism and even libertarianism actually mean.

You become a libertarian when you understand that it's wrong to run the lives of others.

You become an anarchist when you understand that there simply are no exceptions.

We have spent the last forty years allowing ourselves to swallow Leviathan's propaganda that "it's for the children!!" and that only Leviathan can ever be the arbiter of who is competent to own a weapon, drive a car, have sex, take drugs, or set up a business.

We have become Leviathan's "good little junior partner" in the charade.

How far we have fallen.

I am deeply sorry for my error.  My penance is that I am going to take a long break from recruiting LP members, at least until I can find a better way to enlist the people who are already out there in the millions who completely understand that the entire construct of our government is one big fraud and long con.

The LP is not talking to them.  Instead, we're talking to valium-popping
socialist soccer moms and beer-swilling sports-bar union thug dads -- who both joined the Leviathan parties when they were in their teens either because that's what their parents were or because they were rebelling against what their parents were.

We've spent forty years talking to that audience, and the result has been 40 years of banging around between 10,000 and 25,000 annual donors.

There must be more.  We need a quarter-million annual donors, and walking softly isn't getting us introduced to them.

We need to be offensive to the rest to appeal to the best.

And make no mistake, Libertarian ideas themselves are TOXIC to Republicans and Democrats.  You can't make them like it; nor can you make them not be offended by our ideas.  They are simply not capable of any other reaction.  We should stop trying to be inoffensive and non-threatening to them, because in doing so, we sell our real cohort down the river -- without any benefit to us.

It appears to be reality that the LP is now on a path from which it will not easily diverge.  There are vanishingly few Libertarians who understand that we're ignoring our core market -- and they're getting more and more scarce every day.

Arvin Vohra, who has been trying something very different, will be replaced at the national convention in 2018 with someone far more milquetoasty who will go in the exact opposite direction.

The die is cast, and it will likely stay cast.

The LP is now part of the "loyal" opposition.

It has become a whipped puppy -- instead of the junkyard dog that it was supposed to be.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Tips for Potential National Convention Delegates / 2018

So You Want to Be a National Convention Delegate!
By Marc Montoni, LP Radical Caucus


Really, in most states, being a supporting member of your state and national Libertarian Party costs $50 or less for both.

I am in favor of all delegates being allowed to do their jobs without being required to pay a floor fee; however, I am also in favor of requiring **every** delegate to be a dues-paid member of **both** the national and state parties (at least -- in many areas they could also be supporting a local committee as well).

You can help us eliminate the Deformer's "freeloader" argument by making sure you have made at least the basic dues donation for both your national and state membership.


You are not required to purchase a package to attend only the Business Session under the LP Bylaws;but be aware that in some years various LNC members attempt to require a hefty fee.

BAD IDEA: Forget to register.

Your state LP sends its delegate list to the Credentials Committee, and it is the members of the CC who decide who is qualified to take part on the convention floor.

DO NOT fail to verify that the Credentials Committee has credentialed you, especially if you're planning to attend only the Business Session.

BAD IDEA: To forget your colleagues are human.  Trust, but verify.


The convention website says the LP convention rate is sold out.  However, there are people looking for roommates, and there are alternative hotels nearby.

If you seek roommates, begin seeking them now.  The below page was established for the '14 cnvention but people are still using it for this one:

or perhaps:

BAD IDEA: Waiting until the last minute to make your travel plans.

The above Facebook group has rideshares offered & needed also.

BAD IDEA: Failing to figure out how you're getting there.

Find out what the procedure will to seek a delegation seat with your state LP.

If you don't win a delegate seat this year, then start working on the next cycle.  Have some accomplishment behind you.  Don't wait to organize a booth, do a fundraising round for the Party, recruit candidates and members, or organize your home precinct.  DO IT NOW.  Next week is too late; next month is too late.  Do nothing and show up at your state convention and those who have done their homework will be first in line for those precious delegate seats -- ahead of YOU.  Get away from the computer, get off the couch, and engage in a real political act.

BAD IDEA: Ignoring your state party's convention call.

SHOW UP at your state LP convention, with your LP activity resume in hand, and do what you need to do to be among those considered for a delegate seat.  This is a fairly complete schedule:

BAD IDEA: Failing to show up.

Do a thorough read of the Delegation Chair's Manual.


Study up on the Convention Committee structure:


Here are the Delegate Allocations by state:


BAD IDEA: Remaining unfamiliar with or clueless about convention procedures.

Read through the current LP Platform, such as it is:


It's a lot shorter that it used to be, and it says a lot less.  Not a bad idea to pick a couple of previous platforms so you understand what used to be in it:


BAD IDEA: Not being fairly familiar with what the Party actually says.

Take anything said about the LP platform and how it "compares" with the platforms of other parties with a grain of salt.  Review the opposition's platform(s)for yourself:


BAD IDEA: Remaining ignorant of what our competition has in their platforms.

BAD IDEA: Allowing the individuals on the Platform Committee -- some of whom want us to say nothing about anything -- to make up your mind for you.

a)  Check out who is on the Platform Committee:


b)  Review what the majority on the Platform Committee has planned for the Platform; and keep in mind that a majority of the Platform Committee wants the LP platform to say very little:


c)  This committee had a meeting in March:


d)  Minutes from that March meeting:


Familiarize yourself with the current LP Bylaws:

BAD IDEA: Remaining unfamiliar with the current LP Bylaws.

a)  Check out who is on the Bylaws Committee:


b)  Study the Bylaws Proposals from the Bylaws Committee, and be sure to review any comments on each proposal:


BAD IDEA: Taking every idea in the Bylaws Committee Report at face value.  Some items will have a hidden agenda.

13: Get yourself a copy of Roberts Rules In Brief; optionally the full text of Roberts Rules.

Watch "Parliamentary procedure made simple: how to conduct a meeting".  Available at most large-ish public libraries.  Example:

If you can't find it at your local library, don't forget your municipality's law library, as well as school and college libraries.  I saw a few university copies available on this search:

BAD IDEA: Complaining when parliamentary tricks are used to silence and bypass you, and you don't know how to counter them.

BAD IDEA: Relying on the advice of "Registered Parliamentarians", who can't seem to understand the part of their training that dictates they must recuse themselves from offering opinions if they have a stake in what they are interpreting.

BAD IDEA: Relying on the advice of witch-doctor shamans who want you to believe they have special insight *you* could not possibly have.

I don't go because I think all of my ideas, candidates for LNC positions, or whatever will all win.  I go because I want to see that crazy remnant I enjoy spending time with so much.  Go for the drinking games, the parties and the socializing, and have a good time.

See you there!

-- end --

Originally written January 2008, by Marc Montoni <>, for the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus.  This version released 2018.  License to use hereby granted under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported. See .  All use of this or derivative works must include an unedited copy of this attribution statement as well as an unedited copy of the above original article (if used in a derivative work).
For more information about the Radical Caucus, see or see the Facebook group  .