I had an hour free this afternoon so I dropped in to visit the Libertarian State Leadership Alliance conference here in Austin to see what was going on and have a little fun.
What was going on was a schedule of meetings and planning sessions and a meeting of the national board of the Libertarian Party. Dry stuff, but I got to chat with some nice libertarians during a break, including the redoubtable George Phillies who is making another run at the party chairmanship, and I wish him the best of luck.
My main source of amusement for the visit was the distribution of flyers promoting Liberty Republican candidates in the Texas GOP primary. I would put them out on the flyer table and the next LP loyalist to wander buy would throw them in the trash. I’d snake them out of the trash and put them out again, then the next LPer would throw them back in the trash. It was fun, but futile, so following the best dictates of guerilla marketing I put them up in the mens restrooms where reading material is always welcome.
I also got to observe an amusing bit of irony when I saw yard signs for Libertarian candidates for governor Steve Nichols and Jeff Daiell, which featured the exact same design (see left), a reminder of how utterly meaningless it is to run for any major office as a Libertarian. They aren’t even trying hard enough to bother to think up their own sign designs. I suppose there’s not much point in working too hard on signs for a token candidacy to win a nomination which will give you a chance to capture a scant 1 or 2 percent of the vote in the general election. These campaigns aren’t about accomplishing anything or winning office, they’re about ego gratification and ideological posturing. They reminded me why I left the Libertarian Party. With dramatically declining membership and less and less money to work with, the party’s time has passed and it’s just going through the motions, rather like a chicken that keeps running around after its head is chopped off.
Whether they will admit it or not, the future of the liberty movement lies with the Republican Party, with both the good and the bad which that reality brings with it. I suppose that means that my flyers were kind of like rubbing salt in an open wound, but if my nose tweaking can wake even a few of them up, that will be step in the right direction. There are a lot of great people in the Libertarian Party and I hate to see them following the rutted path to oblivion.