The 1977 Libertarian Party National Convention
, by Tom Avery, Tom G. Palmer, Libertarian Review
, Oct 1977
Recounts the main events of the convention, highlighting several of the speakers and their messages
More than 1200 people attended the largest libertarian political gathering of modern times: the Sixth Annual National Convention of the Libertarian Party at the Sheraton Palace Hotel in San Francisco ... Everywhere were signs of activity and growth, symbolized by the attendance itself: 100 people attended the first LP National Convention in Denver, in 1972; 200 showed up in Cleveland in 1973, followed by 300 in Dallas in 1974, 500 in New York in 1975, and 600 in Washington, D.C. in 1976. The attendance of over 1200 at the San Francisco convention was a great leap forward, and the trend promises to continue into the future.
Aaron Russo's extremism in defense of liberty
, by Anthony Gregory, Rational Review
, 18 May 2004
Compares the pluses and minuses of the major 2004 Libertarian Party presidential candidates and explains why he endorses Russo
The Libertarian Party has for years had candidates who have tried to "sell" liberty, and who have tried to tell Americans why their lives would be better with deregulated energy providers ... Most Americans do not like seeing the killing in the news, the Gestapo in the airport ... The American people are scared. The Libertarian Party needs to stand up with them and say its scared too. The party needs to stop talking about repealing seatbelt laws at least long enough to give proportional attention to the illegal detentions, the unprovoked wars, and the total obliteration of the Bill of Rights that we're seeing today.
The Barr Campaign At Three Months
, by David Nolan
, 26 Aug 2008
Follow-up discussion of the Bob Barr presidential campaign three months after the nomination (and 10 weeks before the election)
Polls by the Zogby organization show Bob Barr pulling as much as 5% of the popular vote nationwide, and double that in some states. If this materializes we should all be excited, but early polls usually show third-party candidates getting two to four times the vote they actually receive in November. I still hope and expect Barr to receive the highest vote total of any Presidential candidate to date (i.e. more than 921,000) and think he is likely to exceed our best percentage showing (1.06% in 1980). This will require about 1.3 million votes, but I think it could happen. [Actual 2008 vote total for Barr: 523,715]
Begrudging Another Battle of Ballot-Boxing
, by Kenneth R. Gregg, 23 Nov 2006
Explains how those seeking power through politics are led to compromise, even if they are members of a group espousing principles over expediency, and urges others not to ballot-box but instead vote in the marketplace and the social realm
Once one person or party is chosen, then they are in power until another vote takes place ... Unlike the marketplace ... The Chosen One can do pretty much what he wants to do until re-election comes back around... What if The Chosen One is ... a member of the Libertarian Party? ... But the Libertarian Party can only go so far and no more in promoting libertarianism. Libertarians are human, and political institutions direct thoughts and energies toward specific goals; not only because it is political power which is sought, but because it is the prospect of obtaining power which directs the energies of the LP.
The Case For a Libertarian Political Party
, by David Nolan
, The Individualist
, Aug 1971
A few months before founding the Libertarian Party, Nolan presents his rationale for establishing a new political party, after discussing four other libertarian activist strategies and admitting that "political approaches are inherently coercive"
First, third-party candidates CAN win ... Even at the national-government level, it happens occasionally. Third-party candidates have been elected to Congress more than one hundred times in this century ... And second, "winning" (in the sense of electing someone to office) is not the only reason for having a political party — especially in the short term sense ... All of which leads this writer inexorably to the conclusion that the time has come for us to form our own party. We have the numbers to mount a meaningful effort, nationwide. We have both a desire and a need to achieve visible results.
Cast a Giant Ballot
, by Clifford F. Thies, The Freeman
, Oct 1997
Memorial and biographical essay on Roger MacBride, discussing his influence on the early Libertarian Party as well as his involvement in the Little House
In 1971, the Libertarian Party was organized because of the argument that neither of the major parties was committed to liberty, and the naïve idea that a few people—none of whom commanded any significant resources—could do something about it. A philosophy professor (John Hospers) was nominated for president, and a cub reporter (Toni Nathan) covering the party's first convention for vice president. These candidates were placed on the ballots of only two ... states. Including write-ins from other states, the ticket got 8,000 popular votes out of 77 million cast, not even as many as were received by the Prohibition Party's ticket.
Clark, Ed (1930-)
, by David Boaz
, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism
, 15 Aug 2008
In 1978, he stood as the Libertarian candidate for governor of California, winning 377,960 votes, or about 5.5% of the total cast. That success led to his selection as the party's 1980 presidential nominee. Along with running mate David Koch, ... he appeared on all 50 state ballots and that of the District of Columbia, an unprecedented achievement for a third-party campaign ... Clark received 920,000 votes (about 1.1%). Although the campaign was successful in some ways, ... the results were disappointing. Following the 1980 campaign, many of Clark's key supporters appear to have lost interest in the party, and a number of them drifted away.
Clark For President: A Report on the 1980 Libertarian Presidential Campaign
, by Ed Crane
(Communications Director), Chris Hocker (National Coordinator), Dec 1980
Post-mortem analysis of the Clark campaign, focusing on what the authors consider were the ten most important aspects, and in terms of what was learned that could be useful to later campaigns
We want to use this opportunity to express our appreciation for the fine work of the individuals on the National Staff of the campaign whose names are listed on the following page as well as for the efforts of each State Chair, State Coordinator, ballot drive worker, and individual Libertarian volunteer activist who made truly heroic contributions to this campaign. This nationwide team of thousands of dedicated, effective people should serve the Libertarian movement well in the years ahead. ... Growth and development of state Libertarian organizations was one of the areas of greatest accomplishment of the Clark campaign.
Conventional unwisdom: The Life of the Party, part 19
, by Thomas L. Knapp, Rational Review
, 1 Jun 2004
Commentary on "machinations" at the 2004 Libertarian National Convention, particularly about the three main presidential candidates (Michael Badnarik, Gary Nolan and Aaron Russo), followed by a resignation letter from the LP
Which brings me to my own decision regarding the national LP ... I got one message from the convention: Of the three top candidates for the presidential nomination, only one had ever achieved any notable political success in the past ... Of the candidates for the LP's vice-presidential nomination, only one had ever achieved any notable political success in the past ... The lesson: If you've ever actually achieved anything politically, the LP is not interested in you. If you've demonstrated potential to achieve anything politically, the LP is not interested in you. The LP is not interested in success, period.
David F. Nolan - The Advocates for Self-Government
Includes photo, biography and the essay "Nolan: Innovator for Liberty" by James W. Harris
In 1971, he wrote a breakthrough article for SIL's monthly magazine, The Individualist, entitled "The Case for a Libertarian Political Party." The same month that article appeared — August, 1971 — Richard Nixon went on television to announce that he was demonetizing the dollar and imposing a "freeze" on wages and prices ... Disgusted, Dave and a group of his friends in Colorado decided to explore the idea of forming a new political party ... Over the next four months, they contacted other libertarians around the country, and on December 11, 1971 — in Dave Nolan's living room — the Libertarian Party was born.
David Nolan: An Appreciation
, by Thomas L. Knapp, 25 Nov 2010
A memorial tribute to Nolan, his chart and his involvement with the libertarian movement and the LP
While anarchists and "left" libertarians tend toward a negative view of electoral politics, and therefore of the Libertarian Party as such, few among us would deny the LP's value as a gateway leading from politics to anti-politics ... In proposing formation of the LP, [Nolan] listed six objectives, all concerned with building and growing a libertarian movement with a sense of its own identity. Only in the final sentence of his call, seemingly as an afterthought, did he mention that "finally, there is always the possibility that we might actually get some libertarians elected."
Defending the Undefendable: Walter Block, Twenty Years Later
, by Walter Block
, Alberto Mingardi, Laissez Faire City Times
, 7 Dec 1998
In addition to discussing Defending the Undefendable
, covers issues such as entertainment, Ayn Rand, Hazlitt, the Libertarian Party and Murray Rothbard
I advocate voting for the Libertarian Party. I would do so myself were I to vote, but I'm much too lazy to do any such thing ... The only member of the Republican party I am aware of who is a libertarian is Ron Paul, representative from Texas (and former LP presidential candidate) ... As to the LP, they aren't perfect (e.g., every candidate doesn't always agree with me on everything — I'm just kidding). But by and large they have remained true to libertarianism, and I am very pleased with them. I speak at LP functions, and donate money to them.
Election 2006: A War Referendum
, by Justin Raimondo
, 16 Oct 2006
Discusses the then forthcoming 2006 U.S. congressional elections as a referendum on the Iraq War and commentary from Markos Moulitsas and Nick Gillespie in a Cato Unbound debate titled "Should Libertarians Vote Democrat?"
Libertarians are all too familiar with the election laws that prohibit third parties from offering an electoral alternative to the two-party monopoly ... The reality is that libertarians must work within one of the two major parties to achieve their goals: I won't go into the case for or against the Libertarian Party as a strategic option, except to say that the LP has effectively eliminated itself as a contender by throwing out most of its platform, and, in the process, ending the appeal it once had to anyone seeking a coherent alternative to the bipartisan mush of major party politics.
Enemy of the State
, by Lew Rockwell
, Mises Daily
, 24 Nov 2006
Review of Raimondo's biography of Rothbard, An Enemy of the State
, analyzing several of the conventional critiques of Rothbard that are countered in the book; includes quote of Rothbard to Robert Kephart about the Rothbard's life choices
Let's fast-forward ... to the presidential elections of the 1990s ... Rothbard then rooted for Bush against Clinton ... Many libertarians ... were shocked by his non-interest in the Libertarian Party nominee. But by that time, Rothbard was convinced that the LP was running a presidential campaign in name only, that it was a clique devoted not to real political education but to organizational maintenance ... Murray was hooted down during a convention when he rose to speak on behalf of his candidate for party chairman ... because his candidate was too bourgeois and too middle class, despite being politically radical.
Former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel joins Libertarian Party ranks: Believes Democrats are out of touch with American citizens
, 25 Mar 2008
Libertarian Party press release, including comments from Gravel, Bob Barr and the Libertarian Party Executive Director Shane Cory
Mike Gravel, a former Alaskan Senator ..., has joined the Libertarian Party. "... the Libertarian Party ... is a party that combines a commitment to freedom and peace that can't be found in the two major parties ...," says Gravel. "My libertarian views, as well as my strong stance against war, the military industrial complex and American imperialism, seem not to be tolerated by Democratic Party elites who are out of touch with the average American; elites that reject the empowerment of American citizens I offered to the Democratic Party at the beginning of this presidential campaign ..."
Give Them Libertarianism, and a Moving Van: For 4,800 people seeking a bastion of hands-off rule, the most alluring state has the motto 'Live Free or Die'
, by Seth Stern, The Christian Science Monitor
, 17 Oct 2003
Describes the beginnings of the Free State Project, shortly after New Hampshire was selected as the destination state
The Democratic Party hasn't been much of a presence here since the Civil War. And an antitax platform has been a GOP staple here for half a century ... The New Hampshire Libertarian Party could certainly use a boost. Their candidate for governor got just 13,028 last November and the number of Libertarians in the legislature have fallen from three to zero. Here in Keene, at Lindy's Diner, where President Bush cooked up a hamburger on a campaign stop four years ago, waitress Denise Vachon says she never even heard of the Libertarians before their gubernatorial candidate showed up last year.
Harry Browne, RIP
, by Lew Rockwell
, 3 Mar 2006
Discusses the impact and influence of Browne's first book, his involvement in Libertarian politics in the 1990s and his outspokenness after 9-11
He had never been a big enthusiast for the Libertarian Party but in 1996, he graciously threw his hat into the ring as an aspirant ... In 2000, he was an effective and dedicated candidate again ... How did his presidential bids do at the polls? About as well as most third-party candidates do in a two-party system ... However: it was also during this period that many people in the two parties began to fear the Libertarian vote on grounds that, as small as it might be, it was enough to make a margin of difference in any race. The LP went from being dismissed to being feared, and this was Harry's doing.
Hospers, John (1918-2011)
, by David Boaz
, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism
, 15 Aug 2008
In 1971, he published a comprehensive work, Libertarianism: A Political Philosophy for Tomorrow. That book and his academic stature made him the first presidential candidate of the fledgling Libertarian Party in 1972. On the ballot only in Colorado and Washington, he and vice presidential candidate Tonie Nathan nevertheless campaigned widely in major cities and on college campuses. They received only 3,671 official votes plus an unknown number of write-ins and had their greatest success when Virginia elector Roger L. MacBride cast his electoral vote for Hospers and Nathan instead of Nixon and Agnew.
How We Started "Liberty"
, by R. W. Bradford
, Sep 1992
Reflections on the fifth anniversary of publishing Liberty
We got two articles for our second issue that we thought might arouse considerable controversy: a sociological survey ... and Bill Moulton's essay attempting to put the Libertarian Party in historic perspective. (Moulton's essay concluded with a prophetic prognosis: "Factionalism and exhaustion, with an actual split [in the party] probably after the 1988 election." Less than a year after the election, longtime LP ideological leader Murray Rothbard left the LP and the libertarian movement, inviting other "paleolibertarians" to join him in the conservative wing of the Republican Party.)
In Praise of the Libertarian Party
, by Harry Browne
, 4 Jun 2004
Discusses the obstacles faced by the Libertarian Party due to the inherently two-party system, as well as the benefits of the LP presidential campaign
So why does the Libertarian Party run a presidential campaign? [Because] the candidate ... can do a great deal for the party ... He can promote name recognition for the word 'Libertarian,' so that millions of Americans realize that there are people trying to get the government out of our lives. This should be the major purpose of any Libertarian political campaign. By labeling specific proposals as "Libertarian," the candidate is telling hundreds of thousands of people that there's a party, a movement, a particular group of people offering to free you from the tired big-government proposals they hear from the Democrats and Republicans.
Interview with Robert Poole
, by Robert W. Poole, Jr.
, Karen Minto, William Minto, Full Context
, May 1999
Topics discussed range from Poole's early influences, Ayn Rand, getting interested in policy analysis, the Goldwater campaign, the LP, Reason Foundation, the professionals who helped him the most and his passion for privatization
When my friend Dave Nolan started the LP in 1971, I declined the invitation to the founding convention. I didn't think a third party was at all realistic as a vehicle for change. But after a year or so, many Reason subscribers got involved with it, so we started covering it in the magazine; for several years we even had a regular "Libertarian Party correspondent" column. I went to many of the conventions in the latter '70s and the '80s, often as a speaker on privatization (and occasionally on strategy). I also served on the platform committee a couple of times.
It Usually Begins With... Michael Badnarik?
, by Jerome Tuccille, 3 Jun 2004
Comments on the selection of Badnarik as the LP presidential nominee over the "rich and crazy" Aaron Russo
The Libertarian Party, faced with the opportunity to select a candidate for president who had millions to spend on his own campaign, who had achieved a measure of fame in Hollywood as a producer of films and a consort of celebrities on the order of Bette Midler, and someone else with no money and zero name recognition, chose ... well you know the answer ... The LP has displayed a genius for assigning itself a role in American politics akin to irrelevance ... as campaign 2004 unfolds ... and Ralph Nader continues to capture all the attention given to third-party candidates for the highest office in the land.
Jeff Riggenbach on Samuel Edward Konkin III
, by Jeff Riggenbach
, Freedom Network News
Lengthy biographical and memorial essay
[Konkin] became involved with the nascent Libertarian Party. As a delegate from New York City in 1973 and 1974, to the Cleveland and Dallas conventions respectively, Sam organized the original "radical caucus" within the party. Like its successor "radical caucus," founded in the late '70s by Murray Rothbard, Bill Evers, Eric Garris, and Justin Raimondo, it was designed to keep the party properly adherent to libertarian principle. But by late in 1974, Sam had given up on the idea that any such goal could be achieved. He publicly walked out of the party, taking a sizable chunk of its membership with him.
Joan Kennedy Taylor
, by Jeff Riggenbach
, 14 Jan 2011
Biographical essay, including a review of Taylor's book Reclaiming the Mainstream: Individualist Feminism Rediscovered
; transcript of "The Libertarian Tradition" podcasts of 28 Dec 2010 and 12 Jan 2011
To no one's surprise, she was elected by her fellow Massachusetts party members to become the only woman on the 20-member Platform Committee at the 1977 national Libertarian Party convention in San Francisco. Two years later, in 1979, a few months after she arrived in San Francisco ... she served as chair of the Platform Committee at the National Libertarian Party Presidential Nominating Convention in Los Angeles, the convention that nominated the ticket of Ed Clark and David Koch to represent the party in the 1980 presidential election ...
John Fund vs. the Truth
, by Justin Raimondo
, 26 Apr 2006
Discusses John Fund's writings against Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, an Afghani student at Yale University, and University of Michigan professor Juan Cole, who had been nominated to teach at Yale; plus a personal tale from Fund's past
Back in the late 1970s, ... Fund was active in the Libertarian Party, or was at least enough of a fellow traveler to make a 45-minute presentation at a party meeting announcing his decision to run for a school board seat in Sacramento, Calif., where he lived at the time. Libertarians were treated to subsequent reports of his campaign's fantastic progress, which was touted by Fund as a model for all libertarians to follow. It was a two-way race, and we were all told how it was even possible that Fund could win – which, for a tiny, albeit enormously ambitious political movement such as the LP at that time, was a Very Big Deal.
Keeping Libertarians Inside the Tent: Alienation avoidance
, by Randy Barnett
, National Review Online
, 22 Nov 2002
Responds to New York Times
16 Nov 2002 op-ed by John Miller complaining that Libertarians are "Democratic Party operatives" by offering suggestions that would make the Republican candidates more appealing to libertarian voters
I read with great interest John Miller's op-ed in the New York Times, "A Third Party on the Right" in which he complains about the close races that have been tipped to the Democrats by those voting for the Libertarian-party candidate. While I am not a libertarian who advises others to vote Libertarian, many of my libertarian friends and relatives feel otherwise ... What conservative Republicans often fail to realize is that libertarians are an important constituency that should not be ignored or taken for granted lest their votes be driven to the Libertarian party or even to the Democrats.
Laugh About It, Shout About It: To spoil or not to spoil in '04?
, by Julian Sanchez, Reason
, 1 Jun 2004
Discusses voting by libertarian-leaning individuals in the 2004 presidential election where LP candidate Badnarik was seen as a possible "spoiler" for the re-election of George W. Bush
A strong showing by LP candidate Michael Badnarik, arguably the least media savvy of the three, would almost certainly harm Bush more than Kerry. A recent Zogby International poll ... found self-identified libertarians backing Bush over Kerry at about the same rate as those who call themselves Republicans. But libertarians are scarcely enamored of the sitting president these days either, and the libertarian/GOP cuddlefest looks a bit more like a bad episode of Blind Date all the time ... Will a persistent libertarian spoiler create a Eugene V. Debs effect, pressuring one of the major parties to adopt some of our positions?
Lessons learned: Libertarian reflects on his campaign and offers advice
, by Richard Timberlake, Libertarian Party News
, Jan 1994
Describes the background to Timberlake's campaign for city-county commissioner against a Democrat incumbent, his campaign activities, analysis of results and suggestions for other LP candidates and the Party itself
Libertarian Party candidates have made many good suggestions from their experiences in running for public office. Yet even the successful foursome who were elected in New Hampshire seem not to realize how much of their success is due to their double endorsement by one of the major parties as well as the Libertarian Party. If the Libertarian Party would work to get two-party qualification in other states, and concentrate resources in states where double-qualifying is possible, Libertarian Party candidates would realize significant gains. Many well-meaning but unsophisticated voters need to know that Libertarians are not kooky ...
The Libertarian Legacy of Rose Wilder Lane
, by Jeff Riggenbach
, 14 Apr 2010
Biographical essay on both Rose Wilder Lane and Roger MacBride, transcript of "The Libertarian Tradition" podcast of 30 Mar 2010 titled "Roger MacBride and Rose Wilder Lane: A Libertarian Legacy"
[Roger] MacBride, had voted for John Hospers for president and Tonie Nathan for vice president — thus casting the first electoral vote ever cast for a woman and the first electoral vote ever won by the Libertarian Party ... It was also Roger MacBride who put the fledgling Libertarian Party on the political map in 1972 and represented it as its presidential nominee in the 1976 campaign against Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. In later years, MacBride abandoned the LP and went back to the Republican Party, within which he founded a libertarian organization, the Republican Liberty Caucus.
The Libertarian Party Stays the Course
, by Brian Doherty, Reason
, 3 Jun 2004
Detailed reporting and analysis of the 2004 Libertarian National Convention and the selection of Badnarik as the LP nominee
"We fight for freedom, which everyone wants, so why are we nowhere?" asked Libertarian Party (LP) presidential nomination hopeful Aaron Russo to a room of 30 or so supporters and potential supporters at the 2004 Libertarian Party National Convention ... At least he exhibited a style no previous LP candidate had really tried. And if there's one thing the LP seems to need after 30 years of failures and on a downhill trajectory, it's something it hasn't tried. Russo already had TV ads running on big networks in the Atlanta area—he was the first LP candidate ever to get a TV campaign rolling pre-nomination.
Libertarians of Will, Intellect, and Action
, by Murray Rothbard
, Jul 1977
Keynote address to the Libertarian Party Convention; based on the "Turning Point, 1777/1977" convention theme, compares the American Revolution against the British with the contemporary libertarian situation versus the state
At the last LP national convention in Washington ... one participant reported that everyone there seemed to be very smart, but if that's the case, how in the world will we ever win the masses of the non-smart? ... We are the institution that garners the publicity, that brings to enormous numbers of people their first knowledge of libertarianism and of the libertarian movement, that educates and ingathers the broad public and attracts and nurtures present and future libertarian activists and cadres. And, on top of all this, we are the only libertarian organization that can use the established institutions of the ballot box ...
Libertarians unite to elect Badnarik
, by Ron Strom, WorldNetDaily
, 14 Jul 2004
Presents quotes from a WorldNetDaily interview with Badnarik after his nomination, together with commentary on the 2004 presidential election
In 2000, Badnarik says, the "wasted-vote syndrome" was very acute ... Harry Browne, the Libertarian Party's nominee, only received 350,000 popular votes nationwide ... When asked why disenchanted Republicans should vote for him, Badnarik replied, "Because the Libertarian Party holds the values that people joined the Republican Party for in the first place." ... Badnarik said he also is hoping Democrats will be attracted to his candidacy since the Libertarian Party believes government shouldn't tell people how to live their lives ... Badnarik wants to raise public awareness of the Libertarian Party through the TV commercials.
Libertarian Thoughts Reborn
, by John Hospers
, 23 Aug 2003
Part of Walter Block's autobiography series; starts off with his grandparents, early life in Iowa, skepticism, astronomy, teaching at Columbia University and University of Minnesota, interacting with Ayn Rand, the 1972 LP nomination and parting thoughts
[In] the course of time a representative of the newly formed California Libertarian Party suggested that I go to Denver where there would be a meeting of freedom-oriented people throughout the nation to discuss whether a national Libertarian Party should be formed ... I went to the exploratory meeting on a June weekend in Denver in 1972 ... It was then argued whether or not this party in its infancy should float a candidate for U.S. president, and it was decided that the response should be yes. I was somewhat overwhelmed when I got the nomination ... both Ed Clark and Ed Crane were there at the convention.
Libertarian Voters and the Libertarian Party
, by David Boaz
, 23 May 2008
Discusses the 2008 Libertarian Party presidential candidate nominees, the views of libertarian-leaning voters and the prospects for the LP
So what's the relationship between libertarian voters and the Libertarian Party? First, of course, members of the Libertarian Party are much more committed to the libertarian philosophy than are the libertarian-leaning voters David Kirby and I have identified in recent research. Our research indicates that 15 to 20 percent of American voters hold broadly libertarian views, yet the Libertarian Party has only once broken 1 percent in a presidential race ... So libertarian-leaning voters seem open to voting for third-party candidates, and thus they should be fertile ground for the Libertarian Party.
The life of the Party: An introduction
, by Thomas L. Knapp, Rational Review
, 23 Jan 2003
Describes three possible routes for the LP to have its policy prescriptions implemented and introduces a series of articles, by the author and others, outlining their visions for the party's success
It's the stuff of folklore: in December of 1971, a few people got together in David F. Nolan's Denver apartment and founded a new political party. The following year, that party — the Libertarian Party — ran its first presidential ticket, receiving the vote of one renegade elector ... More than three decades into its existence, the LP has yet to define itself beyond the scope of some narrow and obvious bylaws provisions ... Randites, Rothbardians, anarchists, minarchists, single issue enthusiasts and advocates of various syntheses compete for the attention of Libertarians and for control of the Party's apparatus, such as it is.
The LP's multiple personality disorder: The Life of the Party, part two
, by Thomas L. Knapp, 30 Jan 2003
Describes three political party strategies (electoral, ideological and revolutionary) and suggests that, in view of its size, the LP should decide on only one of these approaches, rather than its current two-pronged strategy
There are three broad strategic approaches with which a party might identify itself ... An electoral party strategy is centered around winning elections ... An ideological party strategy is centered around rigorous adherence to principle and refusal to sacrifice goals for electoral gain ... The Libertarian Party, for most of its three decades, has adopted elements of both the electoral and ideological approaches ... An electoral party would eschew ["educational" and "spoiler"] campaigns for the most part, concentrating instead on winnable elections, most of which, for the nonce, are to local and lower-level office.
MacBride, Roger Lea (1929-1995)
, by David Boaz
, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism
, 15 Aug 2008
In 1972, living in Virginia, he was selected as a Republican elector. He refused to vote for Richard Nixon and cast his vote instead for the brand-new Libertarian Party ticket of philosopher John Hospers and journalist Tonie Nathan ... The Libertarian Party then chose MacBride to be its presidential nominee in 1976; his modest wealth helped the party to afford a professional campaign for the first time. He came in fourth, receiving about 173,000 votes. His campaign book A New Dawn for America presented libertarian principles and policies in a readable, commonsense manner.
The metaphysics of Atlanta: The Life of the Party, Part 20
, by Steve Trinward, Rational Review
, 14 Jun 2004
Another take on what transpired at the 2004 Libertarian National Convention and the selection of Badnarik as the nominee, from a Badnarik supporter prior to the start of the convention
Two weeks ago in Atlanta, Georgia, the Libertarian Party chose among three distinct pathways for its next foray into national politics ... the choice of walking old pathways, that had been proven not to work well ... or jumping out of that box and trying something new. I maintain that BOTH of the other paths — Russo and his flamboyant, "in your face" and show them you are "Mad As Hell" approach; and Badnarik with his equally hardcore, but quieter and more genteel presentation, reaching out to people "one heart at a time," as his bumperstickers and buttons said — were brand new territory for the Libertarian Party to explore.
Murray, the LP, and Me
, by David Bergland
, 25 Dec 2002
Lengthy autobiographical essay, focusing on Rothbard, libertarianism and the LP; part of Walter Block's Autobiography Archive
It is important to understand what the LP was in those early days. The total number of people who really knew libertarianism-Objectivism-classical liberalism, and counted themselves as adherents ... might have been a few hundred. But some of them, Dave Nolan being the ring-leader, started a new political party to advance the libertarian philosophy by using the political system to spread the word. (Naive, yes. But the LP is still going, after 30 years.) The LP was a social organization as well as political. At state and national conventions, libertarians could hang out with philosophical brothers and sisters for a few days ...
Neither Bullets nor Ballots
[PDF], by Wendy McElroy
, The Voluntaryist
, Oct 1982
First editorial, describing the two major goals of The Voluntaryist
, namely, to construct a theory of voluntaryism and to examine non-political strategies
Another major goal is to examine non-political strategies ... we will be labeled as merely counter Libertarian Party by those who ... are unable to perceive the wider context which leads to a rejection of the political means itself ... As Voluntaryists we reject the Libertarian Party on the same level and for the same reason we reject any other political party. The rejection is ... based on the conviction that to oppose the State one must oppose the specific instances of the State ... By becoming politicians libertarians legitimize and perpetuate the office. They legitimize and perpetuate the State.
Online NewsHour: Libertarian Party History
, 5 Jul 2000
History from 1971 through 1999; special coverage for the year 2000 elections
1972: First national convention held in June in Denver, Colorado. John Hospers, a philosophy professor at the University of Southern California, is nominated as presidential candidate. LP vice presidential candidate Tonie Nathan becomes the first woman in U.S. history to receive an electoral vote ... 1980: Libertarian Party appears on the ballot in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam ... 1999: Fourteen Libertarians are elected to office in local spring elections, and more than 200 Libertarian candidates are on the ballot in state and local elections in November.
On Political Activism
, by Samuel Edward Konkin III
, May 1977
Letter to the editor, criticizing John Hospers' view that running for political office as part of the Libertarian Party is "the quickest way of getting libertarian ideas known to millions"
The paragraph ... happens to be authored by Dr. John Hospers:
One fact can hardly be controversial ... To the extent that libertarianism is known in the United States today, it is almost entirely because libertarians have formed a political party whose members ran for office and had their ideas publicized in newspapers, magazines, radio, and television.
The "fact" is indeed not "controversial;" it is abject nonsense. I have yet to see any significant label retention from those exposed to Libertarian Party commercials during campaigns; most Americans automatically blank out minor parties.
Party makes bid for Silicon Valley support
, Libertarian Party News
, Jan 1999
Describes the visit by LP leaders and other libertarians to a Cato Institute conference in Silicon Valley in November 1998
Libertarian Party leaders traveled to Silicon Valley in November to try to build bridges with the computer industry — and explain to cyber-CEO's why they should "invest" in a start-up third party. LP National Director Steve Dasbach, Political Director Ron Crickenberger, and National Committee Alternate Dan Fylstra all attended "Washington, DC vs. Silicon Valley: The Annual Cato Institute/Forbes ASAP Conference on Technology & Society," which was held in San Jose, California, November 19-21 ... In addition to the three Libertarian Party officials, 1996 LP president candidate Harry Browne also attended the event.
Power Profile: Ed Crane
, by Patty Reinert, Examiner.com
, 30 Jan 2008
Biographical profile of Ed Crane, including his views on the 2008 U.S. presidential candidates and his five tips for success
Crane left it all to become chairman of the Libertarian Party with the goal of making it a national force. He remembered walking into the hall at the first Libertarian Party convention in a Denver hotel in 1972 and being stunned by the collection of misfits who shared his ideals ... "There were all kinds of crazies there — gold bugs, Ayn Rand fanatics, anarchists — but they were good people interested in liberty." He managed Libertarian candidate Ed Clark's 1980 presidential run, and Clark got the largest share of votes that the Libertarian Party has ever won — 1.05 percent.
Preliminary polling data indicates Badnarik has the support to remove Bush from office
, 18 Jul 2004
Press release from the Badnarik for President campaign
A statement released by Larry Jacobs of the Humphrey Institute indicates, "Although Nader enjoys far more press coverage, the Libertarian is still draining Republican votes from the President — a potentially dangerous pattern if it were to continue or expand." ... [Badnarik spokesperson Stephen] Gordon added, "Also, this election cycle is somewhat unique with respect to Libertarian presidential politics. Having the only candidate calling for a complete withdrawal from Iraq ... places us at a considerable advantage. Our first television commercial, which has just completed production, strongly addresses this issue."
, by Lew Rockwell
, 12 Jul 2005
Criticizes the "Iraq Exit Strategy: America's Path Forward" proposal, made by the Libertarian National Committee on 29 June 2005, and suggests the name "Regime Libertarians" for those who make that kind of proposals
[T]his plan has actually been proposed by the national arm of the Libertarian Party ... [T]he party that claims to represent Jeffersonian liberalism and a radical alternative to right and left has proposed a realpolitik "plan" for Iraq that, like all such plans, will be buried by events. There is some good material in the plan, of course. It is critical of the invasion and the lies. But ... it completely contradicts the LP platform, which is very good because it takes principled stands against all warmongering, militarism, foreign troop placements, foreign aid, and outrageous spending in the name of defense.
Report on May 9th Don Ernsberger Talk: "How To Be An Effective And Principled Libertarian Candidate"
, LPDC News
, Jun 2001
Report on talk by Ernsberger given at a Libertarian Party of the District of Columbia dinner meeting
Don said he started both his campaigns with three guidelines by which to judge his effectiveness in running a principled libertarian campaign: 1) to legitimatize the Libertarian Party; 2) to educate the public; 3) to help libertarians learn organizing skills. He shared examples of how he succeeded ... Most importantly, after [his Senate] race the Libertarian Party was taken more seriously. Don reports that the League of Women Voters has invited all three LP-PA Senatorial candidates since then to debate. Meanwhile, libertarian registration has increased from 600 to 2800 in his district alone.
Robert Anton Wilson
, by Jeff Riggenbach
, 15 Aug 2011
Biographical essay, including a lengthy digression on the thought of Ralph Borsodi, founder of the publisher of a magazine co-edited by Wilson in the early 1960's; transcript of "The Libertarian Tradition" podcast of 4 Aug 2011
He also showed up now and then at libertarian gatherings of various sizes and types. I still remember how startled I was one day in 1981, when I was chairing a panel on civil liberties at the national Libertarian Party convention in Denver ... I hadn't been paying much attention as the room filled up. So when, at last, I stood to make a few introductory remarks and looked out at the crowd that had gathered, I almost jumped out of my skin when I realized that the man sitting in the middle of the front row, virtually under my nose, was none other than Robert Anton Wilson, then in his late 40s and at the height of his fame.
Rothbard, Murray (1926-1995)
, by Brian Doherty, The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism
, 15 Aug 2008
Biographical and bibliographical essay
Rothbard thought work toward real-world political change was vital to the libertarian intellectual movement. As a consequence, he became involved with the Libertarian Party. When the party was first launched in 1972, he had determined that conditions in the United States were still premature for such a move. However, by 1975, he became an enthusiastic participant, writing position papers and helping shape the party's platform ... In the aftermath of the 1980 Libertarian presidential campaign, Rothbard broke with Koch and Cato president Ed Crane, and his involvement with any Koch-financed organizations ceased.
The schism organism: The Life of the Party, part three
, by Thomas L. Knapp, Rational Review
, 19 Feb 2003
Delves into ethical controversies within the Libertarian Party, describing in particular the tension between Jacob Hornberger and Jim Lark, and the effect this had on the former's candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat in Virginia in 2002
The Libertarian Party is no stranger to internal controversy. Libertarians are perpetually sniping at one another ... The "ethics" conflict may, of course, arise independently of other considerations. It is not necessarily true that accusations concerning the ethics of a Libertarian leader or official will be inspired by another conflict. That, however, has historically been the case: factions divided by disagreements of other kinds have alleged not simply error, but unethical conduct, on the part of their opponents, and have acted to remove the evildoers from power, or even to drive them from the Party.
Total Victory: How Sweet It Is!
, by Murray Rothbard
, The Libertarian Forum
Lengthy account and commentary on the 1983 Libertarian Party presidential convention
[In] the closest, murkiest, most exciting all-out contest in Libertarian Party history, David P. Bergland ... won the nomination for President on the fourth ballot ... while all support to the LP is to be welcomed, it will not harm the Party in the long run to be no longer dependent on the Koch family; it will not harm us to make it on our own in the real world. There was getting to be a danger of the Libertarian Party's becoming a perpetual welfare client of the Koch family. It will in the long-run be better for the LP to go out and develop more broadbased sources of funding, and hence more feisty independence.
Related Topics: David Bergland
, Roy Childs
, Robert A. Heinlein
, Roger MacBride
, Tonie Nathan
, David Nolan
, Ron Paul
, Robert W. Poole, Jr.
, Justin Raimondo
, Earl Ravenal
, Mary Ruwart
What Are Libertarians Out to Accomplish?
, by Sheldon Richman
, The Goal Is Freedom
, 23 Jan 2015
Reviews the Nathaniel Branden speech "What Happens When the Libertarian Movement Begins to Succeed?", given at the 1979 Libertarian Party national convention, about the manner in which libertarians communicate with non-libertarians
Ed Clark, a libertarian who was listed on the ballot as an independent, had run quite a successful campaign for governor of California the year before, by libertarian standards, winning 377,960 votes, 5.46 percent of the total. The party in California had also gotten publicity earlier that year for supporting ballot Proposition 13, a cap on the state's property tax, and for opposing Proposition 6 ... which would have denied jobs in the government's schools to gay people. The LP's position prevailed in both cases. Because of things like this, the Los Angeles Times sent a reporter to the convention ...
, by R. W. Bradford
, Doug Casey
, Stephen Cox, Ross Overbeek, Murray Rothbard
, 5 Jul 1987
First (and only) editorial, discusses the three different kinds of existing libertarian periodicals, what areas and issues Liberty
was going to address and who the founders were
The editors of Liberty are a diverse lot. ... One of us (Rothbard) has long been intimately involved in the Libertarian Party; two of us (Cox and Bradford) have supported the LP since its inception but only recently joined the party; another (Overbeek) has refused to join the party because of his disagreement over its loyalty oath requirement; one of us (Casey) eschews political activity altogether, refusing even to register to vote.
Why I am a Libertarian
, by Mark Richards, 21 May 2008
Describes the persons (mainly his mother) and events that influenced the author in becoming a libertarian
When I found out that there was a Libertarian Party that I could actually vote for, I was elated to say the least. I started voting for Libertarians locally here in New Jersey in 1973. 1976 was the first time I voted for a Libertarian presidential candidate when Roger MacBride ran ... I'm proud to say that I have voted for a Libertarian presidential candidate in every election since. I officially joined the Libertarian Party in 1980 during Ed Clark's campaign. I signed up my mom and dad and my one cousin as members soon after. My mother was a member until she passed way in 1994.
Why this libertarian is voting to re-elect George W. Bush
, by J. Neil Schulman
, 21 Oct 2004
Explains Schulman's rationale for casting a vote for Bush in the 2004 presidential election
I was one of the first to join the Libertarian Party in New York when it was organized in 1973, and I was one of the first to quit the Libertarian Party and oppose all participation in politics in 1974 ... When I believed in symbolic protests I ... [invested] my energy in efforts such as the 1976 Vote for Nobody campaign. If publicity was the goal, CounterCampaign '76 was far more cost-efficient in spreading libertarian philosophy than the Libertarian Party. For less than $300 invested we achieved national exposure for our print and radio ads, as opposed to the tens of thousands of dollars the [LP] spent for equivalent exposure ...