Sunday, August 06, 2006

Was the LP Taken Over by Neo-Cons in Portland?

About 311 people in America decided it was worth their time to be delegates and attend the National Convention. About 55% of those delegates voted to delete almost all of the existing platform planks. Afterwards, a much shorter platform was produced by those 311 people willing to show up.

People who did not show up for the convention did not get to vote on the platform. If the Libertarian Party was taken over by Neo-Cons (which I don't believe to be the case), that's because there wasn't 156 non-Neo-Cons (about 3 per state) in America who deemed the convention and its platform worthy of their time.

I missed most of the platform related debate at the convention because I was working on the credentials committee. Additionally, I haven't read the old National LP platform in its entirety in years nor the new National LP platform. Additionally, I didn't read the old LP Texas platform before the state convention nor have I read the new LP Texas platform in its entirety. I recognize those are simply documents
produced by a very large committee and I have very little faith in committees producing much of great value.

I know what it means to be Libertarian regardless of the result of a document produced hastily and haphazardly by a convention.

There are quite a few people who believe a long detailed platform has held back the success of the LP. There may be some truth in that, but I disagree changing the platform will have much affect one way or the other. I field lots of phone calls and e-mails from prospects. Most of them that have issues with the platform have fundamental differences. For example, many claim they agree with us except for the drug issue, or abortion, or public education, or the war on terror, etc.

What I think is necessary for our success is more focus on outreach, such as getting our candidates mentioned in the press, getting yard signs up, and getting Libertarian brochures such as the door hangers we now have out to as many people as possible. That is my focus.

The platform that resulted from the National Convention is posted on the National website:

http://www.lp.org/issues/platform_all.shtml

One section entitled "Foreign Affairs" is posted below. I don't think it can be construed to be supporting the War in Iraq. In case it needs to be said, I was against the War in Iraq and support bringing home our troops immediately, not providing another dime for their reconstruction, and ending financial and military aid to all of the Middle East immediately.

The National LP platform:

IV. Foreign Affairs

American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world and the defense -- against attack from abroad -- of the lives, liberty, and property of the American people on American soil. Provision of such defense must respect the individual rights of people everywhere.

The principle of non-intervention should guide relationships between governments. The United States government should return to the historic libertarian tradition of avoiding entangling alliances, abstaining totally from foreign quarrels and imperialist adventures, and recognizing the right to unrestricted trade, travel, and immigration.