Fellow Libertarians, the core of the Libertarian Party:
Please hold strong to our principle over politics stance on the state and local levels, and where we can better grow the understanding of what is Liberty. I value your solidarity and ask for your continued support and effort in growing the Libertarian Party; particularly here in Indiana where we are making great strides!
I also share your concerns and even some frustrations with our Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates. That does not deter my determination to stand with Gary Johnson and Bill Weld because the point of this election is to win. As a core Libertarian, I know we make up about 1% of the population, nationally. We cannot win anything by marketing Candidates to our 1% and expect better than 3% to 4% perpetually on Election Day. We have to broaden our message and approach to reach people who may have never heard the word libertarian before. And we can do this without losing what we as a Party hold so dearly.
Gary Johnson winning the election is indeed a longshot, nobody could argue otherwise at this point. However, for the first time in Libertarian Party history, we have a very real and legitimate opportunity to win the Presidential Election. And if not that, then this will absolutely be the highest voter turnout for Libertarians in our Party’s history. This means people are more likely to pay attention to our down-ticket races, across the Nation; even without fair and equal press coverage. Every way one can look at this election cycle, it’s a big win for our Party! In fact, it’s only ours to lose.
To those not happy with decisions or choices the Johnson Campaign are making, I challenge you to get involved in our down ticket races. These candidates need your help more than anyone else. Every one of our down-ticket candidates desperately requires your help with fundraising, public events, content creation for traditional and social media, phone banks, door knockers, and vocal advocates of Liberty where it matters most… where you live! If you don’t have a candidate you can help, then I challenge you to become active members of your state or local Libertarian Party, start a local LP affiliate if one does not already exist, become delegates to your State Convention, and help protect the values we hold so dearly at the next National Convention.
I have witnessed first hand how we, the core Libertarians, can turn this year into a loss for ourselves. It’s the Trifecta of Death for our Party: 1. Not getting involved with our local or state Candidates on any level. 2. Arguing with or insulting the “Fence Sitter Voter” and/or the ignorant and potential voter 3. Publicly bashing Candidates selected at our State and National Conventions.
The first should be self-explanatory. Our state and local candidates have everything stacked against them. They need more help! Find one you like, focus on them, get them elected – time is running out. The second point is pretty much telling a core Libertarian to not be a Libertarian; I get it. But I’m also tired of the word “libertarian” not being a household word. We are not a philosophy club, we are not a debates society, we are a Political Party. And it’s our job to grow and get candidates elected. We cannot do that by looking down on people who are likely just like ourselves not long ago – Almost all current Libertarians started out as a Republican or Democrat; second generation Libertarians are here, but rare. We must remember that getting to where we are in political philosophy is a process, and that process is variable from person to person.
The third point in the trifecta is the most troubling. If you, as a core Libertarian, don’t like a Candidate, that’s completely acceptable. There will never be such a thing as the perfect Libertarian Candidate, because… “Libertarian”. That said, I have witnessed this public bashing of our Candidates by Libertarians drive otherwise voters or supporters away. This is not helping our cause, or fight, or your Liberty! So, please, help build our party and fight for Liberty on the state and local levels where they have the most impact. Help us have unity in our agreed path toward Liberty, and then work with us until your ideal distances on that path have been realized.
Our Ideals and Principles are the bedrock of our Party. They are the guiding light for our Candidates and supporters, not the shackles of restraint. We need to protect what we stand for, and we also need to bring new supporters and voters in who want something different, but don’t know exactly what that is. And that’s our job: To guide them, and bring them unto Liberty. Will you join with me in the fight for Liberty? Let’s grow this Party and spread our Philosophy from both directions and meet in the middle with lots of wins!
Rodney Benker, Vice Chair
Libertarian Party of Indiana
*The views here are my own and are in no way reflective of any campaign or the Libertarian Party of Indiana