Tent City

Originally published on Third Party Watch on Tuesday May 30, 2023

Previously I discussed how parties currently mock and censure dissent instead of debating differences.  I posed the position that the Libertarian Party’s tent is just like the Republicans’ and Democrats’ tents:  a circus big top with too many rings.

Perhaps we need a Tent City rather than one single big top.  A large tent easily blows down in a storm.  People who join the Libertarian Party are bombarded with caucuses trying to find out if the new people are their type of libertarian.

Smaller tents can have stronger supports and withstand more issues.  People entering to try to subvert things are easier to spot and have a harder time taking over.

Am I saying that anarchist capitalists are not libertarian?  No.  Libertarian socialist?  No.  You can find many very good references that define the terms classical liberal, anarchist capitalist and many others and how they have changed over the years.  Many of these groups, while disagreeing with others on some issues, consider themselves “fellow travelers”.  They are all open to debate.  But by having a tent that is too large, people who should never be calling themselves libertarian sneak in and in this case some of them have taken over.  And they have purged.  Purges have happened in the past, but not to this extent and level of damage.  Seeing people use the term “pure libertarian” is a very visible symptom of the problem.

Anarchists deserve their own space, where they are free from invasion by the fascists.  Invaders will look so out of place that they will find it difficult to hide and take over.  The same is true for classical liberals.  Does this mean that anarchists would be purged from a classical liberal party?  No, but it means they would only be able to exist in it if they espoused and supported the ideals of the classical liberals.  They would be unlikely to be put in leadership positions, or run as candidates.  Can you imagine what the internal party response would be to a classical liberal seeking to run as a candidate in an anarchist party if he or she answered a question about roads or the need for common defense?

The same SHOULD be true in the Democratic, Republican, Socialist and other parties.  If they cleaned up their own circuses, voters would have a clear view of their real intentions.

This is why a new classical liberal party is a necessity.  The classical liberals who decide that rescuing the Libertarian Party is the better choice should be respected for their bravery.  We need to offer another option either for those not yet invested in that battle or that offers them an alternative if they decide they’ve had enough of that fight. We need a home for the weary and tattered – one where they will quickly find new energy and political clothing.

And it must be organized better.  The lessons learned from how the Democratic, Republican and Libertarian parties have been taken over and diverted from their original purpose must be carefully reviewed and learned from.  Remember, the Democratic Party was originally the Democratic-Republican Party, and the Republicans were originally a “liberal” party.

I have been on the politically retired list for nearly three years.  Unlike other classical liberals, I found it no longer in my best interest to fight for the salvation of the Libertarian Party.  Others have found that leaving is necessary because of limitations imposed on their activism by changes to the platform.

If you are reading this and are sitting on the sidelines as I was, have hope.  You may be able to find a new home soon.


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