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Posted by on Dec 19, 2006 in At TMV | 16 comments

A More Effective Course for Libertarians and Centrists

Bruce Bartlett suggests that Libertarians would likely be more effective as an interest group than as a separate party. I think that the same reasoning is true for Centrists and Moderates.

In place of the party, there should arise a new libertarian interest group organized like the National Rifle Association or the various pro- and anti-abortion groups. This new group, whatever it is called, would hire lobbyists, run advertisements and make political contributions to candidates supporting libertarian ideas. It will work with both major parties. It can magnify its influence by creating temporary coalitions on particular issues and being willing to work with elected officials who may hold libertarian positions on only one or a handful of issues. They need not hold libertarian views on every single issue, as the Libertarian Party now demands of those it supports.
I believe that this new organization would be vastly more influential than the party and give libertarian ideas far more potency than they now have. As long as the party continues to exist, unfortunately, it will be an albatross around the necks of small-L libertarians, destroying any political effectiveness they might have. It must die for libertarian ideas to succeed.

This is also relevant for moderates like Unity 08, HotSoup, Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Schwarzenegger, Republican Main Street Partnership, It’s My Party too, and some denizens of the blogosphere. Do we want to be righteous or do we want to be effective in helping Centrist and moderate Candidates get elected? For a fraction of the cost of a presidential campaign, we could add a few dozen people to Congress who are inclined towards mutual respect, cooperation, collaboration, long term thinking, and transparency.