Wednesday, June 24, 2009

An Interesting Video: Libertarians Can't Win?

Peter Schiff of CT issues a challenge:

Libertarians have never won anything.
To matter, Libertarians have to take over the Republicans.
As an ex-Republican, I am not so sure.

1 comment:

Dirty Davey said...

Well, one could take as a starting point:

(1) We have institutions (including a Congress with single-member, first-past-the-post districts) that mean only two parties have a nontrivial chance of winning anything significant.

(2) The officeholders under the current institutions have every incentive to leave the institutional rules alone rather than make changes that would allow additional parties to matter.

Given that we're stuck with our two-party institutions, then if Libertarians want to "matter"--and if "matter" is defined as being one of the two significant parties--then the Libertarians need to do one of two things.

(a) take over an existing major party--and I think generally the Libertarians feel the Republican party offers a better opportunity for such a takeover than does the Democratic party, or,

(b) wait for a major party to disintegrate, be in a position to absorb enough members from the newly-defunct party to become the new #2, and do well enough to become one of the two major parties henceforth.

Strategy (b) has not worked since the Republicans used it when the Whigs collapsed. Despite recent electoral failure and party infighting amongst the Republicans, I still think taking it over is probably a more viable strategy than waiting for it to evaporate. It certainly worked for the social conservatives.