Wednesday, September 30, 2020

On Recruiting Politicians to the Libertarian Cause

Vladimir Lenin

 At the post, A Report from Rifle, Colorado, in the comments Dr. Michael Ederlstein asks:

Bob, What tells you she has more potential than any other typical conservative? Michael.

And there were also comments like this at the post:

I don’t mean to always be a contrarian, but what’s libertarian, or anti-state about her.

My #1 red flag, heck not even a red flag but no go, is the military support. Strong military?

I know dozens of people who say these same things when they are running.

Build a wall?

No thanks.

I really don’t understand the love of the constitution either. The bill of rights, sure.

But congress shall have the power to tax?

Sorry, but meh.


If Ron Paul's experience has taught liberty lovers anything it should be that politics is not the answer.

My response:

If there is one place libertarians are weak and the socialists have us beat big time is in strategy and tactics.

We have to stop thinking out of a very small box.

No one is saying that Lauren Boebert is a hardcore libertarian or that she ever will become one. But politicians can be used as tools.

If Mitch McConnell put up the same talking points as Boebert, I would attack his hypocrisy daily.

But when it comes to Boebert and Kim Klacik, it is unlikely that they have very deep informed opinions on policy or have been heavily influenced by crony America.

They are babes in the woods. I ask the readers here at Target Liberty: How many of you were born Rothbardians?

So the key is to keep an eye out for potential up and comers that may grow into national players. It is not that they will become libertarians but maybe on some issues, before their minds are co-opted, we can influence them on some important topics such as the Federal Reserve. This is what I mean by potential.

It would be great to convert them into full libertarians but I would take their representation on a key issue or two.

One thing that libertarians can learn from Lenin is strategy and the one thing he was very good at was squeezing any tool in front of him to the degree he could to his advantage.

That is why I see Boebert and Klacik as prospects, prospects in the sense that they have not been taken in by the general AOC-style propaganda and that it is possible that we can get them to advocate for some of our positions. I am not familiar enough with Boebert to say but I believe Klacik has the potential to be a counter to AOC. To the degree that she can become a libertarian counter, thanks to our influence, the better.

As for the commenter who argued that the Ron Paul effort was not "an answer," I strongly disagree. Dr. Paul's consistent presentation of libertarian principles on the campaign trail and during the presidential debates introduced millions to libertarianism.

You have to think outside the box. The establishment made things difficult for Dr. Paul but that he ran, and informed, easily made his effort one of the most important outreaches for liberty ever.

Situational strategies and tactics guys!!



  1. I certainly understand your point.
    And I believe as individuals we all have to choose our own way to “fight the fight”. Dr. Paul commented a few times that people would ask him how to get involved in politics, and he would tell them, and I’m not quoting directly, politics isn’t the only path to Liberty. So we should pursue the message of Liberty with the gifts we are given.
    I’ve learned much more from Robert Wenzel about Liberty and economics from Target Liberty, EPJ and his books than I believe I would if he were a politician. I know Ron Paul exposed millions to the message of Liberty through his politics, but now millions more through the Ron Paul Institute. And to say Dr. Paul was a one in a million politician, and I apologize to him for even calling him a politician, is an understatement.
    But the worst rise to the top. I’ll add, only the worst rise to the top, that’s the way it’s intended to be.
    My biggest problem is, that I think politics is the box, I know to many libertarians, and they may be in the majority, who think politics is the only way to advance Liberty, look at YAL, and a lot of them actually want to see libertarians get power in politics so they can use that power to “force” freedom for us all.
    Libertarians, in my opinion, spend to much time in politics. Sure, politicians will make decisions that will directly affect our lives.
    But we can work to lessen what they do to us if we actually do think outside the box.
    Do you know how freeing it is to break free of the chains of politics? To not care who is in a political office? To change a regular joe’s mind about politics so he doesn’t care either, and help them think outside politics in their day to day pursuits?
    To work your way through this world to live free no matter who is in office?
    So many libertarians spend so much time in political pursuits, be it in time or riches, if they would think outside that box and focus those energies on their neighbor or their community, non politically, who knows where we would be?
    That’s my main beef with efforts converting politicians. People who want power over others politically in my mind have something wrong with them in the first place. I know RW isn’t talking about gaining political power but influencing those who are already or actively seeking it, but I think we should shun politics. To many times I’ve had the rebuff of “oh yeah then why is there a libertarian party”?
    Libertarians will never be a majority in this current state of things. Education to the little people so that when this empire falls they don’t put it right back up is our best bet for anything close to what we want to see, real freedom.
    But again, I won’t demand what someone does with their time or money, that’s what it’s all about, freedom of conscience.

    “ But what do we mean by the American Revolution? Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people; a change in their religious sentiments of their duties and obligations.” “ This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.”
    John Adams.

    This, in my opinion, is our hope, and for me, the path I am to follow.

    It is quite worth while reading Adams whole letter about this, as I think it is directly talking about the politics of his time.

    Just my 2 cents.

    1. Great quote from John Adams and a great post.

    2. Great one, Joshua.

      I think the same way regarding my religion. I doubt we win converts via electing Christians into political office and passing laws that suit Christian morality. When we try, we always seem to get lukewarm Christians that quickly eschew Christian values at a moment of crisis, and destroy their own testimony.

      I believe it is likely the same for libertarians and the Libertarian Party that pursue power. It is the pursuit itself that demands compromise of core principles. By the time one gets to the “top” he is just as beastly as the creature he originally wanted to reform.

      The politics will follow a societal change. The regressives know that better than anyone. We will plant trees that our grandchildren will enjoy.


    3. I agree Thomas, I think scripture is clear on the relationship the Christian should have with the State.
      Absolute non-compromising enmity.

  2. Excellent, Bob, in these cases the perfect is the enemy of the good. And you are not afraid to bring up Lenin, a superb strategist. Rothbard wrote a long paper analyzing libertarian strategy, including a section on Lenin that called his strategy "flexible" and "entrepreneurial", as opposed to the rigid and sectararian attitudes of others. Lenin especially fought against tactics applicable to situations no longer extant, against "fighting the last war". And Rothbard has always been for working with other points of view on individual issues, not just for the progress to be made, but because some in other camps might be persuaded to join ours.

    Rothbard's paper was condensed into a much shorter version available at .