Airing the LP dirty laundry

Another ‘are you a Libertarian’ test

There are lot’s of “tests’ online, this one is as good as any, I include it simply to show that nearly everyone has some degree of agreement with libertarian principles. About 20% of people self identify as libertarian(as in ‘I’m a libertarian at heart but…) yet we can’t seem to get beyond 3% in a national election. 

Part if that is because liberty is less popular when it is attached to the required responsibility. But part is also that we fight among ourselves and show only our asses to those on the outside looking in. Such a turmoil is in progress right now on both the national and local level. It has reached the point that while I am libertarian to the core, I have not renewed my membership in the national or state party.

The primary controversy is between purists and pragmatists. While I would cheerfully phase out 90% of the Federal Government, many of our State LP leaders would like to eject me from the party because I would leave 10% and not eliminate it all immediately. Oddly, it is mostly those in the party less than 5 years who are so extreme, but they are numerous and very active.

Locally, the Tidewater Libertarian Party, one of the oldest and by far the most influential local parties, has been disaffiliated and replaced on the State level by the Libertarian Party of Hampton Roads, made up of purists and anarchists. The State party had demanded that we drop “Libertarian” from our name, an interesting demand, considering that the TLP is the registered owner at the State Corporation Commission of the names “Tidewater Libertarian Party,” “Libertarian Party of Hampton Roads” and “Libertarian Party of Virginia.” It’s not like we didn’t see this coming. They can change their name.

What sin did we commit to warrant ejection? We allow Republicans and Democrats to speak at our meetings for 2 minutes each during election season. And, we endorsed John Moss, a Republican, for reelection in VA Beach’s non-partisan election. Moss attends more TLP meetings than I do but runs as a Republican.

So, the LP is tearing itself apart, locally and nationally, as it does every few years. In time, the pragmatists will pick up the pieces and resume working to restore liberty, one little step at a time.

45 thoughts on “Airing the LP dirty laundry

  1. …”it is mostly those in the party less than 5 years who are so extreme”…

    That is not a phenomenon restricted to the Libertarians. It is happening across ALL political parties.

    And the big issue I see is that the extremists are pushing out those who are willing to work together by being loud, not logical. Volume dose not equal veracity; it does, however, equal ratings.


  2. Libertarian Test
    Result chart
    You are 0% Libertarian, which makes you Not Libertarian.
    In your case it is safe to say that you are not a libertarian. Whether because you prefer a greater degree of social discipline or economic regulation (or possibly both), you probably tend to find large swatches of the libertarian program to be far-fetched, extremist, and possibly even downright repulsive. If you are not the argumentative type, you had best stay clear of libertarians – they have a reputation for being insufferable in an argument.

    Not exactly a surprise, but I took the test for the information it would provide. I disagree that I am 0% Libertarian; I would put myself in the 5-9% area.

    This kind of tickled me though: …”you had best stay clear of libertarians – they have a reputation for being insufferable in an argument.”

    I’ve sad a lot of things about you, Don. But NEVER that you were insufferable.


  3. My score: 27% (Fellow Traveler).

    I have often wondered why the Libertarian Party hasn’t grown more. There may be philosophical reasons (e.g., freedom/responsibility), but there may be marketing reasons, too. So, free of charge, I’ll share something I learned as a proposal writer — the secret of effective proposal writing/persuasion.

    The secret consists of answering five specific questions your audience cares about:

    1. What does the customer want?
    2. What do we give them?
    3. How do we do it?
    4. What benefit does the customer receive?
    5. What proves the benefit is real?

    A simple proposal-writing method is to write out the answers as short sentences, then combine the answers (in order) into a paragraph. For example:

    “You want bright, healthy teeth for sex appeal. We make a toothpaste that gives you bright, healthy teeth. We make it from pure, proven ingredients and offer it to you at all your favorite stores. You will have sex appeal. Nine out of ten dentists agree with our formula!”

    It may seem an obscure thing to bring up, but with this technique, anyone can write winning, persuasive proposals.


    1. Interesting ideas. A tad simplistic for politics, but interesting.

      However, you could have an issue with this : “Nine out of ten dentists agree with our formula!”” You might need to PROVE the 9 out of 10 number to those that are skeptical. Kind of like the 4 out 5 number that Crest uses. (I think it is Crest, I could be mistaken).


          1. There are unscrupulous dentists. Many opposed fluoridation for that reason, spreading all kinds of conspiracy theories about it.

            In my hometown, we dentists raised the money for the city for the fluoridation equipment.

            Every profession has good guys and bad guys.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, I came in at 30%. Some questions seemed too vague or wide reaching like a broad brush that it was difficult to agree or disagree.


  5. 0% here. A bit surprising since the matters of royalty (none), sex, drugs (few restrictions) (…and Rock ‘n Roll??) I figured were in agreement. Maybe those were the control questions.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can tell you if you’re a Libertarian with just one question.
    “When you went to that test webpage, and saw that there were 34 questions, did you take the test anyway?”
    Yes – You’re a Libertarian,
    No – You’re not a Libertarian.

    If you’re willing to waste the time to answer 34 questions, you’re a Libertarian.


  7. The question about sex left it too nebulous. There was no mention of animals.

    The difference between erotic and kinky. Erotic uses feathers. Kinky, the whole damned chicken.

    It’s only kinky once.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I could take this off the rails real quick but then the humor would be lost on many… as David Faustino said on the night that River Phoenix died, “… so I paid the bouncer $200 to drive me home. It just got too weird for me.”

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Question 35 “Have you ever felt remorse or guilt for any action you have taken assuming that ‘it’s my right’.”

    Results 75% to 99% you are a Libertarian
    100% you are a sociopath.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. 9%. We all have quibbles with the test–lots of assumed premises. It’s always interesting to remember that “Libertarian” in it’s original conception was used to distinguish between Anarchists/Socialists/Communists. The American usage of “Libertarian” to describe a right-wing movement is unique.

    That’s why I think the two-axis tests are a little more insightful–traditional left vs right, and authoritarian vs “libertarian.”

    Liked by 1 person

          1. Economically, we are largely in agreement with the GOP, just more so. But the GOP can be collectivist of social issues.

            Left vs right is just inadequate.


          2. Imposing the sexual or recreational values of the majority on a minority that is doing no harm. Best example, Homosexuality was unlawful for decades, prostitution still is.


          3. I don’t think I’d call that “collectivist,” but I will agree Libertarians are generally correct on social issue.

            In terms of the traditional left-right dichotomy, Libertarians are right wing in the sense that their ideology necessarily advocates the establishment and maintenance of economic hierarchies through market liberalism.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Apply the collectivist view to matter other than money.

            The left sees that some people have very little income and others have more than they need, and think that we should use government to take from those with much to give to those who earn little, in the name of fairness.

            OK, there are some among us who for whatever reason, bad looks or annoying personality just can’t get laid, We call them incels as in involuntarily celibate. We also have attractive, people who get lots of sex. If we apply the Democrat model for money to sex…

            Miley Cyrus would have to have a lot of sex with ugly people in the name of fairness.


          5. Interesting that you bring up incels. Many of them have valid critiques of modern neoliberal capitalism, but arrive at reactionary solutions. The left should do a better job of reaching these young men.

            But ultimately, it’s a straw man. The only people suggesting men are owed sex from women are alt-right weirdos. Under fully developed luxury communism, we’d all have more leisure time to pursue our pleasures, be they of the flesh or otherwise. 😉

            Liked by 1 person

      1. “Libertarian is neither left nor right”

        That may have been the case back in your hey day. But as you noted in your original post, the party has been hijacked by extremists that appear to be further right of center than in the PT era.


        1. And yet Libertarians were the first non-gay group to support marriage equality.

          Libertarians are free market capitalists because that is the only economic system that excludes force from transactions between people.

          That’s not right or left, it’s freedom vs compulsion.


          1. i think you would do better to listen to what Libertarians say than what others say about Libertarians.

            The division inside the LP is not about how people should be able to live, it is about how tolerant the party should be of advocates of an incremental return to liberty as opposed to demanding an immediate Libertarian world.


          2. You got banished for the apostacy of allowing other voices to be heard. Seems to me the LP has as much as a divisiveness issue as the rest of the country.

            THAT gives the LP a sense of normalcy instead of the candidate Vermin Supreme.


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