FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Why the Libertarians instead of one of the Old Parties? Third parties never win.
That's a fair point, but eventually, we all start to realize that changing someone's opinion on an issue through the use of force is both foolish and futile. That's how I see the tactics of both the Old Parties; "Conform, or be cast out."
For the Republicans, who claim to champion the causes of individual freedoms, rights and responsibilities, I see their hypocrisy of "You MUST believe what I believe (and in the way that I believe it) or you are a/an [insert pejorative term here]". For the Democrats, who attach greater importance to equality and social/community responsibility, I see their hypocrisy as "the social group/community/humanity is more important than the individual, so you MUST subsume your individuality for the benefit of the whole." Granted that these are relatively extreme facets of their separate ideologies, but both have the same single component at their core: authoritarianism.
Admittedly, I may not agree with everything that Libertarians ascribe, but I find that I can support their platform of individual choice, individual responsibility, non-aggression except in self-defense, and reduction on the scope of government interference in our lives. That's why I chose the Libertarians.
If you're an analyst, why would you want to do this?
The simple answer is "because I'm tired of it". Like so many of the people that I have talked to, I am tired of - year after year, cycle after political cycle - trying to get excited over the lesser of 'who cares?' I'm tired of trying (and usually failing) to find a political candidate who can speak intelligently on the issues in complete sentences rather than poll-tested and cliched sound bites. And I'm really tired of office-holders who are more interested in striking poses and playing 'gotcha' than in actually serving the interests of the people who elected them into their office (regardless of the office itself).
Is that naïve? Perhaps, but then I've never been accused of being worldly. I've been called a lot of things -- most of which are not printable - but "worldly" is not among them.
Why should I support you? How will electing you make my life and the lives of my family better?
I'll be honest: it may not. Being a candidate from an alternate political party, there's no way to reasonably answer to that question. One of the concepts that became clear to me during my time in the Marines is that "effective leadership requires compromise", and compromises don't always please everyone. Also, unless some of my other Libertarian candidate friends are elected alongside me, I would be the singular political standout amidst an ocean of partisan authoritarians. This optic alone would make the creation of new legislation - or the repeal of old legislation - difficult (to put it mildly) without coalition-building.
But having outlined that, I can tell you that everything I look at is viewed through the lens of "liberty." More specifically, I seek to answer these questions: "How will this piece of legislation affect the ability of ALL people to live as they see fit? Does this legislation seek to restrict anyone's personal liberties regardless of that person's beliefs, lifestyle choice, or economic status?" If such legislation does not meet these fundamental criteria, you can probably guarantee that I would oppose it.
How is this not a waste of time and money?
Well, first of all, I fail to see how offering alternatives is a waste of time. After all, as an analyst and statistician, offering alternatives is an area of expertise for me. And I'm not really wasting anyone's money. Unlike Old Party candidates, I don't have access to the nearly bottomless financial coffers available to them.
Now, I will agree that the track record of Libertarians being elected to any office is less than stellar, so spending money -- anyone's money -- on a Libertarian campaign is probably not the smartest investment option. But to me, that's still not a very good reason to completely avoid the fight. As a Marine, it's not the losing that bothers me; it's the idea that no one is willing to even gear up for the fight that needs fighting. In my opinion, the continued lock-step extremism of the Old Parties and their respective platforms has been wholly detrimental to both the political discourse of this country, and to the soul of the country itself.
Besides, things could be worse; you could only have two bad options to choose from.
Do you honestly think that you have a real possibility of winning?
I'll be honest here: the possibility is unlikely because voices like mine are drowned within the colossal din of partisan bickering. But yes, I honestly believe that a Libertarian can win a seat in the Texas state house. Here's why:
- Straight ticket voting has been eliminated. That means that a voter cannot simply vote for every candidate within a single party with a single button-press.
- Statistically, in each cycle, an increasingly larger count of voters find that they do not identify with either candidate of the Old Parties (regardless of the office), making a Libertarian bid at least possible.
- Have you noticed that over the past few decades, reports on political races have shifted to highlight the percentage of the vote carried rather than the count of votes? Perhaps that's because the Old Party candidates continue to win, but with fewer and fewer total votes than in the previous cycle.