Study their behaviors. Observe their territorial boundaries. Leave their habitat as you found it. Report any signs of intelligence.

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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Resigning From The Libertarian Party

To my ideological opponents in the LP:

Your changes to the Libertarian Party Platform at our recent convention on the west coast have gone too far. I have been willing to work with you for many years in our common cause of increasing liberty in America, but now we must part company. The Libertarian Party has been an important voice for liberty for the past 35 years, and its Platform has acted as a rallying point for all of us who have worked so hard together for the cause of smaller government. Now your new Platform threatens all that we have accomplished, by changing what the Party considers its goal state and abandoning the principles that sustained it through three and a half decades of ideological engagement in the electoral arena. The Party is now turning its back on the segment of the voting public for whom it had been speaking so eloquently.

I cannot join you in calling for even less government than we have today in 2041. Since we minarchists and you anarchists formally set aside our differences at the 2008 convention, the LP has enjoyed what we must by now recognize has been startling success. Progress was slow at first, as we old-timers all remember, but when we realized that the strategy of the party should be to unite in electoral politics all Americans who want more economic and civil liberty, success was in some sense fore-ordained. We finally starting harnessing the electoral clout of the growing minority of Americans in our quadrant of Nolan space, and after a couple of false starts managed to broker the outcomes of an ever-increasing number of close elections. Sure, the Demopublicans fought back with the Voter Protection Act of 2013 to effectively neuter third parties, but the resounding Supreme Court decision that overturned it served to cement our role as political kingmaker. The subsequent few years were a blur to all of us, as both major parties scrambled to co-opt our voters by codifying the personal freedoms that many enlightened law enforcement officers had already tacitly been granting since the early twenty-teens anyway. But the decisive turn came in 2021, when the collapsing national health insurance program was defederalized, and a minority of states successfully adopted market-based solutions. Various state LPs acquired second-party status during the golden twenty-twenties, and helped hasten the defederalization trend by deftly parlaying that market-based approach to other responsibilities being devolved from D.C. Still, we were all surprised when we won that first governorship before having won a congressional seat, but in hindsight it was inevitable that such a celebrity LP candidate would choose a state executive post over a career in Congress -- and that the Demopublicans would use gerrymandering to delay Libertarian pluralities in any congressional district. Even our younger members can remember how the LP then displaced the GOP in the early 2030s as America's second party. Those were surprisingly unenjoyable times for the LP, as it proved so hard to translate our state-level successes into a final removal of federal interventions in various industries. Our efforts to amend the Constitution failed embarrassingly, but the Supreme Court again bailed us out by finally overturning Wickard v. Filburn. Much more satisfying has been our success in now half the states in rolling government back to just justice, public goods, and natural monopolies.

I know you say the jury's still out about the complete road privatization and negative-income-tax repeal that the New Hampshire LP pushed into law in 2039, but I can't resist saying I told you so. I know you're still outraged at the secret unification talks that the LP National Committee held with the new confederalista leadership of the GOP, but I still say their recent electoral victories are just piggy-backing off of our successes at state-by-state governance. These calls for internal secession will die down once the voters realize that we Libertarians have already delivered 90% of the benefits of a state withdrawing from the federal union. By panicking and adopting an anarchist Platform reminiscent of the old pre-Portland proto-LP (remember it?), you won't reap any electoral rewards. Confederalista voters want to dissolve the federal government, not all government. It's only the short memories of our young anarchist radicals, combined with the apathy of our contented minarchists, that allowed you sneak your anarchism into the LP-USA Platform. It won't make a difference anyway, because the national Bylaws have for years now made the Platform's planks on intrastate issues be only advisory to the state LPs.

We in the California LP are already preparing to suspend our affiliation with LP-USA if necessary. I hear that other state LPs are considering this option as well. The LP-USA was a useful vehicle for anarchists and minarchists to push together in the shared direction of their respective goals, but now its usefulness for us minarchists has come to an end. We're at our stop, so we're getting off the train. America's revitalized federal system ensures that you can do no serious damage from D.C., and you have several sympathetic states in which you can work to improve on your New Hampshire experiment. I'm glad you're still weak in the California LP, and that there are many happily minarchist states to move to should you do here what you've done to New Hampshire. I make no apologies to my friends there who feel that we minarchists put the anarchists in a position to foul things up for them. America's vast improvements in recent decades would not have been possible if not for the now-historic "2008 Compromise" that allowed liberty-increasers to be a unified force in American electoral politics. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, and we minarchists were too complacent to take seriously the minority effort that was being organized in plain site in our own camp. I may someday return to the LP-USA if the minarchists win it back, but I've fought enough battles. I'm retiring from political activism to focus more on enjoying my grandchildren and the unprecedented freedom and prosperity that has been won for them by decades of hard work by united liberty-lovers.

Brian Holtz
July 2041

[For details on how the LP could attempt to achieve the results fantasized about above, see]

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