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Forwarded: Stand Up For Liberty (long)

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  • Michael L. Sensor
    Forwarded for your information from Dr. George Phillies of LP-Massachusetts. I encourage everyone to visit http://www.lp2000.com for more information on the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 8, 1999
      Forwarded for your information from Dr. George Phillies of LP-Massachusetts.
      I encourage everyone to visit http://www.lp2000.com for more information on
      the Libertarian Strategy Caucus.

      - MS

      ---------- Forwarded message ----------
      Date: Mon, 7 Jun 1999 20:00:12 -0400 (EDT)
      From: George D. Phillies <phillies@...>
      To: libertarians@...
      Subject: Stand Up (fwd)

      The Libertarian Strategy Caucus is a discussion group focused on paths for
      success of the Libertarian Party during our lifetime. The attached cover
      letter has gone to individual Libertarians, describing what we are trying
      to do. More ideas are in the following message. For more details
      http://www.lp2000.com, especially the table of contents.

      George Phillies


      I am writing you on behalf of the local-organization path to victory wing
      of the Libertarian Party. We are trying to do political organization for
      next year and future years. We want to to move the national Libertarian
      Party from where it is now. We want to focus on local and state campaigns
      and ballot access. We are preparing to publish a monthly newsletter
      "Libertarian Strategy Gazette" espousing our point of view.

      I am sending you two items, one being the opening chapter of the book I am
      writing, and the other being a partial sketch of the rest of the contents.
      These explain how we get the LP to political victory, not exactly what we
      will do as we gain power. The opening chapter (this note) is more Raise
      the Faithful to Action! The beef is in the second item I am sending you.

      Aside: Realistically speaking, I've written something like a million words
      professionally. I'm not suddenly going to get a lot better than what you
      have here. I am a bottom up, not a top down writer. My notes are
      fragments, sentences, and paragraphs, not an outline in the usual sense. I
      write by creating and perfecting the individual tesserae that eventually
      turn into a mosaic.

      George Phillies

      In the following {\em isolated line} is a section heading.

      Book Title: Stand Up for Liberty!


      {\em What are you reading?}

      {\em Stand Up for Liberty!} discusses political strategy. Political
      strategy is a tool. Political Strategy lets us create the circumstances
      under which we win lots of elections. We can already win isolated
      elections here or there. It is through sound political strategy that we
      will win lots of elections from Maine to Florida to Hawaii to Alaska.

      To my knowledge, you are holding the only recent book focused entirely on
      Libertarian political strategy. There are several fine references on
      political tactics -- what to do during a single election campaign. There
      are plenty of books on Libertarian theory -- what Libertarians would do if
      they took political power. This book focuses on turning "if" into
      "Libertarians won lots of elections and brought the Libertarian future to

      {\em Stand Up for Liberty!} advocates a particular political strategy for
      the Libertarian Party. The strategy has been around as a name for some
      time. {\em Stand Up for Liberty} is an implementation proposal. It
      describes how to turn the strategic concept into concrete actions.

      I'm not the Libertarian Party's only strategist. Other strategists give
      convention speeches, publish newsletters and internet pages, contribute to
      fundraising letters, and seek Party office for themselves and their
      champions. Some of us actually try to put our ideas into effect. If you
      listen to what we say and watch what we do, you'll see that there are at
      least three major proposed strategies for Libertarian activism. We'll
      come back to these strategies later.

      {\em Stand Up for Liberty!} is not primarily about campaign tactics. If
      you are running for office right now, this book won't tell you how to win
      your current campaign. When you are down in the trenches, it's time for
      tactics. It's time to press the flesh and get out your vote. It's too
      late for strategy.

      Strategy is about setting up yourself and your fellow Libertarians to win
      lots of elections. Strategy is about creating an environment in which
      Libertarians are routinely elected to office. Strategy is about creating
      an environment in which Libertarian policies routinely go into effect.

      I'm not saying: don't run for office. Running for office is a very
      important part of the strategy I advocate here. I am saying: there's more
      to winning the Libertarian future than fielding an occasional candidate.

      When you play chess, every good move except the last has at least two
      purposes. When you run for office, your campaign should also have two
      purposes. It has a tactical purpose: Get you elected!. It has a
      strategic purpose: Build the environment in which Libertarians win! The
      tactical and strategic purposes of a well-done campaign never conflict.

      {\em Stand Up for Liberty!} outlines how Libertarians can most effectively
      apply their resources to promote their political philosophy. How should
      you best invest your time, money, and votes? Like many Libertarians, I
      want to see a future in which the Libertarian Party and libertarian
      political philosophy have brought the United States to the Libertarian
      Future of peace, freedom, and prosperity. In {\em Stand Up for Liberty} I
      describe the best path for reaching that future.

      {\em What are you not reading?}

      As I type, it's 1999. Go to your book store. In 1999, you can find
      stacks of books about Libertarian ideas. There are books discussing which
      ideas a Libertarian must support. There are books explaining which ideas
      a Libertarian cannot possibly support. There are even books explaining
      how to decide for yourself whether a new idea is consistent with
      Libertarian thought.

      {\em Stand Up for Liberty!} is not one of those books.

      I didn't write this book to tell you what Libertarianism is. If you want
      to find out, read the Libertarian Party Platform, not to mention books by
      Boaz\cite{Boaz}, Hayek\cite{Hayek}, Ruwart\cite{Ruwart}, and

      I didn't write this book to convert our country's liberals, populists, and
      conservatives to libertarianism. I want them to convert, preferably before
      I run for office again, but that's not why I wrote this book.

      Nor did I write this book so I could sing hymns at the choir. All too
      many Libertarians are all too expert at preaching at the faithful.

      If you are one of our country's Democrats or Reformers or Republicans,
      after reading this book you will still be a Democrat or Reformer or
      Republican. This book wasn't written to persuade you to change parties.
      It was written to create political circumstances in which you and your
      children discover for yourselves, in your own ways, that the Libertarian
      Party is the Party of the American Dream. It was written to create the
      political circumstances in which you too will voluntarily choose to Stand
      Up for Liberty! and Vote Libertarian!

      [However, suppose you are a Democrat or Reformer or Republican. Ask
      yourself: Where are my party's strategy books? Where does my party
      debate the path to Democratic/Reform/Republican victory? What is our plan
      -- as opposed to this year's fundraising gimmick -- for winning elections?
      If Libertarians debate strategy, and my party does not, what does that say
      about my party's openness. Is my party run by its owners, or by a small
      elite? If Libertarians do more thinking about strategy than my party
      does, do they think more carefully about their political ideas, too?] That
      question is for another book.

      {\em How did I get here?}

      In 1996, I accepted the nomination of the Libertarian Association of
      Massachusetts. I agreed to be their candidate for the United States
      Senate, running against Republican Bill Weld and Democrat John Kerry. In
      the end, the Massachusetts Libertarian Party failed to get me on the

      I learned from experience. Success demands understanding, targeting,
      planning, and initiative. If you don't know where you are, it's hard to
      know where to go. If you don't decide where you want to go, you'll never
      know that you've arrived. If you set off at random, you're unlikely to
      end up where you want. If you never set off at all, you'll probably never
      get anywhere.

      Of course, sitting and waiting, eyes and ears closed with no planning, is
      a strategy. It's even a good strategy if you're a rock and your objective
      is to let the moss grow. It's not a good strategy if you're a
      Libertarian, and want to reach the Libertarian future during your

      Real success demands an understanding of the objective circumstances of
      your situation. Before you decide what your situation allows you to do,
      you need to learn what your situation is. You can't play the game until
      you learn enough rules. Real success demands targeting, because no
      situation compels action. If you jump from an airplane, what you do with
      your parachute is determined by your choice of medical condition after
      landing. Real success demands sound planning based on your goals and your
      objective circumstances. The ship Liberty steers better after a course
      has been selected for her. Finally, success demands initiative. In order
      to win, you -- yes, you the reader -- need to Stand Up for Liberty! and
      Make Liberty Happen!

      In 1998, I again accepted the nomination of the Libertarian Association of
      Massachusetts. I agreed to Stand Up for Liberty! and run for the United
      States Congress in the Massachusetts Third District. This time, I'd
      studied the situation carefully. I made a sound plan with good safety
      margins. I took the initiative, rather than waiting for someone else to
      run me for office.

      In the end, I got on the ballot without a glitch. I did the things a
      serious candidate does: Advertise. Meet voters. Send out press
      releases. Distribute bumper stickers. I was in a dozen debates against
      my two opponents. Four days before the election, 7PM Eastern Standard
      Time, our three-way debate from Channel 3 Worcester went out on C-SPAN2.
      For a full hour, viewers from coast to coast got to compare my Libertarian
      principles with the stale policies of the Democratic-Republican duopoly.

      I knew that winning the race would be extremely challenging. However, in
      1998, I had studied the objective situation. I learned enough of the
      rules of game. I identified my target. I Stood Up for Liberty! and ran
      for office. My plans executed as expected within the limits of my
      resources. My vote total doubled the vote percentage achieved in 1996 by
      the Libertarian Presidential team of Harry Browne and Jo Jorgenson.

      As it happened, I did not win. For us to win consistently requires a new
      environment, not just a new candidate. As a candidate, I did my bit to
      move America toward that environment, an environment which supports the
      Libertarian ideals of freedom, prosperity, and peace. To reach that
      environment in our lifetimes, we must apply our resources effectively.
      {\em Stand Up for Liberty!} sets out a path for investing our resources
      and attaining our goals.

      {Am I a Libertarian?}

      While some people will take good ideas wherever they find them, others
      worry about their provenance. To some readers, an idea can be no better
      than its author. What, then, are my Libertarian credentials?

      I'm a Libertarian. I want to move America in the direction of far smaller
      government, far lower taxes, and far higher respect for the personal
      liberty of every single American. I'm not an anarchist. I have no
      interest in abolishing government, though I will not complain if someone
      shows me something that's better in principle and in practice. Nor do I
      expect that a Libertarian future will be utopia. Our real world is
      limited by material constraints and human failings. Utopia is only
      limited by the outer envelope of human imagination.

      I expect that a Libertarian future will have difficulties and challenges,
      many of which we will fail to anticipate before they happen. I also
      expect that a Libertarian future will have fewer difficulties than any
      alternative. I am firmly convinced that "better than the alternatives" is
      all that really matters. We may not end disease, but a Libertarian future
      will have fewer obstacles between the sick and new cures. We may not cure
      poverty, but a poor man in a Libertarian future will enjoy comforts beyond
      the imagination of our forefathers. We may not end assaults on freedom,
      but in a Libertarian future government will protect the person, property,
      and freedom of every person, not enslave that person, destroy her
      property, and end her liberties.

      There's no such thing as a free lunch in economics. There's no free lunch
      at the ballot box, either. If you sit back and wait for someone else to
      give you free money, you may have a bit of a wait ahead of you. If you
      sit back and wait for someone else to Stand Up for Liberty! on your
      behalf, you may have a very long wait.

      If you want to move toward a Libertarian future, you yourself need to
      challenge the Democratic-Republican duopoly. You need to challenge them
      in your ward and precinct, your town and county and state, even in the
      Halls of the Federal Congress. Not everyone will Stand Up for Liberty! in
      the same way. Some will run for office. Others will donate their time or
      money. Others will speak up for the cause of freedom. If we sit around
      and do nothing, the defeat of Liberty is assured. Only if we all Stand Up
      for Liberty!, each in our own way, is there a possibility that we will

      {So where are we?}

      It's time to {\em Stand Up for Liberty!} It's time to take the actions
      that will forward the banner of freedom from sea to shining sea. It's
      time to Stand Up For Victory! for the one American political Party that
      stands one hundred percent for freedom, one hundred percent of the time,
      without any compromises. In this book, I present my strategy, the Path to
      Libertarian Victory.

      Could I have said this at less length? I'm a college professor. I'm long
      winded. My {\em private} employer {\em pays} me to be long winded. It's
      implicit in my job description. If you want to read a condensed version
      of this book, just be patient. If the demand is sufficient, the market
      will provide.

      {\em I note with thanks:}

      The Libertarian Party has at its disposal a host of armchair strategists
      and practical campaigners. Many of these people have set out their own
      ideas on what we should do. I've been heavily influenced by these people
      in my reading, my conversations, and my EMail exchanges. I claim no
      monopoly or originality for any step I propose here. Up to the limits of
      a faulty memory, the words are mine. If I appear to see farther than some
      other Libertarians, it's because like a certain fellow physicist I stand
      on the shoulders of giants. I should, however, acknowledge being
      influenced by the words and ideas of many fellow Libertarians, including
      (in alphabetical order) [must alphabetize] Gene Cisewski, Mike Hihn, John
      Famularo, Jorge Amador, Janice Presser, Gail Lightfoot, Jesse Markowitz,
      Michael Sensor, Ken Peterson, John Brickner other names to be added.
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