"Under no circumstances are you to win elections!" That's what the general public is saying to the Libertarian Party ... true or false?
The truth is the majority of the voting public will vote for Libertarian Party candidates just as readily as they vote for Democrats or Republicans if libertarians campaign on the right issues in the right way.
One wrong way to campaign is to demonize the Democratic and Republican parties. There are many reasons for this. Some obvious practical reasons are that demonizing the other guys is very unpopular among voters, it makes Libertarian Party candidates appear nonconstructive, and it is an open invitation to be shredded by the media.
A not so obvious reason is that it renders Libertarian Party candidates morally weak, having infected themselves with moral virus in the process of slinging judgments. Attack is impossible to initiate when coming from the experience of one's own joy, happiness, and sense of well-being ... the fountainhead of one's strength. One must first abandon one's strength to initiate attack. In this respect, what seems to be an attack on another is first an attack on oneself which weakens oneself.
Some libertarians seem to believe that there are a vast majority of people out there who are disgusted with Republicans and Democrats and can hardly wait for a third party to come along and demonize the other parties so they can finally become voters. Libertarians do well to offer a home to the "politically homeless", but there are zero facts to support the fantasy that such people are a vast majority.
Studies have shown that for the most part non-voters would vote for Democratic or Republican candidates if they were to become voters. The future Libertarian Party majority will actually come from people who are on Democratic and Republican voter lists, or people who have no deep grievances with at least one of these two major political parties.
The success of Libertarian Party candidates will come not from excluding potential Democratic and Republican voters, but from inclusion. Libertarian Party candidates will win by pointing out that they represent the best of both the Republican and Democratic parties without the baggage of the worst of these parties.
The key to Libertarian Party electoral victories is implicit in the little chart which accompanies the "World's Smallest Political Quiz" advertised by libertarians. If the Democrats and Republicans are on one side or the other, the Libertarian Party rises above both by combining the libertarian elements of both, not like the phoenix rising out of the ashes of demolition, but more like the student who has become wiser than his or her teachers and is now appreciated by the followers of his or her teachers.
In this light, the Libertarian Party is seen not as anti-Republican or anti-Democrat, but as a new synthesis of the best of both. Seen in this light, the Libertarian Party can claim to be more true to the principles of the Democratic Party than Democrats themselves, and more true to the principles of the Republican Party than Republicans themselves.
It would be strange to see the Libertarian Party advertise themselves as "true democrats" in so-called "Democratic" districts and as "true republicans" in so-called "Republican" districts, but they literally have the right to do so.
A little joke tells the story:
Did you hear about the Democrat and Republican man and woman who were lovers and she became pregnant?
She was ecstatic and said to him, "It's wonderful to think about! The baby will be the very best of both of us!"
He looked at her wide-eyed and said, "If it's the VERY best of both of us, it will be a Libertarian!"
"I've always voted Republican!" "I've always voted Democratic!" People who say these kinds of statements will vote Libertarian if you first identify with them and let them identify with you. They will not vote Libertarian if you demonize the party in which they have historically invested their emotions.
Strange as the sight might seem, we will see future Libertarian Party candidates running in so-called "Democratic" districts saying something like, "Yes, on the ballot I'm identified as 'Libertarian,' but you can think of me as a 'Libertarian Democrat.' "
Also, as weird as it might appear, we will see future Libertarian Party candidates running in so-called "Republican" districts saying something like, "Well, on the ballot I'm listed as 'Libertarian' but you are certainly welcome to call me a 'Libertarian Republican.' "
A high percentage of these future Libertarian Party candidates who are not afraid to let themselves understand where Republican and Democratic voters are coming from will win their elections, beating the more establishment candidates of the old parties. They will have won by not invalidating the previous leanings of the voters in the district, but by being willing to first meet the voters where they are at ... then rising above where they are at and pulling the voters up to a new debate: who is more libertarian?
This new debate works to win elections because of one important fact: at some level inside themselves everyone is a libertarian. Clean off the debris that is cluttering the minds and emotions of many Democrats and you find someone who is libertarian at heart. Wash away the fear which blocks many Republicans and you find the soul of a libertarian.
Elections cannot be won by demonizing these Democrats and Republicans who are temporarily out-of-touch with their innate libertarianism. Elections can and will be won by including them and lifting them higher.
For the last election year studied (1998) some of the highest percentage of votes for Libertarian Party candidates were for candidates who had been studying free of charge the lessons of: Course in Political Miracles
For a great discussion on Christianity vs. State Socialism see: Christianity vs. State Socialism
“I did not understand what made me free, nor what my freedom is, nor where to look to find it. Father, I have searched in vain until I heard Your Voice directing me. Now I would guide myself no more. For I have neither made nor understood the way to find my freedom. But I trust in You. You Who endowed me with my freedom as Your holy Son will not be lost to me. Your Voice directs me." (Prayer from A Course in Miracles)