by Robert Wenzel: The
30-Day Reading List That Will Lead You to Becoming a Knowledgeable Libertarian
mafia leader John Gotti, who understood a thing or two about men,
once told his daughter: "Regardless of how much a man tells
you about how smart you are, he really has only one thing on his
mind. You may see a certain man and think of him as grandfatherly,
just remember, he has only one thing on his mind."
There is an
analogous situation in the world of politics, no matter how much
a politician tells you how he wants to fight for your cause, keep
in mind that he has only one thing on his mind: getting or maintaining
No matter how
well groomed or smooth he looks, no matter how well he delivers
his lines, he has only one thing on his mind: getting or maintaining
In a democracy,
in a two man race, a politician must be concerned with the percentage
50% plus one vote. (In a three man race, it's 33% plus one
vote, but to keep things simple I will assume a two man race. In
a three man race or more, the general idea is the same, just different
percentages.) To be a successful politician, a politician must look
at each and every voter and determine whether that person is going
to bring him closer to 50% plus one, and how much closer.
In other words,
you as an individual voter are not very important to him. Think,
I'm kidding? Try getting an appointment with one of your U.S. senators
to discuss some tax loophole you would like for yourself, so that
instead of sending 25% of your money to the IRS, you get to use
the money on a three month per year trip to the Bahamas, which you
then are able to deduct from your tax bill. Go ahead, call your
senator now and try and get this done.
If you understand
politician math and the importance of 50% plus one vote to
a politician, you will understand that individuals, who represent
large groups of voters, can get appointments with senators. A Citibank
lobbyist, and other bankster lobbyists, are also going to be able
to get meetings with senators. They bring money that the politician
can use in his campaign that will help him advance toward 50%
plus one vote. That's why banksters get tax loopholes and you
this math should help you understand why, for the liberty lover,
politics is mostly a waste of time in present day America. Judging
by the votes Ron Paul received in the recent primaries, and if we
use that as a rough guide for the number of liberty voters, it is
under 10%. There is no politician, outside of maybe in a fluke congressional
district, that is going to win an election on a purely libertarian
campaign. He will need to get from 10% to 50% plus one voter
by appealing to groups beyond the 10% libertarians and that means
appealing to groups that are decidedly non-libertarian and want
something from the government. It has to be, there is no other way.
The math says so. Ron Paul was an outlier, but he also did it on
a congressional district level. The minute he considered running
statewide in Texas for the U.S. Senate, which is a more powerful
position and which caught the attention of political power players,
Phil Gramm was brought in to run against Dr. Paul and neutralize
it makes no sense for an individual to vote, endorse, or work for
any politician, especially if you are a libertarian. Democracies
are about power players and divvying up the lucre and power. If
on the other hand you somehow can deliver a vote of 10% or more
because you have a following, you may be able to make a marginal
incremental influence in favor of liberty. You won't get much, especially
when you will be vying against other power players, who want to
grab and take and steal and expand government power, but on a practical
level, the mathematics work in that you may be able to get something.
us to the curious case of Senator Rand Paul, who arguably once could
have delivered to Mitt Romney the Ron Paul supporters and perhaps
some Tea Party voters. This would have some weight with Romney and
he would have listened to a Rand request for something in return
for an endorsement. Rand, however, botched it by the timing of his
endorsement (immediately after Ron Paul said he could not win, which
gave the impression that Rand couldn't wait to endorse Romney),
by the enthusiasm of his endorsement for the statist, war hawk Romney
and because of his absurd attempt to give the impression that Ron
Paul and Romney held similar views on the Fed and war.
Rand did nothing
but damage his libertarian base, big time. Good luck with your next
money bomb, Rand. Think more bomb and less money.
to damaging his base, Rand also had very little to negotiate for
in the first place. The power players associated with war and the
Fed, that Romney aligns himself with, are much more powerful than
Rand. He wouldn't be able to change Romney's views on those positions.
Perhaps if Rand was a skilled political negotiator, he could have
gotten the VP spot from where he could have used it for something
akin to a bully pulpit for liberty. But Rand immediately came out
in his endorsement of Romney and threw Ron Paul's liberty positions
on war, and the Fed, under the bus.
This does not
mean that endorsements and political contributions can never be
used by libertarians, but they need to be used carefully and with
skill. There is nothing wrong, for example, with a libertarian billionaire
who makes contributions to presidential campaigns and senatorial
campaigns that result in, say, his gaining more freedom by getting
politicians to write tax loopholes for him (as long as he does not
use the power to infringe on others) and there is nothing wrong
with a libertarian religious leader with a following, say, endorsing
an anti-war candidate against a pro-war candidate.
is nothing wrong with a skillful senator endorsing a presidential
candidate in order to gain the vice presidential spot, with the
plan to use it as a post from which to launch a daily barrage of
pro-liberty statements, but it would take a very rare, very courageous,
very clever senator to pull it off. The manner in which Rand Paul
showed a lack of courage in standing up for freedom in his endorsement,
and his lack of skill in executing the endorsement, shows that he
is not such a senator. And, I don't see any others close that could
currently fill this role. They are all just about 50% plus one
his interviews since endorsing Romney, in every one of them, Rand
really talks about nothing but politician math. He talks about how
the support he has lost because of endorsing Romney has been nothing
but the hardcore libertarians, "most of whom don't vote anyway,"
says he. He has been adding up in his head on live television the
dynamics of the 50% plus one vote for Romney and his role
in delivering that vote.
despite the reverence and lip service placed on "one man one
vote", is really about power blocks, get out the vote machines
and the power players who control the blocks, machines and money.
It has nothing to do with the individual.
is only served away from government. The only chance an individual
has to get his unique quirks met is not from government, where a
quirk could never possibly result in a power block to influence
government, but in the private property free market society where
businessmen are out to serve all--not just the power crazed.
unless you are super wealthy, or have a power bloc you can deliver,
politics is a waste of time. This is even more the case for the
libertarian, since politics is, in the end, mostly the fine art
of delivering for the power players by destroying liberty, while
talking gibberish about serving the people.
If you buy
into the gibberish, you are a sucker.
You are much
better off studying about freedom, practicing freedom and writing
about freedom, than you are joining and working a political campaign
for what ultimately must become a liberty destroying outcome.
with permission from Economic
Economic Policy Journal
Best of Robert Wenzel