Tuesday, October 20, 2015
A member of the Libertarian Party makes the following criticism
of the foundering Rand Paul campaign:
"Rand's slump in the polls just underscores questions about the efficacy of his whole campaign's strategy: what's the point of trying to inch a party in a more libertarian direction if, in the process, you're tarring the trending libertarian label by association with a diminished GOP brand and its unpopular and un-libertarian positions on social issues and immigration?" said John Vaught LaBeaume, a Libertarian campaign strategist who served as an adviser to Gov. Gary Johnson's 2012 presidential bid.Except that LaBeaume fails to see that a similar argument could apply to the whole idea of the Libertarian Party, his criticism is apt.
On that score, Peter Schwartz argued a similar point at length long ago. As an example of why Libertarians can't make a coherent case for liberty, he quoted Murray Rothbard:
... Libertarianism is a coalition of adherents from all manner of philosophic (or nonphilosophic) positions, including emotivism, hedonism, Kantian a priorism, and many others. My own position grounds Libertarianism on a natural rights theory embedded in a wider system of Aristotelian-Lockean natural law and a realist ontology and metaphysics. But although those of us taking that position believe that only it provides a satisfactory groundwork as a basis for individual liberty, this is an argument within the libertarian camp about the proper basis and grounding of Libertarianism rather than about the doctrine itself. [emphasis in original]How can there even be a "camp" with disagreement so fundamental that no two libertarians could even agree as to what liberty is? Having asked that, I now think I understand why LaBeaume fails to see himself in the mirror: It isn't just a matter of "branding" when neither the salesman nor his prospective customer really knows what is being "sold."