Budding politicians and political junkies, here is a pithy commentary, with minor wordsmithing for clarity, excerpted from a lively ‘LP 2020 Delegates – Uncensored, Unmoderated‘ Facebook page discussion with D. Frank Robinson of Oklahoma, a ground-floor Libertarian who helped David Nolan with the documentation of our original Libertarian Party Statement of Principles (SoP):
You too noticed that politics “does tend [to] employ every logical fallacy known”. Frank, that is the understatement of the twenty first century!
My approach, unforgivable as it may be, is to figure out why what you say is true using what von Mises called Praxeology. Mises Praxeology is the science of human action and decision making and the broader definition of Economics beyond mere finance. In other words, studying not just what people do but also why they choose to do it, their motivation for choosing a particular course of action.
For example, why do people choose to be Libertarians when it would be easier to go with the flow? Why do people gravitate toward politics instead of just building better mouse traps or other products and services that actually benefit people?
I hear people going on endlessly about the best strategy to get elected, providing lip-service but no action plan to achieve freedom, and never, never mentioning the free market, the real source of benefits and our Libertarian home turf. Consequently, I am understandably skeptical of the motives of many if not most politicians, including many Libertarian politicians.
Unfortunately, despite lip-service to freedom, the political motivations I see are pretty ugly in terms of Libertarian thought. To be fair and give credit where credit is due, a comparatively disproportionate number of Libertarians politicians truly are in it to further freedom. And, of course, there are many political gradients.
Those folks do the freedom cause a disservice and are part of the problem, not the solution. We know they dominate the duopoly. The question is how dominant they are in the LP.
In my opinion, whether or not they include the free market in their platform, and come with action plans to solve problems leveraging the benefits of the free market, tells me what I need to know about the sincerity of their freedom agenda, as opposed politics as usual for personal aggrandizement. Another tell-tale sign is whether they stoop to the level of using political correctness, i.e., lying to achieve a political purpose like getting elected.
My conclusions are not flattering to most politicians. Unfortunately, that includes many Libertarian politicians. When you take off the political ‘arrested paradigm’ blinders, it is pretty easy to spot the “I wanna get elected” gleam in their eyes, disingenuous political correctness, and insincere freedom advocacy that totally ignores the free market.
D. Pratt Tseramed, June 13, 2020