This is part of my letter to American Conservatives.
What on earth are you doing and why do you keep doing it? Third parties don’t win the presidency. This isn’t evidence of a broken system, or defeatism. This is a reflection on the utter lack of strategic vision on the part of 3rd parties, their supporters and their members.
Why *should* anyone trust the most powerful nation on earth to an untried, untested set of ideas? We know the libertarian platform is better than that of the other two parties. But the American people dont. The ambassadors for it hardly fill the voters with confidence. A man who knows nothing about foreign policy can get away with it if (like Bush) we see smarter men pulling his strings. A man like Jonson cannot. You can’t get someone to try something new unless you wrap it up as something trusted and old. Here’s how to do that.
2016: Forget Gary Johnson, stop wasting time and money on him. Get a list of every candidate for town council you have and throw the party’s money at them. Have Johnson visit Podunk Alabama population 300 and tell people to vote for the libertarian school board candidate. Win a new city council seat, somewhere, anywhere.
2018: Pick a local council somewhere that’s having elections this year. Run a full slate of candidates. Throw the whole party behind that slate. Become the second largest party on the council. At the same time try the same in a few other councils, stand full slates anywhere it’s easy, and at least someone as many places as possible.
2020: Be the credible voice of opposition in one township somewhere. You know as I do that market based solutions to traffic, to crime etc are best. Prove it. If this tiny town has a problem throw the not inconsiderable intellect of the Libertarian party behind it. Solve the practical issues. The potholes on Main Street? Work out why the market isn’t solving this problem and make it happen in practice. When some innovation has a bad side effect in practice work out how to meliorate it. Show that you have serious practical ideas. Then in 2020 you’ll make gains, people will be re-elected. Run for everything going, sheriff, school board, elected judges, city mayor.
2022: Actually win a town council. Run full slates in many more nearby, and at least someone in every council in the state. Continue to focus on just this council, solve its problems in the real world, not in theory. Become known as the Libertaian success story.
2024: Run for an win another few town councils or similar in the same state. Run for and lose councils in other states. Run for and lose as state representative and state senator.
2026: Run a full slate in every council in the state. Run candidates in as many other other states as you can, run full slates at least somewhere in every state. Win a council in another state.
2028: One district you’ll control several town councils and mayors. Win that state representative, come second in a handful of other rep races. Make people realise that it’s possible to vote Libertarian and win. Win dozens of town councils in other states. Run everywhere you can for every office below state senator. Come up with a radical set of proposals for voting reform, political reform of all kinds.
2030: Become the second largest party in the state legislature. Put forward serious legislation, have it debated. Put the full intellectual power of the libertarians into solving all the practical problems. Fix the gerrymandering your opponents propose by arguing for a fair redistricting system. Run for governor and come close third. Make it clear that you are not a protest vote. Make it clear you are ready and able to take political power. Raise money locally to spend in local races. Gain members locally to run in them. Argue for your reform platform and implement it in a town council by changing its charter.
2032: Make gains in both houses of the state legislature. Ally with one of the other parties to get a signature law through. Win in town councils up and down the state, and make sure they run *brilliantly*. Make people think you can make the trains run on time. Win town councils in other states. Run for state representatives elsewhere and come second. Argue for your reform platform, solve the practical problems with it in the town council you tried.
2034: Become the largest party in one house of the state legislature. Run for governor and come second. Win state rep seats elsewhere. Win town councils up and down the country. Run a candidate for federal representative, come second. Become the second largest party in other state legislatures. Stand candidates for all state and local offices you can. Implement your political reforms in another town council, argue for them in every town council
2036: Become at least the second largest party in a third of all state legislatures. Stand candidates for all federal offices for the first time since 2016. Win a federal representative. Implement political reforms in every town council you can. Argue for similar reforms in a state you control.
2038: Win many federal representatives, telling the story of how your party fixed <state> and you’re coming to fix America. Implement sweeping political reform in that state by fixing the state constitution. Make the states you run examples to the world. Fix the practical problems better than the other two parties ever did. Show how you can solve problems in practice.
2040: Come second for the presidency. Come second in the House, win something in the Senate. Win another few state legislatures. Put forward important bills. Make them practically workable. Explain how you helped turn around several states. Reform the constitutions of other states, argue for such reforms in every state.
2042: Win the House, come second in the senate. Win many state legislatures, and lots of governorship. Put forward a proposed set of constitutional amendments and have the House and Senate debate them.
2044: Win the presidency. Put your constitutional amendments to the people.