October 30, 2004

Business-Owners for Liberty?

In a fit of archiving rage, I'm saving some of my strategic statements from the Free State project. I want to keep them separate before I forget them. I can revise and improve them at a later date, but I'd rather pick up old ideas than recreate them froms cratch.

This one is on integrating business-owners, particularly managers and small business-owners, into the LPNH. This is probably one of the single most important things we can do as strategy goes. We can't have a strictly ideological base from nothing. We need to show demographic groups that liberty is in their interest, hence loyalty to and membership in the Libertarian Party is in their interest:

To realistically win in any chance we need to engage in a game of demographics. We need to address certain groups' needs and interests and have them understand why liberty is the best method to get what they want. The best group here is probably small business owners, who don't like a lot of stupid restrictions, hate taxes, want fewer regulations, are usually more than willing to accept all races and creeds if they work hard, and aren't overly interested in social controls.

We need an alliance with Chambers of Commerce and the business community. Small business owners and managers are politically interested, economically productive, and in my experience most are all-around good people. We need to show them why their ideas are already compatible with most (or all) of what libertarians want.

If we could get small business owners into the LP, involved in its leadership and running on its ticket, we could become a force in NH and eventually elsewhere. Besides having many of the ideas we do, they have the financial strength to offer contributions to the candidates they support.

We need to make it so that we can refer to business owners not as 'our allies' but as simply ourselves - the point where business owners and non-business-owning libertarians are looking for others to ally with because we've gone from 'alliance' to simply a seamless group or party.

Otherwise we're sticking it out with Republican-extra-strength and a bunch of academics with not a lot of money to contribute. We'd be left without a demographic. Democrats have unions and minorities. Republicans have the middle class and white males. We'd have students and modern-day philosophers and not a whole lot else. I'm probably biased, I admit that I see a lot of issues from a small business owner perspective despite never owning one.

Business owners already join groups like Chamber of Commerce and so forth, so there's already something of a point of reference at which to address them. They already have well-developed ideas about the government because moreso than most Americans, small business owners are regularly screwed over by uptight, stuffshirt Democrats.

I really think we need to look at seriously at not just allying with the business community, but encouraging them to run on our tickets and with our resources. It's easy to ask somebody to vote for you, but it shows we mean business if we start asking for libertarian business owners to run on our ticket. I'm not saying we sell out become a business party, or that we let just anybody with a shop run on our ticket. I am saying that 1) by and large business owners ARE libertarian-minded, and 2) we should recruit libertarian business owners, already popular in their communities, to run on our ticket with our support.

Small business owners are critical demographic that is always talked down to or up to but never given what they really need: government off their backs. Addressing their needs and our needs is mutually compatible and beneficial, I think this is the way to make an electorally viable Libertarian party in New Hampshire.


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