Thursday, January 20, 2005

And you don't have to be a rocket scientist ...

... to figure out that I have decided to return to the Democratic Party.

This isn't an "announcement." I'm not an important enough person for "announcements" about my party affiliation to raise many eyebrows. However, it does seem like this article and this one probably need a follow-up, so I might as well talk about why I'm a Democrat again.

As much as I'd like to believe that the Libertarian Party has the potential to change the face of America, I just haven't seen the evidence of that in the last few years. I'm not here to put the LP down. I'm a libertarian. Most of my friends are libertarians. Many of my libertarian friends are LP members and will probably remain so. And hell, I may be back ... if I see evidence that the LP is ready to become a political party.

Right now, it isn't. It's an ideological membership organization. Winning elections is way down its list of priorities. It functions primarily as an educational entity, and occasionally as a "spoiler" -- which hopefully is educational to the "major party" candidates in a way that makes them want to do what they need to get libertarian support -- but in 30 years it's failed to build the grassroots, ground-up, precinct-level foundation necessary to anything more than scattered local political success. That's not all its fault. Circumstances such as draconian ballot access requirements, the two-party media monopoly, etc., make it an uphill fight. But it remains, nonetheless, a fact.

And I, sorry to say, am a political junkie. Philosophically, I'm an anarchist, and I think I'd take Manny's bet ("give me one chance in ten ...") on just saying to hell with it and smashing the state. But I don't see one chance in ten, and I like politics. So, I'll do what I can, when I can, for anarchy. But I'm going to get my fix in the meantime.

Who's gonna be my dealer?

The Republicans are already in power. The Democrats are hungry. Who's going to work harder?

The Republicans have always been the party of big government. Since day one. Yeah, they talk a good line, but read your history. And a ten-year hold on congress plus two consecutive presidential election victories aren't incentives for change. They're incentives for more of the same.

The Democratic Party certainly has been a party of big government, but not always.

The first Democratic president was Thomas Jefferson.

Grover Cleveland, arguably the best president since Jefferson, was a Democrat.

For that matter, FDR ran for president in 1932 on a platform of cutting the size of the federal government by 25% and balancing the budget. It didn't work out that way, but it says something for Democrats of the time that he had to stand on such a platform to be elected.

The Democrats' hunger to win, their historic roots and their perceived need for a new approach make them the likelier party to consider, adopt and work for the implementation of libertarian policy proposals.

And that's a start.

So, I've joined the Democratic Freedom Caucus and started the process of getting involved with my local party clubs and committees.

That's a start, too.

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