Thursday, March 16, 2006

Another side of seriousness


In my last article on realpolitik, I defined "serious" candidates along the axis of activity and effort rather than character and presentation. At that time, I declined to discuss the weirdo/nutjob factor, figuring that a good showcase opportunity would come along soon enough. It was a short wait.

On this side of seriousness, there are several factors to look at:

- If someone wants to represent a political party as its candidate, it only makes sense that he or she (I'll use "he" from here on out to refer to candidates of both genders) should know what that party stands for -- and that that party should look at prospective candidates for agreement with the party's agenda, at least on broad principles and major policy items.

- If someone wants to represent a political party as its candidate, it only makes sense that he should bring things to the campaign that are advantageous to himself and to the party -- that make him an attractive candidate to the voters and an asset to the party he's chosen to affiliate with. It also makes sense that the party should look at prospective candidates and judge whether or not they reflect the image that the party wants to project.

While I find the "white nationalism" of Glenn Miller extremely disagreeable, I didn't really have to reach that issue to conclude that he was not the kind of candidate the Missouri Libertarian Party wanted on its ballot:

- He had no idea of what the party stands for. The best he could come up with by way of description, prior to attempting to hijack our ballot line, was that we have an "anything goes" platform, which he interpreted as meaning that we should welcome him with open arms if we weren't hypocrites. It wouldn't have been difficult for him to hit Google and find out what L/libertarians believe in, but he apparently couldn't be bothered to do so.

- He had no idea that the image he wants to project is wildly incompatible with the image that we want to project. The nutshell version that finally seemed to get through to him was when I pointed out that he was running on an "anti-Jewish" platform ... and that he was attempting to do so on the ticket of the party whose 1972 vice-presidential candidate, Toni Nathan, was the first Jew (and the first woman) to receive an electoral vote in a US presidential election.

- He seemed to have no idea that, as a candidate, he offers the party no advantage. Nor, for that matter, did he seem to care -- he comes off as nothing more or less than a political welfare queen who thinks that it's our job to provide him with something he'd otherwise have to work to get for himself.

For someone whose entire philosophy is based on the hypothesis that mutually exclusive "racial" groups exist and are locked in eternal struggle with each other for control of earth, Miller seems to have a really hard time grokking the notion that mutually exclusive political groups also exist, that they too are locked in struggle against each other, and that his enemies don't owe him the use of their resources to their own disadvantage.

There is, of course, the weirdo/nutjob factor, which shouldn't be minimized. Miller is bizarre in terms of both ideas and behavior. If you want to see how bizarre (and if you have a strong stomach), check out his online hangouts: His campaign site, the site of his "party" (since he has one of his own, what need does he have to hijack ours?), or the forum he posts frequently on (I participate in threads here and here if you're interested in libertarian v. "white nationalist" cage matches and such).

My summary judgment of Mr. Miller is that Libertarians are very fortunate to have him shilling for other ideas rather than for ours, and that we would have been stump-stupid to acquiesce in his attempt to adopt our ballot line as a flag of convenience. Of course, he is not the first enemy of liberty to attempt that, nor will he be the last.

The Libertarian Party is in a very dangerous phase of its existence: Large enough to present a juicy target for hijackers, small enough that it sometimes has difficulty defending itself against them. Fortunately, Mr. Miller's competence doesn't rise to the level of his ambition, and fending him off has not been, and is not likely to become, a difficult task ... but there will be others like him. Some of them will be smoother. Some of them will be smarter. Our best defense against them is to become more successful, more quickly, and even that doesn't confer any kind of real "immunity" (ask the Republicans about David Duke, who was elected to Louisiana's state legislature on their ticket, ran for Senate on their ticket and, last time I heard, still served as a GOP committeeman). Eternal vigilance, as Jefferson said, is the price of liberty.

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