Thursday, January 05, 2017

A Note on the Role of the LNC's Chair

When you run for, and are elected to, the office of chair of the Libertarian National Committee, you have to give up certain things in order to do the job right.

Some of those things are obvious. For example, you give up a lot of your own time, and you spend a lot of your own money, to do the work. You have to give up some personal space, engaging with people you might avoid if engaging with them wasn't your job.

One of those things is less obvious, and people not recognizing that thing is probably a source of personal angst for current chair Nick Sarwark. Thing is, he can't really come right out and say it, because doing so is part of the package of things given up that he accepted when he became chair. So I'm going to say it. Not for him, because he hasn't asked me to or hinted that I should, and because he may not even want me to. But I still think it's important to. So:

When you become chair of the Libertarian National Committee, you give up a large part of your ability to speak solely for yourself. Your obligation is to be speak, and you will almost always be assumed to be speaking, for the PARTY.

So, there's been a little bit of controversy over Sarwark's recent interview on the Lions of Liberty Podcast:

It is not the job of the LNC's chair to criticize the party's presidential ticket. Until and unless the LNC suspends those candidates, it is the chair's job to support those candidates. And as chair, it's probably best for him to let the LNC make up its own mind about that rather than try to push it in one direction or another.

After the election, it remains the chair's job to portray and promote the party in the best plausible light. This is the case even if he thinks the party fucked up massively in some way.

I have no information suggesting that Sarwark believes that to be the case. I'm just saying that even if he does believe it to be the case, his duties as chair preclude him from just going around yelling "we fucked up massively." He represents the party, especially including the majority of national convention delegates who nominated the presidential ticket and who do not seem to have changed their minds about the wisdom of  having done so.

So when Nick Sarwark is asked about Gary Johnson and/or William Weld, no, he is not to be condemned for not jumping up and down on the couch like Tom Cruise while screaming at the top of his lungs about what fuckups they were and how stupid it was to nominate them.

Doing that is my job.

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