Monday, November 18, 2019

The Libertarian Party Has Taken a Three-Election Vacation

A comment of mine from Facebook:

[Gary Johnson and Bill Weld] ran a campaign against the platform of the party that nominated them in significant respects, including but not limited to plainly stating that they only wanted to legalize marijuana and not other drugs, Johnson's proposal to put every man, woman, and child in the United States on a monthly federal welfare check for life, and Weld's advocacy of suppressing the gun and due process rights of people on secret government enemies lists.

For that reason, their campaign should be treated neither as a test of the [Libertarian Party]'s potential appeal, nor as something the party is entitled to credit for. We handed our ballot access over to two big-government Republicans, and that's about all we had to do with what subsequently happened.

We did the same thing in 2012, and before that in 2008.

I've already commented often on the poor branding involved: The LP nominating Republican has-beens over and over brands it as the shuffleboard court at the Home for Old and Cranky GOP Pols.

But it's also a bad idea from a "product testing" standpoint. If Coke runs a focus group on how well people like its product, but has the focus group members drink Pepsi instead of Coke, they don't get any information on how well people like Coke, just on how well people like Pepsi.

If we're going to bother running a presidential slate, we should run a slate that campaigns on what the party stands for, not on something else, and that slate should preferably be composed of candidates whose prior reputations aren't inextricably linked to their association with some other party.

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