As a recovering Republican and now a full fledged “big L” Libertarian in the Libertarian Party of California (LPC), I have met many like minded folks in the GOP who believe they can reform a Republican party that is both insolent and unwelcoming toward their efforts. Here in Ventura County, a Ron Paul Republican won a central committee seat with the GOP only to have the party bosses strong arm a few key votes so that their “chosen one” was the winner. The problem? The voting had been closed and the winners announced when the votes were changed. Election fraud is not unique to Democrats or their ACORN buddies. I mention this particular vote because it is emblematic of the GOP at-large, where those in power within the GOP are threatened by those who wish to have the Republican party actually be conservative. The party bosses are fighting tooth and nail to keep the status quo while painting a Potemkin picture of change.
But even if you could reform the GOP here in California, their brand is so tarnished and reputation so derided, that whether or not the party actually does manage to reform into something more Libertarian, will it make a difference in the minds of the public -especially the young? Have you been to a GOP meeting lately? Just look around. Moreover, in a year in which Republicans were sweeping into office across other parts of the nation, it was only here in California that the GOP actually suffered even more losses, having not won a single statewide-race at all and losing ground in the legislature! This is a symptom of how anemic the party has become in the Golden State.
It’s so hard for Republicans to raise funds for major races here if California that it seems only mega-wealthy, self-financed candidates ever stand a chance at winning a governor’s race. Just think Arnold Schwarzenegger and Meg Whitman; each worth approximately $300 million and 1 billion, respectively. But, not even Whitman’s eye-popping campaign spending, at $178.5 million, was enough to push her over the edge. Now that’s a wasted vote. And as if these weren’t enough indications of a lost cause for the GOP in California, their voter registration numbers in the state are dwindling while “big L” Libertarian numbers are rising. The number of registered Independent and Decline-To-State voters is up, too. “Anywhere but the GOP” is what these figures should tell you. Libertarian Party of California numbers would be rising exponentially were it not for the LPC’s historic reticence to fundraise to the same degree the other parties do. That’s changing swiftly though…
So why fight a party machine that doesn’t want you and that the public doesn’t want either? Given the mood Californians are in, Libertarians are finding people to join the party with ease. The LPC is rapidly evolving into an effective party, it sells easily with the public, and isn’t a watered-down version of Liberty. I encourage everyone to visit http://ca.lp.org/ and discover an alternative that actually stands a chance in California’s future.
Vice Chair – LPVC