Document:LP News 1972 March Issue 4
Formula for success: “a member a month”
Encouraging as our progress to date has been, there are some cold, hard facts we must face. And primary among these is that if the Libertarian Party is to become a factor to be reckoned with in American politics, we must multiply our strength by approximately 100 in the next seven months.
If we can do this — and there is no theoretical reason why we cannot — we will be able to inculcate enough voters with libertarian ideas that we will have a measurable effect on the outcome of at least some of the races this November … and, consequently, will be able to influence the course of events in the next few years. Otherwise, we will simply be relegated to the status of an obscure footnote in future volumes describing the establishment of the Total State in America.
Thus, it is absolutely vital that each and every LP member makes an all-out effort to recruit new members, on a regular and continuing bases.
We point this out because, despite prior exhortations, too many members seem to feel that they have “done their bit for the cause” simply by sending in their $4 or $6 or $12. We appreciate this support, of course, but if that’s all you do, this party is going to be a failure. To be effective, you’re going to have to make a concerted effort to reach other libertarian (and potential libertarians) and persuade them to “do their bit” too.
Thus, we strongly urge each and every one of you to set yourself a personal goal of bringing in at least one new member a month between now and November. This may be difficult for some of you, but not impossible. Each of you almost certainly knows seven people who can be persuaded to join and support the Libertarian Party — friends, relative, business associates, or whatever. And, even if you don’t know seven such people, you can find them — in your local SIL, YAF, JBS, ACLU, or Liberty Amendment organization, if nowhere else.
To encourage your efforts, we have set up a new incentive program. Starting immediately, we will award all members who accumulate 10 membership points. This is a number low enough to be in everyone’s reach — five regular membership, or three regulars and four students, or two sustaining and two regulars will do it, for example.
There is no time limit on this offer. And we will provide you with membership applications, free for the asking. (Just to be sure to fill in your name as the source of information about the party, before you give them out, to assure credit for your efforts.) Other materials are available at very reasonable prices; we particularly recommend the use of the Temporary Platform, and reprints of the article “The Case for a Libertarian Political Party.”
Some of you may feel that we at National HQ are becoming “pushy.” Perhaps so, and if this offends you, we apologize, for no offense is intended. But the future success of this party depends on you. We hope you will accept this responsibility as a challenge and an opportunity.
Despite carping comments from a few libertarians of the “neutralizer” and “too pure to participate” schools, the Libertarian Party has continued to move steadily forward during the last 30 days. Total party membership, in national and state organizations, is now over 300 — which makes us (in terms of active, dues-paying members) the fourth-largest of the numerous “movement” organizations which have sprung up in the last five years.
In less than four months, LP members have distributed over 10,000 pieces of party literature, including nearly 2,500 copies of the Temporary Platform — with material now going out of National HQ at the rate of over 1,000 pieces per week.
This is quite an achievement; to our knowledge no other libertarian group has ever accomplished so much within such a short time of its founding. Those of you who have made this possible deserve the highest commendation. In particular, thanks are owed to Paul Lepanto in New York, June Grem in Illinois, Pete McAlpine in Michigan, Luke Zell in Colorado, and John Taylor in California.
Many others have also done an outstanding job, but space limitations prevent a complete listing. So, to all of you who have done so much, many thanks — and keep up the good work.
“They say the best things in life are free; Well, you can give them to the birds and the bees; I need money, that’s what I want.” — Barrett Strong
It has been observed that an army travels on its stomach; in the same sense, it can be said that a political organization travels on its wallet. And, at the moment, our wallet would be good for a trip around the block.
This is not a serious problem, at the moment. For the next couple of months, we’re not going much beyond the end of the block, in any case. But come June, we’re going to need a lot of bread if we’re going to accomplish much. We’ll have a candidate to fly around the country, tons of literature to print up and distribute, and an office to run — not to mention ads to run in mass-media publications, and (hopefully) some TV spots, devoted to specific issues.
A lot of these expenses can be taken care out of membership dues — provided we get the 10,000 members we’re aiming for. But she of them will be too big, and in any case, we’ll need the money (or at least part of it) before we get the members; indeed, unless we get the money, we won’t be able to reach people to persuade them to become members, and/or to contribute to the LP’s campaign.
So, we’ve decided to set up some special funds to take care of certain specific expenses. Following is a description of these funds, in order of increasing amount required, and also in order of urgency of need.
We know that most of you out there aren’t rich. But, undoubtedly, many of you have access to people who are rich. And our experience is that it’s far easier to get money for a specific purpose than for unspecified use.
We hope that all of you will try to contact wealthy people of libertarian inclination, and get them to agree to underwrite all or part of the following funds; if you can’t get a substantial amount from any one individual, try a group.
CONVENTION FUND. $1,000 to cover some of the costs of our June get-together. The more we raise, the lower we can keep the cost to participants — and the more people who will therefore be able to attend.
OFFICE EXPENSES. $2,500 to pay for a real, fully-equipped office (including the huge phone bills that are inevitable) for five months, early June thru early November.
SALARIES. $5,000 to pay two people to work full-time for that same five-month period. Volunteers can do a lot, but two full-timers is a must.
TRAVEL EXPENSES. $5,000 to send our candidate and/or other spokesmen around the country, spreading the good word.
ADVERTISING. $10,000 to pay for a few ads in large-circulation publications. Once we get the first few placed, our advertising should be self-sustaining — i.e. the ads will bring in enough new members and contributions to pay for more ads. But we have to have “seed money” to get started.
$23,500 may sound like an immense amount — but its only about 1/1,000th of the amount the major parties will be spending, and any less than that will have no effect. So, please — wrack your brains a bit, and go hit up some potential contributors, even if all you got is $50 or $100. We’ll report on the progress of each of these five funds, in future issues.
We now have State LP Chairmen in five states, rarin’ to go, with several other states on the verge of organizing. Contact your state chairman, if you live in one of these states, for plans on activity. And if you know someone in one of these sales who might be interested in joining the LP, send they name to the state chairman, and write to your friend tell him how he can get active in the party.
1,000 by Convention Time 10,000 by Election Day
The Libertarian Party Newsletter is published on the 15th of each month, by the national office of the Libertarian Party. Items of interest to political activist in the libertarian movement are welcome. Editor: David F Nolan.
II. THE RETURN OF HORRIBLE HUBERT
After only two primaries (New Hampshire and Florida), several facts are already evident. First, and least surprising, is the fact that Dastardly Dick will have no difficulty in obtaining re-nomination as the GOP’s candidate for President. McCloskey has already withdrawn from contention (as we predicted in our last issue), while Ashbrook has failed utterly in his attempt to challenge Nixon from the right. For better or for worse (mostly for worse), Nixon’s the one for the GOP — and the GOP can now be crossed off the list of vehicles which offer some hope for libertarians — probably forever.
On the Democratic side, there is as yet no clear indication who will be the nominee. In a way, this make very little difference to us, because none of the likely choices is even remotely acceptable too libertarians. Nonetheless, some comments would appear to be in order.
Foremost among the points to be made is that, despite the wishful thinking of some libertarians and conservatives, the supposed differences between the various Democratic alternatives are largely illusory. If one take the trouble to peer beyond the bilious rhetorical clouds, one finds that Muskie, Humphrey, Jackson, and Kennedy (to name but four), have absolutely identical voting records on the ten key issues used by The Review of The News to rate Senators for the 1971 session of Congress. So much for the hoopla promoting one or another of these gentlemen as being a secret hope for truth and beauty.
This is not to say that they are worse than Nixon; on balance, they probably aren’t. But the choice we face between Nixon and one or another of these men is not one between John Galt and Attilla the Hun; rather, it is one between various versions of Wesley Mouch.
None of the Democratic prospects can even be rated “fair” by libertarian standards; they vary only in degree of poorness — ranging from mediocrity personified (the Trumanesque Mr Yorthy) to abysmal (George McGovern, the Senate’s leading proponent of socialism and surrender) to ridiculous (Shirly Chisholm).
But enough of value judgments. What of viability?
Well, to begin with, it seems almost certain that when the smoke clears, the Democratic nominee will be one of three men: Muskie, Humphrey, or (possibly) Jackson. Hardly as appetizing array. And this writer will place his chips on Humphrey, for the following reasons…
Mr. Muskie, once touted as the front-runner, has stumbled badly, twice in a row. Unless he manages a miracle in the next few weeks, his star will continue to fade. And the prospects for a miracle are poor. Muskie, when all is said and done, is a dour and uncharismatic man from a small and uninfluential state. He lacks solid support in any of the four traditional mainstays of the Democratic arty — labor, the South, the intellectuals, and the minority groups.
McGovern, despite his surprisingly high showing in New Hampshire, also lacks any real power base. Indeed, it seems likely that the only reason he did well in New Hampshire was that the supporters of Humphrey, Kennedy and Lindsay voted for him as a “stop Muskie” move.
Jackson, although popular with some Southerners and some of the labor bosses, lacks the big name, charisma, and funds to mount an effective campaign for any length of time.
HHH, in contrast, is well-known, and can count on Big Labor to back him to the hilt; after all, he’s been their errand boy for years. He’s acceptable to the Southerners (witness his strong showing in Florida), acceptable to minorities, and has zillions of old political debts to collect on.
But what of Kennedy? It seems that tTeddy has made up his m ind not to go for the top this time, except perhaps in the case of a hopelessly deadlocked convention; Chappaquiddick is still too fresh in the minds of the voters. Instead, according to reasonably reliable rumors, he wants the Vice Presidency — which would free him of his onerous Senate duties, and allow him to gallivant around the cesspools of the word, and assure him of the Presidential nomination in ’76 or ’80, when his chances of victory would be far better.
So, Kennedy has made a deal with HHH, according to many pundits. He’ll keep out, and work for Hubert behind the scenes, in return for the VP spot. And it makes sense. Ted can’t possibly run with Muskie (they’re both New England Catholics), but a four-year term under Hubert would him fine — and is a four-year term it is likely to be, for HHH is old, and more than willing to promise Teddy that he’ll serve only one term, and then support Ted in ’76, in return for Ted’s support now.
Thus, it seems likely that HHH will pull it off, drawing on both his own resources and Kennedy’s; it is not unlikely that HHH’s fellow agrarian radical, George McGovern, is merely a catspaw for Teddy, having been deployed for the purpose of siphoning votes away from Muskie. There are numerous “ex” Kennedyites in the McGovern effort, and a lot of mysterious Big Money appearing to finance Lonesome George.
So there you have it. Barring a coalition of Muskie, Lindsay, and Jackson against Hubert, it seems that the coldwar liberal has the best chance… and that we face of replay of 1968. Dick & Spiro versus Hubie and Ted; it’s sort of like “Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster.” Does anyone now doubt that we must run a candidate of our own, if for no other reason than to offer a stand to which wise and honest men may repair?
BITS & PIECES
Vivien Kellems, the tax crusader, has asked for our help in her current project to remove the unfair tax burden (is there any other kind?) on singles and childless marrieds. To help, she asks you to urge your Congressman to support HR 850, and your Senators to support S869. Wilbur Mills also needs a push to get him to hold Ways and Means hearings on HR 850.
OUTLOOK, The Libertarian Monthly (formerly The Abolitionist) began publication this month. Regular columnists for this journal of political commentary and satire will include Rothbard, Childs, Greenberg, Hess, Tuccille, and Baker. Subscriptions are $5/yr; $9/2 yrs; $13/3 yrs; trial 3-issue sub, $1. Write to OUTLOOK, Box 1027, Newark, N.J. 07101.
IDAHO BALLOT REQUIREMENTS
Dennis Hollenbeck has provided us with the following info concerning Idaho’s ballot requirements: 1,500 petition signatures are required; legislation is still pending to determine the deadline.
HARASSING POLITICIANS THE EASY WAY
Many of you are undoubtedly receiving appeals for support from various power seekers. And often, these mailings contain postpaid return envelopes, for you to use in mailing bak a check. Why not use these to send the politico in question a piece of LP literature? It just might have an effect, and, at worse, you’ve caused the pig to waste it.
LP CITED IN NEW BOOK
The 1972 edition of the Key Influences in the American Right (us?!) contains a writeup on the Committee to Organize a Libertarian Party. Also items on several other libertarian groups and publications, as well as many conservative groups. Copies are available from the publisher, Polifax Press (PO Box 20067, Denver 80020) for $2.50. Or try one of the libertarian booksellers.
CONTEST DEADLINE EXTENDED
The deadline for the Membership Recruiting Contest announced in January, whereby LP members can win cash prizes up to $100, has been extended one month, to May 30th.
NEW EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBER
Bill Danks (1645 Dole Street, Apt. 402, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822) has accepted a position as a TEC rep from Region 1. Bill, as you may recall, was a leading figure in the Census Resistance two years ago.
Steven D. Symms, Republican candidate for Congress in Idaho’s 1st District. Steve is a fruit grower in Caldwell, Idaho (home of Caxton Press), and, judging from his campaign literature, is “our kind of man.” He believe that “Waht this country needs is to respect property and human rights (which, common sense tells us, are one and the same), and to strive for maintaing (sp?) free entry into the market for everyone. No favorites, no free lunches, and no exceptions.” We understand that Steve has been using our Temporary Platform as a source of position statements. We could certainly use Steve in Congress, so if you’d like to contribute to his campaign, write to him at Rout 6, Caldwell, Idaho 83605.
Guy W. Riggs has announced for a seat in the New York State Assembly (99th District), as a Libertarian-Independent candidate. an executive with IBM, Guy asks “What would I do for you as you Assemblyman?” and answers by saying “Absolutely nothing!” Beautiful! His material states that he is “not for civil or economic liberty, not human or property rights, but for the unalienable right of every human being to his or her liberty and property.” New York libertarians certainly have someone to work for this year — and aid from non-New-Yorkers would be welcomed. guy’s address is PO Box 1776, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. 12601.
If there are candidates like these in your state (you, for instance), let us know, so we can publicize their efforts.
3 Ways to get an attractive Libersign Pin
Display your commitment to libertarianism; set yourself apart from the collectivist herd by wearing a solid 14K gold Libersign pin! You can get one by any of the three following methods…
1. BUY ONE — for only $4.95, from Frantonia Specialties, Warren, R.I. 02885. 2. BECOME A LIFETIME MEMBER of the LP, and we’ll send you one in appreciation, or 3. ACCUMULATE 10 MEMBERSHIP POINTS, and rip off a freebie!
Act today; supply is unlimited! No well-dressed libertarian should be without on of these attractive 3/8” doohickies; may be used as a tie-tac, lapel pin, scarf pin, thumbtack, or secret weapon (supply your own curare)! Such a deal!