Document:LP News 1973 November-December 17
FINAL TALLY MAY TOP 9,000
Youngstein fifth in nine-way NY race; overwhelms four far-left candidates.
Although final, complete results are not yet available, thanks to the bureaucratic inefficiency of the New York Election Board, it is already evident that the FLP slate headed by Fran Youngstein has pulled off a stunning coup by outpolling all four other minority-party candidates in the recent N.Y. City elections.
With almost 75% of the city's election districts accounted for, Fran's vote total is part the 6,500 mark; the FLP is confident that her final total will be at least 7,500 to 8,500, with a city-wide total of 9,000 well within the realm of possibility.
Total voter turnout for the nine-way race was the lowest in recent history, with the four major parties (Democrats, Republicans, Liberals and Conservatives) receiving about 99% of the 1.7 million votes cast. Figures available from scattered districts around the city show the FLP receiving between 40% and 70% of the total vote garnered by the five minority parties, outpolling the four Marxist parties handily; it seems likely that Fran received more votes than her four small-party rivals combined, or a total of 0.5% of the overall vote. In a city widely known for its liberal leanings, where the other small parties have been around for many years, Fran's showing was nothing less than amazing for a first-time effort; many experienced observers note that the FLP's performance was the strongest showing by a new party since the emergence of the Liberal and Conservative Parties, years ago.
Fran's strongest showing was in Manhattan, where she polled nearly 1% of the total vote. Gary Greenberg, running against incumbent Manhattan District Attorney Frank Hogan, rolled up between 7,000 and 8,000 votes, for a very respectable showing of 3 1/2 to 4%. Returns for the other FLP candidates are not yet available in sufficient numbers to make any meaningful projections.
Fran's triumph was the result of an immense effort by FLP members who spent literally thousands of hours and thousands of dollars to promote libertarian ideas to the city's voters, drawing on the generous financial support of libertarians from all over the country; overall, the Youngstein campaign was probably the largest single effort ever undertaken by the libertarian movement to date.
In the course of the campaign, FLP members distributed 175,000 pieces of campaign literature, backed up by ten newspaper ads, a dozen TV spots, and over 70 radio spots, including complete sponsorship of a popular all-night radio talk show the Saturday before Election Day.
As a result of the campaign, Fran was invited to speak before literally dozens of citizens' groups; usually, she was the only one of the five minority-party candidates invited to participate in "meet the candidates" events. She also participated in three televised debates with the other minority-party candidates.
During the campaign, Fran was the first candidate to raise several issues which were subsequently discussed by the four major-party candidates, including victimless crimes, and the proposed Transit Bond. After Fran came out against the latter, the major-party candidates did likewise; the Bond was defeated at the polls.
Substantial media coverage was generated by the FLP campaign; Fran was interviewed many times by the city's radio and TV stations, and more than 50 newspaper stories were published as a result of the doszens of press releases sent out by the campaign staff.
In sum, the Youngstein-for-Mayor campaign was an immense success, in terms of educating the public about the existence of the libertarian movement. As Gary Greenberg put it, "They know who we are, and what we stand for, now."
Complete results for all FLP candidates will be published in the next issue of LP NEWS. A complete financial report on the campaign will be sent to all contributors, in about a month; the FLP asks your patience.
SPOTLIGHT ON STATE PARTIES
ALASKA LP members in Fairbanks have filed an initiative petition with the city clerk, to place on the ballot a proposition which would make all city tax increases subject to approval by the electorate before they became effective. The Alaska Party has also been active in the "Alaskans for Independence" movement (secessionist). "Alaskans for Independence" has endorsed the Congressional candidacy of New Jersey LP Chairman Bob Steiner, who has come out in favor of the secessionist movement. "Independence for Alaska" bumperstickers are available for $1 from "Alaskans for Independence," PO Box 7, Fairbanks 99707.
ARIZONA LP circulated leaflets opposing the Tucson City Attorney’s tax-consuming crusade against topless entertainment, and received a writeup in the Tucson Daily Citizen as a result.
CALIFORNIA LP continues active on a number of fronts--manning a booth at the Auburn State Fair, holding a wine-tasting party to raise money for Fran Youngstein's New York Mayoralty race, and inviting prominent libertarian and libertarian-leaning speakers to address regional on November 3rd. LPC was also active in supporting the narrowly-defeated "Proposition One," which would have placed a constitutional limit on state spending. John Hospers drew a crowd of about 175, speaking on libertarianism at the TRW Systems plant in Redondo Beach, and was received very well. State Finance Chairman Bruce Staller has set up an arrangement whereby contributions to LPC can be put on your BankAmericard.
COLORADO LP held its annual convention in Denver November 3rd, with about 45 people attending. Speakers included Drs. John Nelson and James J. Martin. Bill Froh was elected to a second term as state chairman, and a resolution opposing U.S. involvement in the MidEast War was passed. COLORADO LP will hold another convention in the Spring, to choose candidates for the ’74 elections, and to launch a ballot referendum promoting some libertarian goal.
ILLINOIS LP is preparing a major conference on December 15. Scheduled speakers include gold-investment expert Donald J. Hoppe and Dr. R.S. Jaggard, a long0time crusader against government control of medicine. Fran Youngstein and Gary Greenberg of New York election fame are also expected to address the Conference. Advance registration is $5; $8 at the door.
KENTUCKY LP is hosting a Free Women's Seminar on November 24th. Scheduled speakers include Tonie Nathan, Sharon Presley, Susan Brown, Kay McAlpine, Bobbi Jahn, and Lyda Lewis. Miss Lewis is the current "Miss Kentucky." Hats off to KENTUCKY LP for sponsoring the first libertarian oriented "Women's Lib" convocation! The FWS will be held out Stouffer's Louisville Inn. registration is $3.50.
LOUISIANA LP chairman Jerry Millett recently appeared on television (Channel 10 in LaFayette) to speak out against gasoline price-controls; his speech was also reported in the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate. LOUISIANA LPnow has 33 members, making it the only state in the Deep South with a significant LP membership.
MARYLAND LP is the success story of the season; starting from scratch only five months ago, the Free State LP has grown to 74 members. 52 of whom attended the state's first annual convention on November 3rd. Featured speakers were Roger MacBride, and Region 7 ExecComm Representative Eric Scott Royce of Virginia. MLP now has a newsletter, Toward Liberty, and has produced the best-looking graphic materials we've seen to date from any state LP organization. William Bobick, former temporary state chairman, has been elected as the first permanent chairman.
NEW HAMPSHIRE LP has been active in the formation of the Coalition for Freedom, an "umbrella" organization formed to enable N.H. libertarian and conservative groups to co-operate on issues of common concern.
NEW JERSEY LP members were active both in the N.Y. campaign and in their own Goodson-for-Governor campaign; results on the Goodson effort are not yet available. NEW JERSEY LP chairman Bob Steiner has announced that he intends to run for Congress next year.
NEW YORK'S FREE LIBERTARIAN PARTY now has well over 200 members. Sanford P Cohen, who is mounting a formidable campaign for next year's 25th District Congressional election, has been chosen to succeed Mark Frazier of Massachusetts as on of Region 8's two ExecComm representatives. Sandy has attracted considerable attention with his campaign posters, which feature a nude photo of himself (and a strategically-placed telephone). The posters, which bear the slogan "A candidate with nothing to hide," are available for $5 or two for $9, from Citizens for Cohen, Box 1776, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601. The incumbent Congressman in Sandys District is Hamilton Fish, Jr., who received the lowest score of any GOP Congressman in The Royce Report.
OHIO LP held its annual convention October 20, with about one-third of the state's 70 members attending. Kay Harroff was re-elected state chairman, and John DeJager was chosen as vice-chairman (Cincinnati) and Linda Bunyan as vice-chairman (Akron). Eleven resolutions were passed--among them, calls for an end to foreign aid, the repeal of the Selective Service Act, the Federal Reserve Act, and the Sixteenth Amendment. OHIO LP members are now engaged in a petition drive to get Kay Harroff on the ballot as an independent candidate for U.S. Senate next year.
OKLAHOMA LP has published a very professional newsletter/brochure, entitled Declare Your Independence, which sets forth the Oklahoma Party's stands on the major issues of the day, and includes a history of the LP. Past Oklahoma chaiman D Frank Robinson is working on an election-financing reform plan that would decrease, rather than increase, government control of candidates, while still assuring protection against political bribes; he has gotten considerable news coverage for his proposal, which he calls the "secret voucher plan."
OREGON LP sent out a press release, right after the resignation of Spiro Agnew, telling of a telegram they had sent to President Nixon urging him to designate Tonie Nathan as the new VP. Needless to say, it didn't happen... but the OREGON LP'sactions was a good example of using political events to gain publicity libertarianism.
PENNSYLVANIA LP has initiated a program of having every member write one "letter to the editor" every months. SIL's Don Ernsberger got up an expedition to work on Fran Youngstrein's campaign the weekend before the election.
TEXAS LP is moving forward with plans to make the '74 National LP Convention even bigger and better than the last two. Harris County (Houston) LP has been active in a drive to block a "public" (.e., gov't) transit system in the Houston area; Mike Holmes and Jeff Calvert appeared on radio station KIKK to debate Houston's City Controller on this subject. Harris County LP Secretary Elaine Sowers has already announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate in 1976.
UTAH LP vice-chairman Karl Bray, a national leader in the Tax Resistance movement, ran for Salt Lake City Commission, and received 4% of the vote. Karl has announced that he will run for National Chairman next year, "unless the IRS puts me in jail, first."
WASHINGTON LP now has a newsletter, Shockwave, and is engaged in a recruiting drive to build membership. Members are setting up open meetings around the state, at which Dr. Hospers' record The Politics of Liberty is played, with discussions following. State chairman Skip Barron, who works nights, has made himself available to speak to high-school groups during the day.
WISCONSIN LP held its annual convention on October 5 and 6; featured speakers were Jack Steinhilber, Assistant Majority Leader of the Wisconsin State Senate, and Tonie Nathan. In his speech, Steinhilber called for a "Re-Declaration of Independence." Officers were elected for the coming year, with Jim Millard chosen to continue as state chairman. The Wisconsin Party plans to field a candidate for Governor next year.
LP of Canada
The Libertarian Party of Canada got off to flying start October 25-28, when 64 delegates and 16 observers attended their founding convention in Toronto. In the three-day session, the delegates adopted a Statement of Principles and a Platform, and chose officers. The event was covered by three TV stations (two of which broadcast their coverage Canada-wide), and four newspapers, including the Financial Post (approximately the equivalent of the Wall Street Journal or Barron's), and Le Soleil, a leading French-Canadian paper.
Chose as National Chairman was Steve Jarvis, with Marshall Bruce Evoy as Vice-Chairman. The delegates also chose a Party Leader and Deputy Leader; two positions which have no analog in the United States. These are the people who would head the government, if the LP of Canada were to win a majority in Parliament. Chosen as Leader was Sieg Pedde, with Terry Coughlin chosen as Deputy Leader.
The LP of Canada now has over 100 members, with another 70 belonging to Libertarian Alternative out in Alberta. Libertarian Alternative is a political organization of very similar nature to LP of Canada, which was launched only weeks before. The two organizations expect to work together very closely, and may someday merge.
The MidEast War... KEEP US OUT!
As of the time this issue of LP NEWS goes to press, it appears that the Arab-Israeli War is past its peak. Nonetheless, we, as libertarians must be prepared to spring into action if it again appears likely that the U.S. government makes any moves to get us involved in this conflict.
We urge each and every one of you to take the time to write your Senators and Congressmen, stating your emphatic opposition to any further U.S. involvement. Above all, stress that American troops should not be sent to the MidEast, under any circumstances. If, at any time, it appears that American troops are to be sent to the MidEast, mobilize demonstrations and circulate petitions opposing such a move. The LP should be in the forefront of any efforts to keep us from becoming involved in another foreign war.
HOW NOW, AYN RAND?
"What is your position relative to the Libertarian Party... and why?"
This question was asked by an individual in the audience of the Ford Hall Forum, following Ayn Rand's brilliant attack on the Supreme Court's recent obscenity decisions in her speech at the Forum on October 21, 1973.
Her answer: "I don't want to waste too much time on this. I think it is a cheap attempt to get publicity which they will not get. And in the light of today's events, particularly Watergate, should teach any kind of people with amateur political notions that they cannot rush into politics in order to get publicity; that the issue is so serious today that to form a new party on same half-baked or borrowed--and I won't say from whom--ideas is truly irresponsible and in the full modern context close to immoral."
Miss Rand's answer is not satisfactory. It is irrational, unintellectual, and inaccurate. As one who has spent a good portion of the past two years working to the Libertarian Party the remarkable success that it is, I offer the following comments on Rand's brief answer.
"I don't want to waste too much time on this."
The initial sentence of her response indicates to all of her faithful followers who were not previously so informed that she does not approve of the Libertarian Party. It also indicates that a sensitive nerve has been struck, as she would not otherwise preface her remarks with such an unsubtle effort to indicate disapproval; of the dozen or so questions asked on the night of October 21, only this one received a priori excommunication.
"I think it is a cheap attempt to get publicity which they will not get."
I think not. It is probably safe to say that never in the history of the United States has an ew party made up of "amateurs" done so much to promulgate ideas through the political process in so short a time. Most major papers in the country have carried lengthy feature articles on the Libertarian Party and its philosophy. All three national television networks and nearly 100 local radio and TV stations have reported LP news, events, and editorial responses. Hundreds of speeches by LP members have been given in front of civic and social groups.
Most of us in the LP are probably less "political" than Rand herself; we joined because we thought that the LP offered a unique opportunity to reach the American public with our ideas--to get "publicity." And we were right. "Publicity" simply means "reaching the public." And Rand herself has stated (in the Ayn Rand Letter of January 3, 1972) that her followers should do everything possible to publicize their views: "... do not keep silent when your own ideas and values are being attacked." And "Speak on any scale open to you, large or small--to your friends, your associates, your professional organizations, or any legitimate public forum."
As far as our attempt to get publicity being "cheap," I can only assume that Rand is implying an attempt at personal aggrandizement on the part of LP members. More specifically, she is probably referring to the involvement of two former members of her "inner circle"--John Hospers and Murray Rothbard. Or perhaps she is irked that the LP is disseminating many of the ideas she herself advocates (and regards, wrongly, as being her personal property)--but isn't charging people exorbitant sums for exposing them to those ideas.
The idea that LP members are motivated by a desire for personal glory is ludicrous; how much public adulation have John Hospers and Murray Rothbard received as a result of their efforts on behalf of the LP? What did Roger MacBride stand to gain, personally, by casting his Electoral Vote for Hospers and Nathan Presidential Campaign 1972? If anything, he risked reprisals from high places. These men--like the rest of us--became involved simply because they realized that time is short, there is a tremendous amount of work to be done, and about the only time the average person listens to ideas is during to political campaigns: ergo, the Libertarian Party. A question, Miss Rand: Is it easier to gain access to public forum by proclaiming "I am an Objectivist; and I would like to speak to your group about The Truth"--or as a representative of a recognized political party?
"And in the light of today's events, particularly Watergate, should teach any kind of people with amateur political notions..."
Now, wait a minute, Ayn. Are we to understand that Watergate demonstrates the virtue of "professional" politics? Is not Watergate a dramatic affirmation of Lord Acton's statement (quoted in the Ayn Rand lLetter of July 16, 1973) that "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely"? In its two years of existence, the Libertarian Party has never advocated any measure that would increase the power that politicians possess. Can any other political party honestly make that statement? What Watergate demonstrates is the necessity of a political movement like the Libertarian Party.
"... that they cannot rush into politics in order to get publicity."
First, we're not rushing into it. For most of us it is a last resort; a step we have taken only because we are firmly convinced that it is one of the last alternatives left to those who consider their freedom worth fighting for. As for Miss Rand's persistent assertion that we are out to get publicity, I can only reply "How in Hell are supposed to get our ideas across to the public, if not through publicity?"
"that the issue is so serious today that to form a new party on some half-baked or borrowed--and I won't say from whom--ideas is truly irresponsible..."
Well, which are they? Half-baked or borrowed? If they were only half-baked ideas (which they clearly are not), they would still be infinitely superior to the raw dough being offered by the two major parties. Curiously, Rand has never seen fit to identify which positions of the LP she disapproves of. (Presumably, we differ on the issue of whether people should accept Federal subsidies for their personal jaunts to witness Moon-shots.) I suppose that only a woman who would have the audacity to appoint an "intellectual heir" (subsequently disinherited) would feel that she has a proprietary claim on the ideas expressed by the Libertarian Party.
Sure, we've "borrowed" some of the concepts used by Miss Rand. But the myth that she invented those ideas should long since have been dispelled. It is interesting to note that in one of her other answers during the question period at the Forum, she disavowed having received any intellectual assistance during her first twenty years in the United States. History indicates otherwise. The LP's "borrowing" from Ayn Rand is no les than her borrowing from Rose Wilder Lane and Isabel Paterson, to name just two of the individuals who provided material and intellectual sustenance during her struggle up from obscurity.
Members of the Libertarian Party disagree with (but generally respect) the idea that it is wrong for libertarians to participate in the political process. But this is not what Rand is saying. On the contrary, Rand is not opposed to politics per se, but only to libertarian politics.
And who does she urge the faithful to support, now that she has given up on King Richard? The answer, incredibly, is Senator Henry Jackson: "I think the best of the possible would-be Presidential candidates is, of course, Senator Jackson--and his domestic policy is far from ideal--but at least he knows what he is doing against Russia; he has never been taken in by that. In domestic policy he is not exactly a conservative; he is just about on the level of George Meany."
This statement is incredible enough in itself; Senator Jackson is not only "not exactly a conservative"--he is one of the most rabidly pro-interventionists, both domestically and in his foreign policy views, in the Senate. IN the first Royce Report ratings (see story, page 6) he came in 99th out of 100 Senators. It would be hard to find a public figure who is less committed to the idea of individual freedom, and more committed to the idea of government controls and meddling. But that's only half of the story. Rand continued "But today, George Meany, is the most reliable defender of capitalism, not in principle, but at least in fact [?!]. I would say that these two [Jackson and Meany] as public leaders are quite worthwhile."
If George Meany is a defender of capitalism, so was Karl Marx. George's idea of free enterprise is to have his friends in Congress (like Henry Jackson) hold the gun while labor rips off the businessman. The only rationalization for supporting either of these two men would be as a desperation measure--and the alternative would have to be Adolf Hitler, to make Jackson and Meany look good by comparison. Even then, support for a Henry Jackson would involve a serious compromise of principles. The Libertarian Party does not compromise its principles. And if this is what Rand is advocating (and it certainly appears that it is), then it is a striking reversal of her earlier position: "There can be no compromise on moral principles..." (Objectivist Newsletter, Vol, 1, No. 7). "Since the Democrats are more consistently committed to the growth of government power, the Republicans are reduced to helpless me-tooing, to inept plagiarism of any program initiated by the Democrats, and to the disgraceful confession implied in their claim that they seek to achieve 'the same ends' as the Democrats, but by different means. It is precisely these ends that ought to be rejected. But, if neither party chooses to do it, the logic of the events created by their common basic principles will keep dragging them both further and further to the left... Whenever evil wins, it is only be default: the moral failure of those who evade the fact that there can be no compromise on basic principles." (Objectivist Newsletter, Vol. 3, No. 1).
Strange words coming from a woman whose political endorsements have included Richard Nixon and Wendell Willkie--and now, Henry Jackson.
"...and in the full modern context close to immoral."
HOw sad that [[Ayn Rand should use the word immoral to describe a movement she disapproves of--even though she cannot or will not cite any errors in its philosophy--simply because she does not have control over it.
(as edited by DFN)
Ward Malisch of Missouri recently became a Life Member of the LP, bringing the total number to fifteen.
The others, in the order of their becoming Lifers, are Luke Zell (Colo.), Ned Nolte (Neb.), William Contos (ill.), Frank Merriman and Barbie Merriman (N.Y.), Jean McGuire (Colo9.), Vince Drosdik (Mass.), Freeman Fox (Ariz.), Edmund Contoski (Minn.), Karl Bray (Utah), Ed Clark (Calif.), [[Jane Rehmke (N.J.), Roger MacBride (Va.), William Fisher (Mich.), and Bob Steiner (N.J.).
We are extremely grateful to thse individuals, because while ordinary membership fees and receipts from the sale of material provide the funds for our regular expenses, it is the funds received from Life and LS Members which make it possible for us to engage in Special Projects of the sort necessary for us to continually reach new people.
We hope others will join these dedicated individuals in their investment in Liberty.
Ludwig von Mises; an unsung genius
When I learned of the death of Ludwig von Mises, nearly a week after it happened, my initial reaction was one of sadness and regret--sadness at the passing of one of the great minds of our age, and regret that I had never met in person the man who had had such a profound influence on my intellectual development.
My reaction shortly turned to anger--anger, not so much at the fact that he had passed away, but at the manner in which I finally learned of his passing: through other libertarians passing the word.
Professor Mises died Wednesday, October 10, less than two weeks after his 92nd birthday. With a single notable exception--the Wall Street Journal, whichpublished a lenghty tribute to the professor--the event was virtually ignored by the news media. The media's treatment--or rather non-treatment--of Professor Mises' death is paradigmatic of the way the media, and, to its eternal discredit, the academic community, treated his life and achivements: with indifference. It was an oversight that indicts the media fully as much as the Nobel Prize committee's decision a few years ago to award its first prize in economics to Paul A. Samuelson indicted that committee.
But, somehow, I don't believe any of this is going to matter in the long run. Through the years, Professor Mises has built a small, but intensely loyal following. His admirers, while not successful in having his theories embraced by a majority of economists, have at least been able to have his most important works kept in print, and have been able to slowly add to their own ranks.
And, most important of all, Professor Mises has left his libertarian admirers a virtual arsenal of intellectual weapons that in the years ahead is going to prove of extreme importance in defending what is left of civilization from those who would take us into a new dark age of irrationalism, slavery and terror.
He could not have left us a richer legacy.
Heroes and (mainly) villains in Congress
At long last, libertarians have their own Congressional Rating Service--thanks to the prodigious efforts of Eric Scott Royce, LP National ExecComm member from Region 7.
Thanks to Mr. Royce, libertarians no longer have to pore through reports on Congressional voting records issued by liberal and conservative groups, to try to figure out who's who in Congress. Now, they can simply subscribe to The Royce Report, a twice-yearly report on key votes in both House and Senate ($5 for a two-year, four-issue subscription, or $1.50 for a single issue).
The Royce Report is based on 25 votes in each house of Congress, and covers economic, civil liberties, and foreign policy votes with approximately equal emphasis. In order to score "100," a Senator or Representative must vote in concurrence with libertarian principles every time; he is docked 4 points for a wrong vote, and 3 points for an absence.
In the first issue of The Royce Report, which covers the first half of the current session, only one man in either house received a score above 75. This was Representative H.R. Gross (R-Iowa), who scored a highly commendable 85.
Runners-up in the House were Phil Crane (R-Ill) with a 74, and Reps. Huber and Symms (R-Ida) with scores of 72 each. Worst score in the house was an abysmal 3, garnered by Rep. Flood of Pennsylvania; worst-scoring Republicans were Reps. Fish and Horton of N.Y., tied at 16 each.
In the Senate, the top scorer was Sen Scott of Virginia, with a 64. Bottom of the barrel was Sen. McGee (D-Wyo) with a 10; followed closely by Sen. Jackson (D-Wash) with a 12.
Average score was about 40 in the House, and 35 in the Senate; only 15% of the members of either house scored above 50.
For a copy of The Royce Report, use this month's Order Form. There's no better way to keep track of how your own representatives vote.
'Making of the President' is a bore, disappoint
Theodore H. White's Making of the President series has come to be regarded as "the" authoritative chronicling of Presidential Elections; his skillful blending of scholarly style and personal insight, combined with an abundance of "you are there" detail, has proven well-nigh irresistible to connoiseurs and the general public alike. Unfortunately, the 1972 volume has proved to be a disappointment.
Its greatest shortcoming is that it is boring; this is not entirely White's fault, of course--the 1972 Election was in itself boring. And White realizes this, so he devotes much of his book to rambling ponitifications on "bacikground" material about the state of American Society.
Yet, amazingly, despite a paucity of interesting material about the major candidates, he devotes no space to a discussion of minority-party candidates (Hospers is mentioned once, briefly, in a footnote; the others are ignored completely, except for a listing in a vote-total table).
Minority candidates drew about 3% of the total vote, in states where they were on the ballot; yet White never mentions them. this seems odd, in view of the fact that Shirley Chisholm is mentioned several times. Surely, Schmitz, Spock, Hospers, Jenness et. al. said something of interest, and/or represented significant currents in American politics.
Perhaps White's oversight was not intentional, but it is disappointing nonetheless. Let us hope that his 1976 chronicle is more perceptive.
XIII. POOR RICHARD'S ALBATROSS or IS THIS THE WAY TO THE ELEPHANT'S GRAVEYARD
In assessing the impact of the latest developments in the Umpteenth Crisis of Richard Nixon, one fact must constantly be borne in mind. and this is the fact that politics is a game of relative strength. Thus, paradoxically, while the current series of debacles has hurt practically all politicians, it has nonetheless worked to the benefit of some--simply because they have been hurt less than others, and therefore have gained on a relative basis.
To begin with the obvious, it cannot be argued that the GOP has been hurt far worse than the Democrats. While the whole sordid mess in Washington has severely undermined the public's faith in politicians generally (huzzah!), it has undermined their faith in the current Administration most particularly; thus, the Democrats become relatively less unsavory--which, in practice, means the same thing as becoming more savory.
But even within the GOP, not all players have not lost equally. The biggest loser obviously is Agnew; in a space of months, he has been transformed from a front-runner for the '76 GOP nomination to an absolute impossibility. The number-two loser is Nixon; while it remains yet to be seen whether he will be removed (or resign) from office, his "ability to govern" (as the pundits put it) has been severely crippled. (Again, huzzah! Next to No President, a crippled President is best.)
Relative gainers within the GOP? Number one is obviously Jerry Ford. Number two is probably Ronald Reagan, who, with Agnew out of the way, becomes the front-runner for the conservative wing. Number three is probably Chuck Percy, who had astutely dissociated himself from Nixon months ago. Number four, perhaps, is Howard Baker (a truly rotten man; the lowest-scoring GOP Senator in The Royce Report listings).
At this point in time (to coin a phrase), it would seem likely that if Ford wants the GOP nomination in '76, he will get it. If he does not, it will probably boil down to a contest between Reagan (representing the conservatives) and Percy, or possibly Baker (representing the liberals).
As for what that nomination will be worth, it is certainly debatable. A lot can happen in three years; remember, the GOP won the election following Teapot Dome (although, admittedly, that was in an era when Republicans were far more popular than they are now). Still, if one had to "bet blind," this far in advance, one would have to bet on the Democrats. Not only are they the majority party under normal circumstances but the GOP is now even weaker than it usually is.
Who among the Democrats has gained from the latest revelations of Potomac Perfidy? The big gainer is Sam Ervin, but he is far too old to be considered for the Presidency. And other than Good Ol' Sam, no one Democrat in particular has really been helped, relative to his fellow Democrats. Teddy Kennedy has, if anything, been hurt; if the Dems are to campaign on a "purity" theme, Teddy is not the ideal candidate. Thus, again seemingly paradoxically, the relative "winners" ae simply those who have not lost ground. And for the Democrats, this means George Wallace for the populist faction; Stevenson, Shriver, Bayh and the ilk for the liberals; and "Scoop" Jackson for the neo-fascists.
The real gainers in this mess, however, are not the "pros," but the anti-establishment figures; people like Wallace within the major-party contgext, and the minority parties, such as us, as well.
Indeed, minority parties (of any persuasion) are at this time in a better position to gain adherents than at any other time since 1924. The GOP is tottering on the verge of complete self-destruction. The Democrats have nothing new to offer; New Deal Liberalism is bankrupt, and practically everyone knows it. And a significant portion of the American people have at last come to the frame of mind that is necessary before we can reach them; after years of believing that government is doing (or, at least, can do) more for them than it is doing or can do to them, they have finally begun to realize that this is not the case, and that the converse is in fact true.
Thus, we may now be at a historic point in time, where one of the two existing major parties is about to collapse, leaving a vacuum which we can fill. It is too early to know for sure, but it is not at all impossible that if we make an aggressive effort, we can topple the GOP, and arise, Phoenix-like, from the Elphant's Graveyard.
BITS & PIECES
To all of you who order gold-plated Libersign pins last month. Our supplier made a mistake on the pins, and they've had to be done over. They should be in by December 1, and those who ordered them will receive them soon.
PENTHOUSE ARTICLE COVERS LP
An article in the November issue of Penthouse (circulation: 5 million) by Sam Blumenfeld, entitled "Zero Government: Anarchy on the Right," gives extensive (although lopsided) coverage to the libertarian movement, with emphasis on the anarchist wing. LP is given some coverage, and we have received numerous inquiries as a result. Thanks, Sam.
NAME LAUNCHES ANTI-CONTROLS CAMPAIGN
The National Association of Manufacturers has launched a campaign to try to get the government to end wage/price controls. They have prepared a series of ads, urging people to write their Senators and Congressmen on this subject, and reprints are available at no charge, to anyone who wants them, in reasonable quantities. To get copies, write to Jay Sala at NAM's ad agency, Friedlich, Fearon & Strohmeier, 600 Third Avenue, N.Y. 10016. Ask for reprints of NAM ads No. 003, 004, 005 and 006. If you wish, they will even imprint your local group's name and address on the reprints. Reproduction proofs, for use in placing ads in media, are also available. These are good ads, and tailor-made for our purposes. Don't pass up this chance to get some good material at no cost!
NCLG MONETARY CONFERENCE, JANUARY 18-20
The National Committee to Legalize Gold is sponsoring a Symposium on monetary topics in New Orleans, January 18-20, 1974. Scheduled speakers include Franz Pick, Hans Sennholz, Sen. James McClure, and John Hospers. for details, write NCLG, 1524 Hillary, New Orleans, LA 70118.
A NOTE ON INSERTS
Enclosed with this issue is the latest catalog from Laissez Faire Book. As with all other inserts, our carrying it does not imply that the LP "endorses" LPB as an "official" LP bookstore. All inserts we carry are simply things we feel might be of value or interest to LP members, and have arranged to carry (usually on an exchange basis) with outfits we feel are reputable; in return, they carry an ad or insert for us, because we and they feel that their members or subscribers might be interested in the LP.
1974 LP CONVENTION: DALLAS, JUNE 12-16
It's official, now; next year's National LP Convention will be in Dallas, Texas, June 12th thru 16th. Mark your calendars.
AN ANTIDOTE TO THE ECO-FREAKS
Of interest to libertarians is a new monthly newsletter called Access to Energy, whose publisher describes it as "pro-science, pro-technology, pro-free-enterprise." It deals with the subject of the "energy crisis," and provides valuable ammunition to refute the eco-freaks. $6 annually; smaple 50 cents. From Access to Energy, Box 2298, Boulder, Colorado, 80302.
TWO LOOKS AT THE LIBERTARIAN MOVEMENT
An interesting evaluation of the libertarian movement appears in the Summer 1973 issue of Western World Review; 50 cents from WWR, P.O. Box 2714, Culver City, CA 90230. Also of interest is the Anniversary Issue of Against the Wall, which contains several essays setting forth different libertarians' concepts of "what is a libertarian." The author of one piece claims that it was reprinted in ATW without his permission.) 25 cents from ATW, P.O. Box 444, Westfield, N.J. 07091.
BONUS BOOK OFFER REPEATED
Once again, we are offering a free copy of The Lady and the Tycoon to the person who sends in the largest material order. Deadline for eligibility is December 31. Last month's copy went to Sarah Helber and the Texas LP.
STEINER'S "ESSENTIAL CONTROLS" PUBLISHED
HOSPERS TOURS COUNTRY, MAKING SPEECHES
One year after the 1972 Presidential Election, John Hospers is stil much in demand as a speaker. In October and November, he made more than a dozen speeches, in Connecticut, New York (where he co-hosted, with Murray Rothbard, a cocktail party for the Youngstein campaign, New Jersey, and Utah.
RAND-INTERVIEW ISSUE OF PLAYBOY AVAILABLE
A like-new coy of the March, 1964 issue of Playboy, containing the famous Rand interview, is being offered for sale by your editor, with 25% of the proceeds to go to the LP. Best bid over $25 received by December 31 take it.
A NOTE ON ADDRESS CHANGES, REGISTERED MAIL
When sending us a change of address, please be sure to include your Zip Code, to assure proper processing. Also, unless it is absolutely necessary, please do not send us registered letters; it will delay receipt considerably.
LP News is published bi-monthly by the National Office of the Libertarian Party. Items of interest to LP members are welcome. David F Nolan, Editor. Subscription: $5/12 issues