Disaffiliations, Dissolutions, and Direction: A letter to the CLC membership

The purpose of the Classical Liberal Caucus is to advance the Libertarian Party, and influence it and the world towards classical liberalism. To that end, we are focused on supporting our candidates in this November’s election, and putting out our own messaging and perspective. This focus on boldly stating our beliefs has led to fantastic growth on and off line. It’s been amazing to watch and is a testament to our talented membership and volunteers.

As many of us work hard to advance the Libertarian Party, it is frustrating to see it beset with divisive messaging and fractures. We will always support bold and unapologetic statements about our principles. But, we have instead seen messaging that is hateful at times and openly anti-libertarian at others. Social media growth at the expense of principles, members, and voters is far too high a price to pay. We can not and will not troll our way to electoral success.

Many are realizing that this is not the LP they signed up for. Divisions within our party are keeping us from working together towards liberty.  Stonewalling, preventing volunteerism, and removing people for wrong think is antithetical to libertarianism.

It saddens me to see people celebrating these fractures within the Libertarian Party. I want to be crystal clear:

Dissolution and/or disaffiliation of affiliates are completely antithetical to the goals and purpose of the CLC.

Libertarians are not going to achieve electoral success by chopping up the liberty vote. That is a strategy that leads to destruction, not construction. The CLC is here to build and unite the party, and we need to work with everyone to grow and expand it. That means working with people we may not like. That’s how politics works. The rampant internal vindictiveness is unacceptable. An eye for an eye stops only when someone turns their cheek. And it will come to a hard stop at the CLC if I have any say in it.

The CLC’s message is, and always will be, a positive and forward looking one: “Here is the path that we want the LP to take. We are willing to work with anyone towards building the party.” Not everyone will agree with us on our goals for the party, nor would we even want that. An organization with 100% agreement on every decision will never be able to see its own shortcomings and pitfalls. A healthy organization understands the value of different opinions and perspectives and welcomes them.

Our goal is to promote a healthy environment for competition in the Libertarian Party. This is why we put our ideas in the open and let our membership decide on the direction of the organization. The flip side of this means still working together when it’s not our ideas that are guiding the party. The CLC’s doors will always remain open for anyone wanting to work positively and professionally for liberty.

Ultimately we aren’t going to advance the party or liberty by continuing to go round and round the circle of vindictive pettiness. Just a few months in, our post-Reno statement has – unfortunately – proved prescient. We invite everyone to consider our advice on how to reunite this party. To anyone who disagrees with us, let’s figure out how to work together! We’ve got a lot more in common than not.

There are far too many examples of libertarians of every stripe coming together to advance the Libertarian Party and its candidates to say it is a lost cause. If we commit to acting in good faith with each other, our differences will strengthen the party instead of weakening it. That does not mean ignoring our differences, it means openly expressing and debating them.

Ultimately, as Murry Rothbard said “We libertarians are not the spokesmen for any ethnic or economic class; we are the spokesmen for all classes, for all of the public; we strive to see all of these groups united, hand-in-hand, in opposition to the plundering and privileged minority that constitutes the rulers of the State.”

The Libertarian Party is still the best political vehicle for moving this country towards liberty. Let’s get to work and fight the state, not each other.

The Classical Liberal Caucus is dedicated to promoting classical liberal principles, involvement, and professionalism in and through the Libertarian Party. Join and help us make liberty classical again.

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