This Is How Government Works

It’s been over a year since candidates started running for the Office of United States President. And yesterday, the American public picked one. But the story I just told is so much bigger than the two sentences you just read. Because the takeaway this election showed everyone is that this is how government works. Which logically should lead everyone to ask, is this the best way to solve all the matters we’ve given over to political control? Do we really want matters such as health care, education, economics, etc decided like this?

What the American people went through with all the anxiety and fighting and loss of friendships and family and anger is how laws and government programs are made. What the American people go through to elect members of their government is just the beginning of more anxiety and fighting and loss of friendships and family and anger getting things done.

Senators and Congressmen, when drafting legislation, turn everything into political footballs. They battle and fight and slander each other. They do so because they have so much power over just about every aspect of our lives and the American people keep giving it to them by voting in the same buffoons from the two major parties. Here, from an older piece of mine, I’ll show you how government programs are made:


Before you can turn your idea into law, you have to gather a group of people who feel the same way about your plan and promote it. But since no one person is exactly alike as the other, you’re bound to make a few compromises to retain your support. Then you’re required to bring it to your Congressmen’s attention and if they wish to work with it, you’re going to end up with even more compromises and changes.

Once in government, your idea will go through various committees and debates. All participants in the plan will modify and change it to suite their needs. Your idea is slowly becoming someone else’s and will no longer represent your intentions.

When and if it gets past this point, you will not be the one to write the law, the politicians will. They will be the same politicians who made the many failed programs you object to now. Then once law, you will not be the one to enforce it, bureaucrats will. They will enforce only the parts they agree with and end up using it to appease their political cohorts.

Of course the new law will have its opponents, so it will end up before the courts which will have their way of interpreting it as well.

By the time your idea ends up running the gamete of government, it will not be what you intended it to be. It will now be another political football for the politicians to use against each other and to satisfy their political supporters. And you’ll look back on all that time you wasted asking government to solve your problem.


In other words, the American people went through over a year of election-hell so that important items like health care and education and economics could be solved in a Fight Club, in the most inefficient way.

I think there’s at least three reasons why America keeps voting like this:

1) Again, we were under the impression that this was the most important election of our lifetimes. It’s always sold this way. Each election I’ve been involved in has always been about the sky ready to fall if one or the other major party candidate is or isn’t chosen. So this shies away people feeling out third parties.

2) The American public doesn’t spend a lot of time on politics. Even during an election, it’s all surface research. In this election, they seemed to spend more time on Donald Trump’s Twitter account, pussy grabbing and on Hillary Clinton’s husband’s bad past, her email server and the fact she is a woman. What about policy? Most people do not involve themselves in political theory. It sure can be dry. But it’s an important dry.

3) The American public doesn’t really know how government works. They may think that if we only get the right people into government, those people can handle our health care, education, etc. And that is why they fight so hard for their “right” people. They don’t realize that what I wrote up top, is how it works regardless of who’s at the helm. The solution, is to not let government have the helm of important matters.

So what to do about it? A continued outreach on the part of a small government, libertarian leaning army is in order. Letting people know that what they went through with the 2016 election is what they’re going to keep going through if they leave those important matters in the hands of government.

If the top of the Libertarian Party ticket had won in 2016, if it brought in libertarian senators and congressmen as well, we wouldn’t have to go through this anymore. Who was president, wouldn’t matter much anymore. Who was your congressman or woman or senator, wouldn’t matter much anymore. Because you wouldn’t be constantly fighting to elect someone to do your bidding. You’d be doing your own bidding in the free market where libertarians want to turn over important matters like health care, education, etc. This is the message we should be sending out. And using this awful, angry election as an example of what government is would be the first time in a long time I’ve seen something come from a government program that works.

Where the Five Percent Dream Lives

When I was on college radio, we had no FM or even an AM band. This was before the Internet so traditional, over the air broadcasting was the only way to reach a wide audience. So due to our lack of any substantial tower or antenna, our only audience was on campus. But us disk jockeys played to the audience we wanted, the ones we imagined were out there, if only we could reach them. I know that’s what I did. I had CD giveaways, vinyl giveaways, poster giveaways. I had a partner for one semester and we did a bundle give away for any listener who could give us a good name for our show. That, was the only give away where any one answered. And yet, we continued to broadcast and ask for audience participation anyhow hoping one day, they’d be there. Our official unofficial tagline was “WOUX, Where the FM Dream Lives”. Our manager never let us officially use it even though we said it a lot on the air. He never stopped us. It never stopped us. The Dream kept us spinning the tunes.

Today, I have more important dreams. One of which, I’ve had longer than getting into the FM band in my college years. This particular dream, as of this year, goes back twenty years. And it goes like this:

I would like to see the United States government go back to its Constitutional level.

It’s not the dream of seeing my political party get into the highest office of the land. It’s not a dream of seeing a particular personality get elected. No, it’s all about the ideology. That ideology is currently understood as “libertarianism”.

The only political movement endorsing the libertarian philosophy is the Libertarian Party. There are people in the Republican Party who are quasi-libertarian, like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio but they didn’t make the cut in the presidential election. The GOP has had numerous opportunities to elect liberty minded Republicans but they pass them over. And in 2016, they chose Donald Trump, the least of them deserving the name of “conservative”. But there you have it.

No, if you, like me, want to see smaller government, you won’t find it in the two major parties. Your only choice is the Libertarian Party. And yet, it’s a long shot. I’ve documented the many road blocks to our small party’s road to victory. Most of them have been set in place by the Republicans and Democrats in order to keep their lead. With a regular, predictable one percent vote count after every election, the question remains: Why do we do it?

Because we in the Libertarian Party understand that losing battles in part of every war. It’s winning the war that counts. Winning a war requires a long term commitment with strong, committed soldiers and a message the people can want to fight for. Notice in this 2016 election the two major parties aren’t fighting over a message? They’re fighting over who’s the most scandalous, who’s mistreating the most pussy.

Because of this, the 2016 election has given the Libertarian Party the best chance to win its first major victory in American political warfare. 2016 could be our Saratoga. And it starts with just getting five percent of the vote total.

What does five percent give us?

Five percent gives us access to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund because we’d now be listed as an official “minor” party and five percent would also give us a near guarantee of being on the ballot in all fifty states. Let’s analyze this.

First, about that “near guarantee ballot access”. There is a mistaken belief that five percent is an automatic guarantee the Libertarian Party would be on all fifty state ballots in 2018. But this is not entirely true. It is the states that determine their ballot access. Since states control how candidates get on the ballots, states make up the rules of who gets on and how. Some states do grant access if five percent (or even less) is achieved during a presidential election. But some states grant access based on gubernatorial and/or senate races. So this is where the Presidential Election Campaign Fund comes in.

What we have historically done is chewed up a large portion of our funds just getting onto the ballot. Federal matching funds would near guarantee we would have the resources day one, to make all state requirements for ballot access, thereby freeing up money for advertising and outreach.

And this can propel us into the debates. As Gary Johnson noted this election, the debates are the presidential election’s super bowl. If you don’t get into it, you don’t get the trophy. The first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump scored 84 million viewers. Imagine what could have happened with the libertarian message if 84 million could have heard it.

There’s only one problem with this. Federal matching funds come from the same well as all federal funds. They are tax payer dollars. They are your dollars. And you may be reading this as a non-libertarian. This means if Gary Johnson scores five percent of the vote, you, a non-libertarian, would see some of your tax dollars going to a future campaign you won’t support.

Isn’t it hypocritical for a libertarian candidate to take federal funds since we’re the ones trying to stop government from taking your money for programs you may not necessarily want?

I say, it would be except for the fact that the Presidential Election Campaign Fund is voluntary tax dollars. These are voluntary donations. In other words, people putting their tax money in go into it understanding it can go to any candidate who qualifies. So it’s not like other tax dollars that disappear in Washington and show up on projects you weren’t aware or approved of.

Despite this, it still remains a sore spot for libertarians. The party is split on philosophical grounds on whether or not we should participate. But sometimes I wonder if breaking a rule is worth it. Maybe if the greater good comes from it, it is worth doing. But that opens the door for others to do whatever they want in the name of some greater good and that’s how the Libertarian Party could end up like the two major parties. I’m reminded of Thomas Jefferson, who made the Louisiana Purchase despite having no authority to do so. In a letter to John Breckinridge he justified it. He wrote, “It is the case of a guardian, investing the money of his ward in purchasing an important adjacent territory; and saying to him when of age, ‘I did this for your good; I pretend to no right to bind you: you may disavow me, and I must get out of the scrape as I can. I thought it my duty to risk myself for you.’”

The Libertarian Party will have to decide, should we get the five percent, if we’re willing to take the matching funds in the same line of thinking as Jefferson took the Louisiana Purchase. But I’m hoping we score that five percent so that instead of a hypothetical, we’ll really have to decide in 2020.

I write and publish this piece the night before the 2016 United States Presidential election. I’m hoping by tomorrow evening, the five percent will be reached. It will be a personal victory and such a payoff for being involved for so long. It’s an unprecedented opportunity that, if squandered, may not crop up again unless an unusual circumstance crops up again.

The Libertarian Party – Where the Five Percent Dream Lives. Let’s vote for it. Let’s win this battle.

My university was Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. Almost thirty-years-ago, us disk jockeys at WOUX could only dream of reaching an audience outside the campus commons area. What if after a few years we gave up? Where would today’s students be?

Years ago, my alma mater did score that antenna. So today’s students have an FM station. Today’s students also have an Internet channel which reaches an audience far larger than we, back in the late 80s, early 90s, could imagine. Today’s disk jockeys at Oakland University reach every person on planet Earth. And they get to do that because those of us who started it, despite the odds, believed.

Libertarian: It’s About an Ideology

An interesting thing is happening outside the two major political parties in the United States. For the first time since Ross Perot, third parties are getting some decent press. Perot wasn’t a “party” when he was doing his best in 1992, but he was an outsider of the two party system. And he did go on to create the Reform Party which was covered by the press in the 1996 election. But once Perot left, the party dwindled. It still exists but is pretty much on life support, with no actual direction or cohesive platform to rely on.

After Ross Perot, the next outside contender came in the form of Ralph Nader. Nader could have run as just Ralph Nader instead of becoming the Green Party’s nominee and probably still nabbed the nearly three percent he did in the year 2000. But after Nader stopped running for president, the Green Party returned to regular third party stats: Under one percent of the presidential vote totals, every four years.

The Green Party, Libertarian Party, Constitution Party (formerly the U.S. Taxpayers Party), Reform Party, they all receive equal to or less than one percent of the presidential vote totals on a regular basis. The only time this has not been the case is when a cult of personality forms. This has been the problem with third parties for some time now. They get good press when a famous person comes around but then go back under the rock when that person leaves.

In my own party, the Libertarian Party, we make a big deal of celebrities that count themselves as libertarians and we sometimes pine for them to run for office. Clint Eastwood identifies as a libertarian and I have little doubt he could be elected president if he chose to run. But he could run as just Clint Eastwood and still win, no party affiliation. This is the problem with trying to get celebrities to run under your party name. You’ll never know if people are warming to your platform or just voting for the celebrity. Because after the celebrity is done with their term if office (should they get elected), your party could turn into what’s left of the Reform Party. It’s best if you don’t have a celebrity run to avoid this.

The Libertarian Party has not had a celebrity run for president. The people who run do so because they are concerned that the United States is moving further and further away from the original intent of the government. The candidates are generally in sync with the ideals of the libertarian platform. When you vote for a Libertarian, you are pretty sure where they stand on most issues. This is unlike the two major parties where you never really know what you’re going to get. When you vote for a libertarian, you’re not voting for the person, you’re voting for a political ideology.

Almost three years ago, I piggybacked on Harry Browne’s What We’re Up Against, noting we in third party land were still up against the same election roadblocks now as when Browne mentioned it.

It’s worth repeating, Michael C. Ruppert said of the Democrat/Republican roadblock, “It’s organized crime. All you do is you call the Republicans the Genovese and you call the Democrats the Gambinos. The people at the top, they treat it like a crap game, like it’s their crap game, like their making lots of money. Occasionally, somebody at this table shoots each other but the moment anything threatens their crap game, they all unite to protect it.”

Libertarians have won smaller races. We’re not always benched. But it’s like the Libertarian Party has been the kid seen as unfit to participate by other members of a team. Every now and then they let him have the ball, become the mayor of a small town. But there’s no way the team is ever going to let the poor kid quarterback.

However, now, because the two major parties have chosen two of the most unlikeable candidates, perhaps, in their history, third parties are getting more attention. The roadblocks are not as solid as they used to be. Third parties, especially the Libertarian and Green Parties, are getting some front page coverage.

The coverage is interesting in itself. The two moments when Libertarian Presidential Candidate, Gary Johnson seemed to gain the most attention was when he feigned some ignorance over a question regarding the conflict in Aleppo and as of recent, when he was asked to name his “favorite foreign leader“ where he could not. This is much different than if he were asked if he could name any foreign leaders. (Recall George Bush in 1999 had this problem and yet, went ahead and became president anyhow).

But regarding these two issues, who cares? I addressed the Aleppo bunch of nothing here. And regarding favorite foreign leaders, does it matter if he does or doesn’t have one? I can’t name any foreign leader I admire either. Give it a try for yourself. You may also have a hard time coming up with one. And if you do have one or a dozen, so what? I fail to see how this is a qualifier for the job of president.

Donald Trump says nonsense on a daily basis and yet his supporters are not fazed in the least by it. In fact, regarding foreign leaders, Trump has made it rather clear he’s got a hard-on for Putin. But, ho hum, this doesn’t seem to alarm any of Team Trump. Hillary Clinton has led a political career of lies and deceit and yet, she has the full support of the liberal left. Quite frankly, if the press has Johnson by the Johnson on the Aleppo and Favorite Foreign Leader questions, if that’s the worst they can dig up on him, then we’re winning by comparison.

Despite some media outlets having a good poke at Johnson on these insignificant issues, for the first time in my party’s history, major newspapers are endorsing us! Again, here’s some winning right here.

The current polling numbers are putting the Libertarian Presidential ticket of Johnson/Weld at about ten percent. That is incredible considering, as we’ve observed above, third parties routinely can’t even break the one percent barrier. True, the election hasn’t been held yet. But with polling results like this, I’m betting the Libertarian Party will make some history with vote totals this year.

All of this is already a win for me. In November, if we drop from today’s polling numbers and only manage five percent of the vote, it’s a win. Because next time, maybe we’ll get eight percent, or eleven. This isn’t just wishful thinking. Let’s look at some numbers.

Year Pres. Candidate / VP Popular votes Percentage Electoral votes
1972 John Hospers / Theodora Nathan 3,674 0% 1
1976 Roger MacBride / David Bergland 172,553 <1% 0
1980 Ed Clark / David Koch 921,128 1% 0
1984 David Bergland / James Lewis 228,111 <1% 0
1988 Ron Paul / Andre Marrou (campaign) 431,750 <1% 0
1992 Andre Marrou / Nancy Lord 290,087 <1% 0
1996 Harry Browne / Jo Jorgensen 485,759 <1% 0
2000 Harry Browne / Art Olivier (campaign) 384,431 <1% 0
2004 Michael Badnarik / Richard Campagna (campaign) 397,265 <1% 0
2008 Bob Barr / Wayne Allyn Root (campaign) 523,713 <1% 0
2012 Gary Johnson / Jim Gray (campaign) 1,275,821 1% 0
2016 Gary Johnson / William Weld (campaign) TBD TBD TBD

Table pulled from Wikipedia.

What do you see? I see a progressive accumulation of increased votes. From 1972 to the present, we keep getting more. Some years dip and some, like 1980, have deviated up (when David Koch was on the ticket, the closest the Libertarian Party has had to celebrity). But the general progress is in the positive. To me, this means that the Libertarian Party is gaining despite the laws and hurdles the two major parties have thrown up. Now, in 2016, with the Democrat and Republican choice of two unlikeable candidates, the numbers for the Libertarian Party will surely sky rocket.

Will this momentum carry over in the coming years? I don’t know. But the numbers over the past few decades suggest that over the long term, the answer is yes. I’m not worried about my party. It is doing fine considering today’s political climate. We’re moving in the right direction. To me, we’re already winning.

The bigger question is what will happen to the two major parties after 2016?

I’ve predicted the shatter of the Republican Party for years now based on their poor choices. You can read about my concerns here, here and here. Regardless of whether Donald Trump wins or loses, the Republican Party is damaged and recovery may take a long time if ever. If he wins, other Republicans will solidify around him and support his decisions no matter how bad. They’re already working overtime as apologists now, why would it be different once in power? See Ted Cruz, see Sean Hannity. Big props, however, to Glenn Beck for holding his ground. Because of Donald Trump, a lot of Republicans have left the party to join the Libertarians.

I suspect the Democratic Party will be fine. All they’ve really done is chosen Barack Obama again. A Hillary Clinton White House will be a continuation of Obama’s White House. On the other hand, since Obama didn’t turn out to be the savior figure he allowed himself to be built up to, another continuation of his policies now in the hands of Clinton may be just the ticket to get Democrats fleeing to third parties too.

But let’s not pay too much attention anymore to those two big galoots. Let them flounder in their own mess. For those of you looking for a small government, freedom loving atmosphere, keep rolling with the Libertarian Party, increasing our vote totals. Let’s keep our own house in order and clean. Let’s learn from the two major’s mistakes and not make the same ones. Let’s keep working on ourselves, getting the message out and staying on target. Let’s be most concerned with message and not concerned with getting some celebrity to run. Let the people come to us because we have the best message, not the latest celebrity personality. Ideologies stick around, people fade away.

Johnson’s Aleppo Gaffe is a Positive Thing

Everybody hates a know-it-all. You know, that person who never asks questions but always has answers? Or, that person who asks a question just so they can school you on the right answer? Yeah, we all hate those people.

For decades, Libertarians have made the case that that is exactly what the two major parties have been giving us. Ask any politician either serving, once served or trying to serve and they’ll have an answer for everything.
How should we make health care better? They have an answer.

How should we make our schools better? They have an answer.

What should we do about Russia in the Ukraine? They have an answer.

What should we do about drug overdosing? They have an answer.

What should we do about…?

Donald Trump is the ultimate example of this. His campaign slogan is “Make America Great Again” but he hasn’t said how. He says things like, “Trust me, it’s going to be great. It’s going to be so great. Our plan is simple and will work. I guarantee it will work.” It’s his go to answer for every question. In fact, Trump has now made having no plan the plan. As of the Commander-In-Chief forum sponsored by NBC News on September 7, 2016, Donald Trump said regarding his plan to defeat ISIS, “I have a plan…if I win (the presidency), I don’t wanna broadcast to the enemy exactly what my plan is.” On the surface, this sounds like sound policy. After all, Eisenhower et al kept D-Day a secret from the Germans. But this is how Trump answers everything. And yet, we’re asked to believe him, he can fix everything.

Hillary Clinton is no different. Ask her anything at all, and she has a plan to fix education, ISIS, schools, you name it. She has a government plan. Look at her positions on issues on her campaign website. There it is. All government run solutions on all the major topics.

The Libertarians are the only party that have consistently made it clear they don’t want to run your life. Why? Because they admit they don’t have all the answers. Look at the Party Platform. Most solutions are removing government from the equation and letting peaceful people cooperate into a solution that works for them. Libertarians understand there is no one solution for everyone. They understand government is rarely the solution. And when asked about things they don’t know, honest candidates say, “I don’t know”.

So on September 8, 2016, in a 5AM interview on MSNBC, Libertarian Presidential Candidate, Gary Johnson, was asked, “What would you do if you were elected, about Aleppo?” His response was, “What is Aleppo?”

That unleashed the Kraken on social media and everywhere else, including I’m guessing, the dark side of the moon.

Perhaps he should have known what was being asked of him. I admit myself, if I’d been asked about Aleppo, I might have stuttered a bit too. Why? Because I know the conflict mainly as “Syria”. If Johnson was asked “What would you do if you were elected, about Syria?” I’m betting this never would have happened.

In any case, Johnson immediately issued a tweet owning up to it and advising everyone he was simply human. He followed up with the following statement:

This morning, I began my day by setting aside any doubt that I’m human. Yes, I understand the dynamics of the Syrian conflict — I talk about them every day. But hit with “What about Aleppo?”, I immediately was thinking about an acronym, not the Syrian conflict. I blanked. It happens, and it will happen again during the course of this campaign.

Can I name every city in Syria? No. Should I have identified Aleppo? Yes. Do I understand its significance? Yes.

As Governor, there were many things I didn’t know off the top of my head. But I succeeded by surrounding myself with the right people, getting to the bottom of important issues, and making principled decisions. It worked. That is what a President must do.

That would begin, clearly, with daily security briefings that, to me, will be fundamental to the job of being President.”

Can you imagine either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton saying such a thing? Trump would have answered the Aleppo question with something about a secret plan and Clinton would have given something akin to America knows best and if she could get elected she’d keep digging in to that mess, dragging America deeper into foreign entanglements. AND, both would be pretty much saying, “Trust me, I know how to solve this.”

Gary Johnson’s statement about the gaffe is wonderfully Libertarian. He admits he can make mistakes and therefore, admits he doesn’t know everything. This keeps plenty with the platform of keeping government (himself, if elected) out of subjects he isn’t familiar with. He isn’t quick on the draw but will take time.

But most of all, he’s willing to ask questions for clarification.

It is the greatest virtue to admit you don’t know something. It’s even cooler if you say you’re willing to investigate for a solution. It’s okay to admit you don’t have an answer right away and that you’ll get back to someone once some research is done. And it’s even more incredible when you see someone who once held a very strong opinion change their mind in real time when confronted with greater evidence to the contrary.

Many of us praise when someone asks questions rather than claim to know all the answers. If you want a candidate that “knows” everything, you got Trump or Clinton to choose from. In fact, that’s the problem in government meddling in every aspect of our lives. We hope they know everything they claim to know but we’re all pretty sure they’re pretending to know.

Gary Johnson has also said things like, regarding the Black Lives Matter movement that it “opened his eyes”. That’s another admission of I Don’t Know. Again, imagine Trump or Clinton saying this.

I Don’t Know is okay. Asking questions for clarification is okay. Libertarians are the only candidates admitting they don’t know everything which is why government shouldn’t control everything.

Gary Johnson should not be dismissed or considered unable to be President of the United States. He deserves credit where credit is due.

Make the political argument, not the personal attack

CheetoJesusSomething has been irking me for a while now. Initially, I couldn’t put my finger on it. It’s been building over the last couple of months. It’s not so much the entrenched corners so many have willingly put themselves in when debating the virtues and vices of the presidential nominees, though that is a part. It has more to do with the tenor of those who have been aligned with the voice of conservatism.

One of the founding ideas behind Freedom Cocktail was to create an environment for the free exchange of ideas and dialogue, so long as civility remained the setting and logic and reason the atmosphere. Any object could be set on that imaginary stage (or bar) and discussed, so long as those conditions remained. Over the 4+ years of our existence, we have had posts covering everything from current events to philosophical views on raising children, our changing culture and everything in between. In every case, no one resorted to name-calling. With each successive post, acute attention was placed on not ignoring contrary facts or shifting arguments away from contrary evidence. It is something we pride ourselves on when we identify as conservatives or Libertarians.

One of my favorite quotes, in terms of debate, comes from former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.” That comment has always stuck with me and helps to drive my choice of words whenever I debate someone, whether in writing or in person.

I appreciate my Libertarian friends who have almost always backed the Libertarian Party candidate. When they write about their decision to back Gary Johnson here in the 2016 race, they are being consistent with their ideals and firmly held beliefs. And, generally speaking, they do not delve into personal attacks or Mad Magazine-style lambasting.

On the flip side, Leftists cannot help but fall into the 3-step playbook whenever they are trying to engage in political commentary — they will first shift the subject when anyone is able to rebut their initial claim; they will then ignore the facts being presented to them (or anything contrary) that would force them to revise their initial claim; and, as a final step, will resort to name-calling. They cannot help it. They may never admit they are wrong, but as Maggie Thatcher was keen to notice about human nature, when you have not one single political argument left, all that remains are emotional outbursts designed to attack personally.

Much like Maggie, I swell with joy and pride when I can drive a Leftist to resort to their 3-step playbook, turning them into red-faced blowhards, vomiting nonsensical platitudes and horrible vulgarities as fast as they can conjure them. I know, I should not take joy in the emotional wreckage I have wrought by the judicious application of logic and reason, but I’m human, too. I have my weaknesses.

On almost equal footing to the personal insults, what angers me (and most conservatives) is the notion that Leftists have of themselves as being so much smarter, they need to think for the rest of us. They want to tell us what food to eat, what light bulbs to use, what cars to drive, how much we should earn, how much health insurance we need and how to raise and educate our own children. They convocate in their Ivory Towers and their hallowed halls of Marxist principles, doling out their wisdom to the rest of the poor, common-folk, too uneducated and unenlightened to know what’s best for them. So what if the messengers do not need to heed their own advice — so long as the masses conform, the select few are entitled to the spoils, are they not? Ever wonder why it’s okay for Leonardo DiCaprio to own a mega-yacht, Al Gore to fly on a Gulfstream and Bernie Sanders to buy his 3rd mansion while the rest of us are scolded for firing-up a grill or driving a 4×4? It’s because, in their minds, they are part of a different caste and as long as the vast majority can be convinced to go without and relegate themselves to the bottom rungs, the elites get to break their own rules. After all, they are so much smarter and better than the rest of us, we should just be thankful they allow their wisdom to be forced down our throats, right?

This brings me back to my quandary.  I’ve already written my thoughts about the #NeverTrump movement (here and here) so I will not belabor my earlier arguments. I’ve said all I think I can to sway someone with my point-of-view. However, what I want to do is implore those who have gone all-in on the #NeverTrump movement is to consider a couple of thoughts.

CheetoJesus2First, your choice of words and phrases. Take a lesson from Maggie. Terms like Cheeto Jesus, The Angry Cheeto, Cheez-Whiz and the Clown Prince of Politics are not political arguments. Equally, to label supporters of Donald Trump as members of the Branch Trumpidians, Trumpites, Trumpettes, Trumpeteers, Trump-chumps or Trumpkins is akin to trying to win a debate by calling someone ugly. Or fat. They are insults and devoid of any political merit or substance whatsoever. Sure, to those in the same caste, it’s uproariously funny. Like the rich, mean girls teasing the poor kid from across the tracks, everyone knows it’s wrong, except them. And it eventually turns sympathy toward the one being personally attacked.

Which brings me to the self-righteous, we-know-so-much-better-than-you, that is equivalent to the hubris exhibited by the elites on the Left. It is the height of arrogance to presume you belong on a different plane than everyone else simply because you deem it so. No one likes to lose, but worse is the loser who takes their ball and goes home, only to blame everyone else for why their team had to quit the game.

But it’s not fair!

Every parent, at one time or another, reminds their children that life isn’t fair. Sometimes, the bad guy wins. Sometimes, you don’t get what you want just because you demand it. Sometimes, you have to act like the grown up and press on, waiting for the next opportunity to present itself.

Be a member of #NeverTrump. You have every right to choose whom you wish to vote for and where you will throw your support. But keep the principles of logic, reason and civility foremost in mind. Choose your words and your arguments carefully to avoid mirroring the very same tactics and behaviors we detest in those who would prefer to have dominion over every aspect of our very lives. Otherwise, all you will succeed in doing is solidifying the support of those whom you offend and alienate those who might otherwise be open to a more persuasive and dignified alternative point-of-view.

We, the Selfish Libertarians

There’s this meme going around which reads, “All cats are libertarians. Completely dependent on others but fully convinced of their own independence.” The implication is that libertarians have deluded themselves into thinking they have the skill set to provide everything they need in life on their own without assistance. They have deluded themselves into thinking they can farm, build a car, make a house and build a furnace.

all-cats-are-libertarians-mary-fanningDoes anyone in their right mind really think libertarians believe this? Only the complainers who want to smear the philosophy who don’t understand it think this. When you meet a libertarian, ask them if they think this. None but a mentally disturbed person (or a really skilled one) would claim this.

No, libertarians understand very well they’re dependent on other people but what they want, is to choose who to interact with and not be forced through a government program or policy on who to interact with. So the meme remains true. But without the implication of delusion of being able to provide everything on their own. What we want, is the freedom to seek out the best people to rely on, not have a certain set determined for us.

The biggest complaint I’ve seen as of late is that being a libertarian means being selfish. Being a libertarian, they say, means only looking out for yourself and be damned your neighbors and community. But again, those that say this haven’t done their homework on what libertarian means.

The platform of the Libertarian Party reads, in part, “We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.”

Does any of this sound selfish so far? Sounds to me like everyone gets to play and be nice and be happy. I’ve yet to find anyone who can reasonably disagree with this. Wait, I mean, unless they’re ready to claim that A) Other people know better than most other people how to live so they should be put in charge; B) Some lifestyles are not appropriate even if they don’t hurt anyone and must not be allowed; C) Those smarter people from A should be allowed to monitor some people to make sure their happiness isn’t too happy or happier than others.

A, B, and C are exactly what the complainers are engaging in when they say libertarians are selfish. They think that other people from a magic land of perfect people, pulled from maybe Plato’s Philosopher Kings, should be anointed (elected) to take a bit from some people and give to other people and that it’s okay to use force because if they didn’t, some people wouldn’t voluntarily help their community. It’s forced cooperation. They claim it’s necessary because without it, people can’t seem to take care of each other voluntarily.

And yet, it’s a myth. They can’t point to any group of libertarians actually neglecting their community. They can’t point to, say, New Hampshire which has a government most closely based on Libertarian policies and show the pit of selfish, disaster they predict. Their complaint that libertarianism is selfish is based on the same incorrect assumption drug warriors have; which is, if we legalize it everyone will be stoned!

The complainers, who mostly come from the Left of the political spectrum, are usually most at odds with the economic side of libertarianism. We’re actually quite in line with the social side. Libertarians and the Left agree that gay marriage should be legalized, we’re both generally in favor of ending the drug war, we’re both open for free speech and press, we’re both pro-choice and on and on.

So let’s look at some of the libertarian economic ideas and see if they really are selfish.

The complainers claim that our preference for a Minimum Wage of zero means we don’t value unskilled labor and would, if we could, pay them sweatshop wages. They claim we’d be a nation of robber barons, selfishly keeping profits and stepping on the little guy. On the contrary, the reason libertarians want to end the Minimum Wage is because it actually pushes people out of the work force. If the Left gets what it wants, which presently is a wish for $15.00 an hour, businesses would reduce their work force, and chances wouldn’t be taken on unskilled people. So the libertarian solution is actually less selfish because what we’re promoting is more employment.

The complainers claim that our view towards private property ownership means some businesses would deny service to some people based on color or religion or race or whatever factor is unfavorable to the business owner. It’s true some would do this. But I venture lots of people making this complaint don’t know how business works. Business owners recognize they’re in business to make money and a living. Denying certain groups of people would get around. People generally don’t share good service stories. They share bad service stories. If you own a business and say, choose not to serve black people, your business may very well fold. So you’ll probably serve as many people as possible. This myth of businesses suddenly becoming selfish and closing it’s doors to some groups if libertarian economics were installed is just not valid. The complainer can point to one or two bakers who refused a gay wedding. But I challenge them to find a significant problem like a large fast food restaurant or grocery chain engaging in this behavior. Or a motor vehicle company. If libertarian economics are suddenly put in place, McDonalds, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Ford, Microsoft, Apple, General Motors, Southwest Airlines, you name it, will keep on serving everyone.

The second complaint about private property ownership says that our view means we’ll let the environment be trashed. But I’m not sure how this line of thinking goes. It’s always public parks and spaces that have the most graffiti and vandalism. Property owners have a vested interest in making sure their property and surrounding property are clean. They have an interest in not damaging or misusing the resources. A common complaint is that if Yellowstone Park were privatized, someone could buy it and turn it into a chemical dump. This is such a bunch of ridiculousness. Yellowstone Park’s value is being Yellowstone Park. Private ownership would keep it clean and safe for tourism to continue. I challenge that private parks are always better because owners are always ensuring they have a favorable place for customers to spend time and money where as government/public parks always rely on the mythical “someone else” to pick up the trash.

There are complaints that libertarians want to put health care into the free market and this is supposedly a death sentence to anyone who can’t afford it. The whole Right to Health Care movement is made up of people who think government should provide this very necessary service. But I never see anyone campaigning for the Right to Food and petitioning the government to take over grocery stores. Maybe because food is cheap enough while health care remains expensive. Fair enough. But the naysayers complain that it’s the greedy medical profession and industry that keeps it high because of the need. Well food is more important on a day to day basis and there’s no greed there. Doesn’t the food industry have just as much of an incentive to be as greedy? So why aren’t they? The answer comes down to choice. In most places, you have numerous grocery stores to shop from, big and small. In short, there is competition.

Why is it that a two-liter of pop is still about one dollar? Why is it that the top of the line cell phones are practically given away by phone companies in exchange for a service contract? It’s because of competition. In the medical profession, the problem is two-fold: Excessive government licensing and regulations and a general lack of competition. Prior to 1960, health care was rather accessible to everyone and doctors made house calls. Not any more. The government started up their own programs to help where they didn’t need to and drove up costs. Plus, the feds and states have regulations requiring certain things be covered where they’re not needed which makes you pay for things you don’t need. I know of someone right now who’s one-year-old daughter has maternity insurance, mandated by law.

What if the health care industry was in the same market as cell phones? This means deregulation and increase competition. And then you’d have truly affordable health care.

Competition is a theme here with all things libertarian. And maybe that’s another reason we’re called selfish. Competition sounds combative and, it sounds like someone will lose. But all competition means is several people make several businesses who compete for customers and this formula brings best services for cheapest prices to the consumers who will always be the winners. It’s working right now for cell phones, computers, two-liter sodas, television sets, automobiles and so many other products under the sun. Put health care into this formula and problem solved.

So as you can see, or should by now, libertarians want to see people excel and profit and prosper. We just have a different way of getting there. The Left considers government mandates and programs as the way to achieve this and libertarians argue a reduction of all that is the solution.

Will it work? Not for every one but it will for most. Libertarians aren’t selling utopia. Utopia doesn’t exist. It’s the Left who are trying to sell utopia with their claims that the right people in the right positions will be honorable enough to divvy up the goods and all will be happy. But we’re living that big government nightmare right now and it’s not working. At the very least, why not try the free market? We’re seeing government fail as a solution. Why does the Left want more government? Again, they’re seeking a utopia that doesn’t exist.

Libertarians are not selfish. In fact, our policies and positions help everyone get in on the action. Our platform is for everyone. The examples discussed above make it pretty evident the libertarian solutions are actions to bring more people into employment, more people into participating in business as owner and customer, giving more people access to health care.all-cats-are-libertarians-mary-fanning

So the problem of libertarians being labeled as selfish is a lack of education on what libertarian means and/or a desire to just smear because the Left has held on too long to the Utopian dream of the right people in the right positions theory. Big government (Democratic Socialist) policies have demonstrably failed. The continued push to impose them, expecting different results, is an act of faith. And faith means acting despite the lack of evidence. That’s what the Left is doing. There’s no evidence more government works. In fact, there’s evidence to the contrary yet they’re still holding on to it so they must engage in scaring people into thinking a free market, a libertarian solution is selfish.

Nope, it’s time to try what works. Let’s try the free market, the less selfish position, because we have ample evidence it works to help all people. If you want to help all people, why not give it a try? At the very worst, we can always go back. But I’m betting after a few years of a libertarian society, you won’t want to. Because no society has ever crumbled or found themselves in trouble when they’ve used too much reason.

Now go read on other topics covered in the Libertarian Party platform here. You’ll see the language is all about helping everyone. There’s nothing selfish about it. I challenge anyone to read it and find evidence where it says something about keeping out undesirables or having enough money so that others can’t get at it. And if after reading it you continue to claim this selfish nonsense, you do it at the expense of your own reputation for being disingenuous. Feel free to knock the free market. Feel free to bring up evidence against it. But libertarians being selfish? That’s ad hominem, uneducated and unfounded.

Reckoning Day – Party Over

They did it to themselves. And I tried to do a bit part in cleaning it up with a list of suggestions here and here. But no one listened (except you, loyal readers, who came by those years in this blog’s infancy).

Donald Trump is sweeping up the Republican nomination. To date, he’s only lost in Iowa to Ted Cruz, but only by three percent. Since then, Trump has gone on to take first place in New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. Projections suggest the rest of the dominos are already in place to fall Trump’s way. Time will tell if this bears out. But even if Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio pull the Republican Party out of this, the lesson has already been made: The GOP is finished as a party of principle. They did it to themselves.

Donald Trump wants to Make America Great Again. But I have no idea what he plans to do, exactly. There’s talk of a huge wall along the Mexican border, getting Mexico to pay for it (how?). There’s talk of keeping Syrian refugees out temporarily, I mean, Muslim refugees. And I understand the hesitation. But again, how? A change of clothing and swearing on a Bible or something to be convincing they’re not Muslims? I could do that.

Only a few of Trump’s Positions are available for review. On his website, five are listed: US-China Trade Reformation, Veterans Administration Reformation, Tax Reform, 2nd Amendment Rights and Immigration Reform. That’s it. I wonder why no discussion on Foreign Policy, nothing on welfare, crime and violence, on privacy, environment, energy, etc.

The US-China Trade Relations is full of how he and his negotiators will work out the best deal, not understanding that every company should be negotiating their own best interests with China. That way if the deal sucks, only that company suffers. Who’s negotiating for everyone again? See below.

The Veterans Reform is revamping government health care for veterans. As if the constant tweaking of this government program will get it working. A better idea would be phasing it out, dumping Obamacare, and working towards a laissez faire economic model of health care for everyone.

The Tax Reform punishes those who earn more money, like the Democratic reforms he used to espouse (see below).

The 2nd Amendment Rights keeps the principle of the 2nd Amendment. I have no quarrel with this one. I’ve already addressed that we could do something different to address gun violence but banning or better checks isn’t the answer. I’m still waiting for suggestions.

And Immigration Reform (see Illegal Immigration issue below)

Along with the Positions, he has some video messages on his issues section but they’re all pom-pom, cheer leader stuff. No policies or operations and procedures. But let’s look at some of these video messages. Let’s start with…

Drug Epidemic: His solution to the New Hampshire (heroin) epidemic is better borders between the US and Mexico? You could build the legendary Game of Thrones Wall and drugs will still get in. Isn’t he aware of Afghanistan’s heroin trafficking? And think of it, all of our federal and state prisons have walls; and yet, heroin gets in there. A better solution is to end the Drug War.

Self Funding: He gets to fund his own campaign, which is honorable. Then he says he knows the “absolute best people” and we’ll have the greatest negotiators with foreign countries. Woah. Who are these people? This doesn’t impress me. Kings are self funding too, ask Saudi Arabia. This is a “Just Trust Me, I Got This” attitude. I’d rather handle much of my own life, thank you.

Illegal Immigration: More Great Wall talk with a beautiful big door. How about just letting peaceful people come and go and keep the government in? Oops, see Self Funding. Government will be negotiating for us.

Unifying the Nation: He says he’ll bring the country together. But he’s done nothing on the campaign trail but divide, sometimes using name calling. And the GOP is in shambles. If he can’t unite the party he’s running under, how’s he going to reach everyone outside of it?

Education: He says schools and education should be locally controlled. And I approve of this message. This is a good one.

Jobs: Yes, Trump, you’ve done a great job creating jobs in the private sector. BUT, as president, you don’t create jobs. Why are you running for president if you want to help people get jobs? This isn’t in the job description of president. And again, no operations or procedures. Are we looking at a potential federal job program?

Anyhow, I picked a few from the Issues videos. Feel free to review the rest (all of them) and see if you come to the same conclusion.

Most of the above sounds like a continuation of big government, almost a secret government of “absolute best people” we know nothing about. I hate always reminding politicians that the best people is subjective. Who negotiates for Microsoft might be terrible at negotiating for Wal-Mart or Ford Motor Company. All different products with different markets and needs.

But I’m not at all surprised Donald Trump is on the trail to being the Republican nominee. The Republican Party brags about being the party of small government but over the past hundred years or so, they haven’t demonstrated it. Not even the legendary Ronald Reagan administration strived or created a smaller government. Us, in the Libertarian movement, joke that Republicans campaign like Libertarians but govern like Democrats. The Republican Party takes Democrat solutions, nibbles away just a little bit and says, “See, if it wasn’t for us, you’d be paying an extra five cents in tax but you’re only paying three because of our work.” This, of course, is still an increase in three cents. Never a decrease, never less government.

Look at the federal budgets over the past hundred years. Up, up, up, up, up, up whether it be Democrat or Republican. I give at least the Democrats credit for owning up to their share. The Republican Party blames everyone but themselves. This is why so many people left the GOP and went to the Libertarian Party (as well as other third parties). Tired of rhetoric, looking for action, these people found new homes.

The GOP did it to themselves. They can’t blame Trump’s climb solely on his presentation or celebrity status. The GOP had options for a truly smaller government for a long time but passed them over. They ignored the campaign of Ron Paul, twice, and over looked his son, Rand Paul. They also overlooked New Mexico Governor, Gary Johnson. They had their chance at small government politicians. They chose others. And when they controlled the House of Representatives under Republican President George W. Bush’s from 2001 to 2007 and the Senate from 2003 to 2007, nothing but growth. That was years of chance with nothing to stop them from cutting away the growth and they failed. And now because they left the gate of principles wide open, Trump slid in. Trump, very approving of Bill Clinton, calling him the best president of recent times as early as 2015 and also claiming Hillary Clinton would make a good president or vice president, is now running and leading in the GOP’s own race! The Republican Party’s failure to stick with a strictly socially liberal, fiscally conservative policy allowed this. Their party is now meaningless.

Some are now calling for Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, the last hope against Trump, to join forces to beat him. But the lesson is already played, even if this tactic is successful. That is, even a Cruz/Rubio ticket won’t change the public’s perception of the GOP even if they beat Trump. Because a Cruz/Rubio ticket is a continuation of what I jockeyed against here and here.

The GOP did it to themselves. Many sticking with the GOP are behind Trump on the lesser of two evils approach. Mike Gallagher, along with some other people I’ve listened to and talked to, have argued that if Trump is the nominee, the GOP must stand behind him. The only reason. ONLY REASON. Is to make sure Hillary Clinton (or Bernie Sanders) doesn’t get into the White House. But this is more leaving principles behind and working to keep someone out rather than get behind someone they’d rather see in. It’s more nails for the GOP coffin. Do they really want to stay just the party that keeps Democrats out? Or one with principles?

I think those who work like this suffer from Wasted Vote Syndrome. If they leave the GOP, they say, they’re definitely letting the Democrats win. They think going to a third party is a waste. I say they’re definition of winning is flawed. Take any third party, most only get about one percent of the total vote. But what if they suddenly got three percent? Then the next election, five percent? Then ten percent? Those currently holding seats in government would have to start taking their positions seriously. Ten percent of a vote could still make a huge difference.

If my own preference for the Libertarian Party can garnish the votes of what’s left of the Republican Party who really believe in smaller government, then differences can be made. The GOP would get the picture and stop existing just to stop Democrats (in name only, I might add). It might take time, but change can be made. It took decades for the Republican Party to get to Donald Trump. It might take several more to get away from Donald Trump. But it has to start somewhere. And the GOP has demonstrated it’s inability to be the leaders.

They did it to themselves. This Party is Over. Let them go. It’ll be okay.

Freedom Cocktail – Our annual report for 2014

Take a moment to see how many people the writer’s here at Freedom Cocktail were able to reach in 2014. Even the smallest voice can change the course of the future. We cannot allow ourselves to be silenced. Keep the conversation going and do no give in to politically correct social pressure. Truth should never be kept at bay in favor of keeping people in the darkness of ignorance.

To all of our readers, those who retweeted, those who shared and those who liked and commented on our posts, thank you!

Here’s to an even bigger and better 2015!

(The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.)

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,800 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

ICYMI: Why we looked back while keeping eye on midterms

The holidays have come and gone. College football has a new BCS champion. The NFL wildcard games lived up to their name and the Superbowl is just around the corner. 2014 is underway and this will be a huge year in terms of politics in our nation with the midterms elections set for November.

Many are getting back into the swing of their day-to-day routine now that kids are back in school. To start off this year, it seemed appropriate to remind everyone of the four recent end-of-year posts that were published here on Freedom Cocktail. In many ways, they not only marked the end of 2013, they all worked together as four chapters of a single work to shed differing points of light on the coming year.

EricWojciechowski

Eric Wojciechowski

The first asked, “Why another blog?”  Eric Wojciechowski’s, Scattered Tea Leaves, addresses the topic of why it’s important to keep the conversation going, even if it feels like we are sometimes preaching to the choir. He offers suggestions of more cooperation and a focus on the bigger picture. He spends some time asking if it makes sense to add a new voice to those already in place and closes by coming to the conclusion that if it means we can get back to a Constitutional Republic, then the answer is yes! At heart, Eric is a staunch Libertarian, but even he is keeping his options open if the right candidate rises to the top of the GOP.

JeffRhodes

Jeff Rhodes

The second asked, “Why fight?” In Jeff Rhodes post entitled, Looking Back on 2013, he catalogs some of the political mile markers of 2013, from the re-election of President Obama to the Democrats continuing hold of the Senate, and suggests that, as conservatives, it wasn’t a banner year for any appreciable offense and the losses outweighed what few wins there were. But, in the face of the odds, looking at the ongoing debacle that is the Affordable Care Act, aka, Obamacare, it’s not a time to give up — rather, in 2014, it’s more important than ever to fight for the Constitution.

AlanSanders

Alan J. Sanders

The third asked, “Why forget?” Yours truly looked at the events of 2013 through the prism of the concept of time with a post called, Exit…Father Time, Even. We all like to think that time is constant — seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, etc. — but, it is a fluid and malleable phenomenon that can dull our memories and lessen our emotions. With the 2014 midterms 11 months away, it’s more important than ever for conservatives to remember, pay attention and vote. The way we fight, the way we don’t forget, is to keep the conversation going (blogging, social media) and get to the polls. It’s time our politicians realize they can no longer hide behind the forgiving aspects of the passage of time itself.

MichelleRay

Michelle Ray

And our final post asked, “Why believe the mainstream media?” when Michelle Ray wrote, Selling the News. 2013 was a banner year for the mainstream (traditional) media to craft the news and sell it to the low-information crowd in easily digested, bite-sized chunks. The majority of voters will not read a full news story anymore, settling for crafted headline and sound bites shared/regurgitated on television, cable news and via social media channels. The mainstream is on a mission to convince us that fact is fiction. We cannot let them control the narrative, which means getting out, being active and not running away from the conversations necessary to bring the facts to life. Appeal, but don’t appease. Be above factual reproach. Fact isn’t fiction, but suspicion is the new (media) religion.

As we move through the coming weeks and months, we will continue to publish works along many different topics, but all with the same underlying goal:  To convince more Americans that individual freedom and liberty are cornerstones to be demanded, not surrendered, and a less intrusive and smaller government must be the ends to our means. You can all be a part of this effort by linking to or sharing our work, in emails, in posts of your own and throughout the entire spectrum of social media options.

EveryVoteCountsVoteSmart

If you have a love for the Constitution and for our Republic, stay informed and please don’t forget to research the candidates vying for your vote and make an intelligent choice based on facts and principle, not hype and a desire to look hip.

Our country deserves so much better.

Selling The News

I like to imagine that a lot of people perform the cliché end-of-year introspection ritual. I like to imagine that people who take the time, genuinely enjoy the review of the good moments, and intend to do something to keep from repeating the not so good moments. I’ll get around to my own, but  I’ve spent the last few days reviewing the incredible impact that media, mainstream and social,  has had on conversations in my personal circle of influence and influencers this year.  The conclusions are cringe-worthy.

Late in 2012, Twitter released its top trends report. Conservative new media crowed about the popularity of #tcot , and Democrats laughed.  As difficult as it is to read what passes for media in mainstream and more left leaning outlets, the facts of that particular headline is accurate in terms of public opinion and political reality. In March, Pew released a poll indicating that sentiment on Twitter is often at odds with public opinion.  That poll has stuck in my mind as I watch debates unfold on social media.

The whole of 2013 brought little good in the way of restored freedoms for America.  What 2013 did bring, was a more-than-ever polarized media. Yahoo’s most searched stories reveals that consumers of news were treated to very little in the way of good news in 2013.  Nearly every issue on their list ( and many that didn’t make the top ten list) was a catalyst for heated political debate in some form or another… on social media.  Much of that debate has shifted to the credibility and coverage by the media outlets, themselves. Comes now the New York Times reviving the video-to-blame narrative on Benghazi and MSNBC criticizing Romney’s family for interracial adoption, and the #tcot Twitter force attacking ( rightfully) the facts.. but forgetting the WHY of both of these stories.  There are narratives to preserve, and the general population still believes them.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I do music. I couldn’t couldn’t have written a better anthem to describe my opinion of state of media, including new media than this:

What in 2014 for conservative/libertarian/constitutional media? Fox has a secure place in news delivery, and will hold its own. Conservative new media struggles to find that balance between presenting their own narrative and fact while appealing to a broader base. Breaking out of the echo chamber must be a 2014 priority for #tcot and #tlot media, and I see good beginnings in some bloggers reaching out to traditionally left-leaning sites,  but I caution strongly against adopting the style guide of left-leaning media.  I also hope that the new media pundits keep in mind that they cannot just inform.  With midterms here, we are way behind in community organizing. Take a few lessons from the left on ends, not means. Work to inspire your audience to do more than vote.  Urge them to get physically involved. We should already be working on ensuring a 2016 presidential field that loves liberty .

Appeal, but don’t appease. Be above factual reproach. Fact isn’t fiction, but suspicion is the new (media) religion.