How your enemies can help you succeed, especially when you’re a minority

  • Politicians pay for opinion polls to discover what you want
  • They also, for the same reason, count the positions you take in the messages you send them.

In other words…

It’s foolish to think your letters to Congress don’t count!

They do count. Literally. But you have to remember something crucial… 

Other groups are sending messages too, asking for the opposite of what you want. Does that fill you with despair? It shouldn’t. Do you automatically assume that your libertarian position must always be the minority view? Guess again…

Gallup estimates that the Left-Right divide breaks down as follows…

  • 36% Right
  • 25% Left

Neither side has a majority. And 39% of the populace aligns with neither. So how many are libertarians? I’ve written about this at the Zero Aggression Project.

  • A Reuters survey finds that 1-in-5 Americans — 64 million people! — self-identify as libertarians and are able to define what that means!
  • A study by the Public Religion Research Institute adds credibility. It identified 22 million people as “hardcore libertarian,” and 48 million as libertarian-leaning. 22 + 48 = 70 – very close to the 64 million found by Reuters.

In other words, libertarians make up about 20% of the populace, despite the fact the Left and Right control the media and the schools. That’s really amazing when you think about it. Still, some of the libertarians reading this will feel despair because they’re in third place. Third place loses, right? Well, not exactly, because…

There’s another obvious but overlooked strategic point

Libertarians agree with the Left on some issues and the Right on others. Even better, the Left and the Right disagree with each other more than they do libertarians. This makes libertarianism the “swing position.” Think about what that means…

  • When people on the Left are pressuring Congress to liberalize marijuana laws libertarian pressure in the same direction could tip the balance
  • When people on the Right are pushing to replace Obamacare with free-market reforms, libertarian pressure in the same direction could make the difference

Seen in this way the real problem is NOT that libertarians are too few in number, but rather, that libertarians are apathetic, inactivate, or simply missing crucial opportunities to take meaningful action. We need to correct these defects. Specifically…

We need to locate all the dormant libertarians and inspire them to action by selling them a believable vision of success

That vision should include three things…

  1. Exploiting areas of agreement with the Left and Right
  2. Exploiting ideas that should have universal support, like the One Subject at a Time Act and the Read the Bills Act
  3. Constantly increasing the pressure we exert on Congress
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