Gary Johnson and Bill Weld are running one of the better third-party races and that’s the problem. Stop running a third party race. Third parties historically are associated with fringe politics.You on the other hand reflect the big center. Right now you’re fielding endless objections from the left and the right have always leveled at libertarians. Big government from the left and culture from the right. “Have you stopped smoking dope?’ “Without regulations we’ll all choke to death.” .You’re on the defensive. How do you overcome this? Deflect this line of questioning by just stating a fact evident to everyone, a President Gary Johnson without a single member of congress would have zero ability pass any kind of extreme legislation. The best you could do would be to guide legislation in the direction of smaller leaner government and enhancing personal freedom and advancement. Instead, paint a big picture so people can visualize.your administration as the best and logical choice. You sell a house by encouraging the prospective buyers to see themselves in it. How this house takes care of their needs. Good schools in the neighborhood, each kid has a bedroom, the great kitchen and family time in the backyard, just visualize.. How do you apply this to this campaign? First layout the problems in dire need of attention. Extraction from costly wars and nation building while maintaining peace and open trade routes abroad. Getting control of entitlements including Obama care and our debt before they swallow our national budget. Showing how a rational immigration policy would greatly contribute to a solution. Confronting our rising drug problem and bringing education into the 21st century along with sensible tax and regulatory policies returning the US to the top rank of places to do business.all need to be faced.
The next thing is to show the alternative candidates are unable solve the problems. In this case it’s easy. Since the turn of the century both Republicans and Democrats have totally failed to confront much less solve these pressing problems. Polarization between the parties has descended into endless trench warfare with growing casualties. If anything the two most disliked Presidential candidates ever promise to take gridlock to a new level. Regardless of which of the two wins, bitterness is likely to grow and bring about a series of crises. Four more years of increasing rancor with nothing accomplished. Can the greatest nation on earth really afford this?
Finally, show you are the logical ones to resolve our problems. Faced with great problems amid national division, many nations turn to governments of national unity. Britain in World War II and Tunisia today come to mind. If they’re lucky they find some experienced politician(s) in the middle of the political spectrum with a history of working successfully with opponents by eliciting trust. These then pick a cabinet based on competence regardless of party. As successful two term governors with histories working with opposition legislatures Johnson-Weld uniquely fills the bill. You would have their pick of top-notch department heads regardless of affiliation. Of course, you would have to work with legislative opposition but each of the parties would know you’re working with the other. Unencumbered by having your own legislators, you’d be in great position to make compromises. If the legislators catch flack they have a perfect place to put the blame. “This is the best we could do or the president would turn to the opposition or veto.” You might take a lot of abuse but you accomplish what the other two can’t. You’re opposition has abandoned free trade. Most people want it and don’t favor tariff walls. Your house has an important feature the others foolishly removed. Point out the Democrats and Republicans would have a much-needed four-year timeout to figure out who they are and where they want to go. Time to find acceptable candidates worthy of our great country. Johnson-Weld would be good even for the opposition.
Make people compare two ugly unlivable houses with your if not perfect quite comfortable abode. Invite them to your open house. They’ll see a welcoming front porch the others eliminated. One competitor even has a high forbidding wall. Give them the chance visualize themselves in the home and they’ll move in. This is the way to sell a house and to sell a libertarian president.
Of course, it’s hard to sell a house if you’re not on multiple listing. You need publicity. Especially the free kind. Again act like you’re a major player. Every time Donald or Hillary calls in or appears on a TV program demand time to answer their attacks. Remember everything they have to say differs greatly from your positions and constitutes an “attack”. Donald calls “Fox and Friends” and either Gary or Bill calls in immediately to counter. Hillary goes on the “Today Show”, the same thing. How hard is it to monitor these outlets. You should be doing it in any case. Trump mentions walls and tariffs and you get to riff on free trade and the value of immigration. Clinton talks more corporate regulation and you talk job loss. These majority positions will find a receptive audience and you’ll be seen as their champion. If anyone refuses to put you on you cry foul or fix as loud as possible. Force both opponents to engage you. Yes, they’ll attack you but that can only lift you up in the public consciousness. They can’t attack without acknowledging you’re an equal and that’s exactly where you need to be. Remember, you really are a big deal. Act like it.
While the Libertarian Party measures how high it will rise, the Republicans are finding just how low they can go. Win or lose this party simply is at war with itself and must either evolve or die. Donald Trump and Paul Ryan aren’t just variations on a theme. On major issues they are diametrically opposed. One could argue that Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller were closer on policy than these two. At least they were arguing policy. Something else is else is at work in this divide. While some Trump supporters actually are attracted to his positions,a great number are attracted to him by something different. Something akin to fandom. This can be seen in the reaction to his possible pivot away from his core policy of rounding up all the millions of illegal aliens and shipping them out of the country. Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin and other Trump policy leaders were aghast. Even Rush Limbaugh lost his composure in dismay. However, journalists interviewing individual Trump supporters found much less outrage. Many stated it was alright with them if it improved his chances of winning. How do explain this? Think of a sports team trading one of the faces of the team, Ape Agony for Smiley Jones. Some fans of their hero Ape are horrified but others convinced that they have a better of winning with Smiley dump Ape. Winning and bragging rights are what’s important. Chicago has two baseball teams. The Cubs play on the more affluent north side, while the White Sox play on the grittier south side. Each represents its own culture and a fan of one would never change loyalty. Would a Boston Red Sox fan cheer for the Yankees? Sports fans enjoy gathering with like-minded people at rallies and stadiums, cheering their team in unison. Notice stadiums filled with Trumpsters and US fans attending completions with a foreign teams both lustily yelling USA,USA. When the White Sox on a rare occasion wins a World Series they can lord it over the fans of the ever hapless Cubs.While none of this improves the fan’s life one iota,if you’re a sports fan you know this sense of community and how much better you momentarily feel when your team wins. Your life may be a dump, but a win lifts you up and all the better if you can lord it over someone else. College, town or country, whatever community you identify with a win you’ve won.
The people cheering Trump see themselves as “us” and other Republicans as “them”. Cub and Sox fans each want to be the face of Chicago. Each wants their victory parade. If we understand the sports fan maybe we can understand the Trump supporters. Specific policies aren’t as important as the feeling of community and/or the shared culture they have with fellow Trump fans. They get a chance to stick it to the others. While conservative thinkers and leaders are talking about policies to actually improve lives, Trumpsters are looking for community and us over them. No wonder each side is talking past each other.
So how will this party ever heal? For the policy elites,not by talking down to the Trumpsters as a group. This only reinforces the us vs them sense of community. However,real life ultimately takes precedence over fantasy. You have put food on the table and a roof over your head.It may feel good for the moment when your team wins. It lets you to escape from the problems of life, but reality never goes away. If you want to reach people you have to show how your policies actually improve theirs lives not as some group but each individual. The group might see old manufacturing jobs gone and fantasize about them coming back. Tell each person the honest truth, those jobs are gone and will never come back. Show each individual how he or she can thrive in the world as it is and will be in the future. Worldwide markets open vast opportunities. How a 21st century education can improve the future for you and your children. Show in dollar and cents terms how much they save each month by participating in the global market. Tell them how much capital someone has to invest to offer them a job. How immigrants are more likely to start a new business and new businesses are the job creators. A favorable climate for business attracts investment and jobs. A bad climate drives them away. An efficient fair government is the way to do it. If you do this, you’ll bring in the Trumpsters one by one and a whole lot more people. No matter who they are, if they can see you’re offering a better future they will come to your party. If you don’t the Libertarians will and where does that leave you?
For Trump’s followers if you win, you have to actually have real policies. Relying on the leader to make all the decisions by his gut feeling that day never ends well. Fantasy is no way to run a country. Reality will always rear its head.Don’t believe us, check out the great country of Venezuela. Just be sure to take your own food and TP. If you lose, well like any other losing fan you go home to the same problems as before. Just feeling worse. Next morning you look for what might actually make your life better or you fantasize about a new leader that will make it all better.