Populism is letting everyone vote on everything, and allowing the majority to decide all things for everybody else. Elitism would be allowing a small number of select people to have the only votes and to decide everything for everybody else. What I want to do with my proposal is to allow the majority to elect the presidential nominee, but then let the next highest minority choose the vice presidential nominee.
My proposal is not more populist than the current provisions in the Bylaws, because it takes power away from the majority to decide everything. But it is also not more elitist than the current provision in the Bylaws, because the minority who gets to elect the vice presidential nominee is not defined in advance. It is not an elite group of people who know they are the elite. It is not going to be the same group of people each time. It is not based on financial status or skin color or gender or even belonging to a particular faction of the party. It is just the next most numerous group who happen to agree on their choice of a presidential nominee after the winning group. In all likelihood, just like the winning group, the second group will consist of a diverse part of the Libertarian Party membership who just happened to support the VP nominee as a better presidential nominee than the one chosen by the majority. Every time we go in to vote as delegates, we will not even know in advance which group we belong in: majority or minority.And that is the beauty of the proposition. The Silver Rule we all should follow is: When you are in the majority, treat the minority the way you would have them treat you if you were in the minority and they were in the majority. Isn't that a great rule? Wouldn't you like to see it implemented in our party's bylaws?
People have asked me: Why can't we just have a second election where the vice presidential nominee is chosen? Because the same majority that chose the presidential nominee will be able to choose the vice presidential nominee, if majority rule is what we are going by. So it really does not matter if they run as a ticket or are chosen separately: if the same people are choosing them, the same choice will be made as if they had been running as a ticket, so long as this is what that faction wants to do. Only if a Presidential nominee supported by the majority does not choose a running mate will the practice of having two separate votes for POTUS and VP nominee make any difference at all.
When I patiently explain this to opponents of my proposition, some retort that it would be like handing out trophies to losing contestants out of a desire to spare their hurt feelings. They speak about it as if a political race were like a physical race to determine who can run the fastest, or a beauty contest to see who is the fairest of them all. And by fairest, I don't mean who has lily white skin like snow white. What then is "fair"?
People argue that fairness in such a competition is to award the prize to the fastest runner or the most beautiful contestant. Handing out a trophy to a loser would be unfair and smacks of political correctness or worse, SJW shenanigans. Letting the VP be a person not supported by the majority would be like handing out prizes for participation, they say. But in an actual race to see who can run the fastest, the second and third best do get trophies routinely, and even Miss Universe has a first runner up who will replace her in the unlikely event that she is disqualified or otherwise unable to serve. Even when casting parts in a play, a producer will select an understudy, who is usually someone deemed less desirable than the person cast, but still good enough to step into the part in the case of an emergency. Choosing the second-best person as spare in the event of a disaster is actually a very normal practice in real world selection processes not involving politics. The Vice President of the United Stares was originally intended to be the second runner up or understudy to the President. It's only through a convoluted series of historical events that that was ever changed.
But besides all of that, there is this: Our choice of Libertarian Party nominees for President and Vice President is not a reward to the candidates for a job well done in running such a nice campaign prior to the national convention. Those people are chosen to represent us. And they will -- whoever they are -- in all likelihood represent precisely the interests, not of everybody, but of those delegates who selected them.
That's why voting for the "best man" is almost beside the point in politics. "Best" is only meaningful in relation to what it is you hope to achieve. As libertarians, what we should all hope to achieve is minimal involvement by government in our lives. But for some reason, individual libertarians tend to have pet areas of non-intervention by government, while looking the other way when it comes to other forms of intervention. If we want to have an honest libertarian campaign, we need people on the ticket who represent a wide spectrum of areas in which we do not want the government to intervene in people's lives, ranging from economic issues, to religion, to personal choices of lifestyle to freedom of speech and association. This is important to each of us, and it is important to the Libertarian Party as a whole.
|I am not a "typical" libertarian, nor a typical "conservative" nor a typical "radical"|
When I joined the LP and supported AP my biggest immediate concern was US Fish & Wildlife confiscating chimpanzees
I am a minority of one -- and so are you!
Yes, the Libertarian Party is a private club. Yes, we can make up whatever rules we damn well please. The rules do not have to be fair at all, and anyone who does not like the rules can leave. But if our aim is to take over the government so we can leave everyone alone, shouldn't we start by showing a little more wisdom in how we run our own house? Shouldn't we serve as a shining example to everyone else that our party is not like the others?