Marketing the Free Market
I spend a lot of time on Facebook. Seeing as how most of you are reading this from a link I’ve shared on my Facebook page, Libertarian Girl, you probably already know that. I try and be as interactive, accepting, friendly, and funny with the people on my page as humanly possible. My goal in doing that is so you will connect with me on a personal level and get to know my personal views as a libertarian pundit. That’s because I have an agenda.
It’s not a sinister agenda, although some on the left may say so, but it’s an agenda nevertheless. My goal is to sell you libertarianism. I will do that any way I can. Not only do I not care how you feel about what I just wrote, I won’t apologize for it either. That is me being completely truthful. And entirely honest and unapologetic statements like the one I just made are a part of the libertarian problem.
What problem? The libertarian marketing problem. We are great at philosophizing, data, and reason but not so much on marketing. You would think a group of reasoned and intelligent believers in the free market would be great at selling the free market. Unfortunately, we are not.
I’m going to show you examples of our failures and then explain of how we win. You may not like it. You may call me a sell out. Again, with the brutal honesty we love so much, I don’t care. I’m guilty of doing these things as well, so feel free to call me a hypocrite also. But I want libertarians to win, not in a hundred years from now or fifty years from now, right now. Therefore, I’m going to try and stop doing these things. I hope after reading this you will join me. The examples I’m going to give are part of the reason we are always the last kids to get picked in dodgeball and the Republicrats (Republicans + Democrats) are the team captains.
- We’re professional Negative Nancys. No one likes to constantly hear people talk about how horrible everything is, like I am right now. We have cornered the market on complaining. Everywhere you look in the world of libertarianism you find the next big threat to our liberty lurking under the bed. That is not to diminish these threats because they are very real. However, by constantly admonishing the government without providing palatable solutions we look like a bunch of whiney selfish brats. Libertarians understand that we are not selfish in the sense that we only think of ourselves. Most of us genuinely care about our fellow man and if you are one of the libertarians that don’t care, then please just shush.
- Libertarians love logic. Don’t get me wrong logic is terribly important but it is not the end all beat all of existence, at least not in politics. It’s actually one of the least important traits of a good politician. If that weren’t true people like Nancy Pelosi wouldn’t be in office. It’s important to back up your positions with a logical stance but that is only half the battle. Unless you can explain why your position matters on a personal level you might as well go talk to a wall.
- “Statist” is our “racist.” Okay, I’m exaggerating a little on this one. Obviously calling someone racist is more offensive than calling someone a statist. Democrats love to use this insult on people who disagree with President Obama. But when we sling insults like it’s our job to anyone who doesn’t agree with us on all things libertarian we alienate people who could possibly come to our side.
- We’re waging a war on sleeping sheep. Now, I want you to imagine that someone you’ve never met walked up to you on the street and screamed this in your face: ”WAKE UP STUPID STATIST SHEEPLE SHILL!” Okay ,maybe that’s an exaggeration but maybe not. It’s quite possible, if you are a libertarian, that you’ve heard, read, or even said something similar yourself. This speaks more to the arrogance some libertarians exude. Some who use this vernacular would assume that people are simply brainwashed and can’t think for themselves. Could it be possible they just don’t want to listen to what some libertarians have to say because they’re being approached aggressively and arrogantly?
This is not meant to be an attack on my fellow libertarians. I say these things because I genuinely care about the cause of liberty. We have the ability to talk a great game on being fiscally conservative and socially liberal if we just take it down a notch. By that I mean we must be keep our passion but also do a better job of understanding that not everyone is born in to libertarianism. Libertarians of all brands and labels have to unite with reason, communication, kindness, and passion to fight and free our country!
I believe in the ability of humankind to preserve and elevate the free minds and free markets that free people.