Friends, today I’d like to talk about what I feel the biggest battle us Libertarians are fighting: human nature. I came to this conclusion as our United States Senate nominee in 2014. Time and time again I would talk to someone and they would say:
Hey, Gaylon, I like what you stand for. Too bad you have no chance to win.
Oh, good gravy. It’s was like getting the friends lecture in the bachelor days.
I heard it often enough that I concluded our problem wasn’t the issues because you can’t really argue with liberty; the liberty drum beats in every heart. Our problem is it is human nature to stick with the familiar even when it’s not serving us well.
As I tend to point out an awful lot, the 2014 midterm elections illustrated this perfectly: America reelected 96 percent of incumbents to a Congress that had an eleven percent approval rating, a splendid example of sticking with the familiar when it isn’t serving us well.
96 percent! To a House and Senate with an eleven percent approval rating!
After hearing I had no chance often enough I stopped talking about issues and started talking empowerment. I started telling people we will always get the government we elect and that the government we want is never farther away than the next election.
People liked this on a couple of levels.
One, non-Libertarians do not really like hearing us preach, no matter how right we might be, because sometimes we are the inconvenient truth no one wants to acknowledge and sometimes we talk about issues that might not interest them.
Two, people like being told they’re empowered. They like being told we do not need to accept what our government spoon feeds us. They like the message our government is in our hands because deep down they know it is. Our country is only a demanding and participating electorate away from the government we want.
We did pretty well with this message, too. We got 52,000 votes in 2014, 800,000 or so behind the winner, but also more votes than any other third party candidate had ever received in a Colorado US Senate election. People liked hearing they were empowered.
Of course, I will talk issues, among them a peaceful America, low taxes and free markets and an America that does not convict the innocent. But I am also going to talk empowerment. For our nation right now, it’s the most pressing issue.