So, the elections have come and gone and freedom didn't politically gain any traction because strong supporters of liberty and freedom did not end up acquiring any positions, if they even had an opportunity to run.
So, now what?
We keep hearing a lot about how the Republican Party needs to reform. What will they begin doing differently in order to once again become viable? What change in direction will they take? Because, obviously, what they are doing right now isn’t working.
Such questions are to be expected. Yet, I haven't heard any of those same questions regarding those of us who support greater freedom.
I guess there's nothing wrong with the way organizations, individuals, and candidates who try to promote liberty are doing things. So long as "the message" is presented, that is all that is needed.
I think what applies to the Republican Party applies to any party, organization, or individual. The Democratic Party didn't make a comeback from total obscurity to total domination in the last few years without making changes. No one else is any different. The Republicans are not the only ones that need a new direction.
I think it was Einstein who has been quoted as saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results each time. The Libertarian Party, as one of many examples, and its 30 + years of failure to elect anyone to an office of any real significance should listen carefully to this quote, as should any other freedom lover.
You want freedom to be increased at the national level? Then some changes need to happen. We can't keep going in the same direction of failure and expect different results. It is absurd to think that our "message" is the only thing we need to put out and everything else will fall in place.
Obviously, our message isn't enough. America has essentially been a socialist nation since the 30's and probably before (the only difference over the years being to what degree of socialism). This should be proof enough for why not reforming the game plan once in a while is a disastrous choice.
So, what kind of new game plan could we use? Naturally, I have suggestions:
1. No mudslinging at non-freedom initiatives – Let's start talking about what freedom can do right instead of how everything else is being done wrong. No attacks. No finger pointing. No fear-mongering. Don't talk about how something will not work. Talk about how freedom will work. Provide an alternative and leave it at that. The Democrats perfected this during the last couple of elections and the results showed. Yet, go to any liberty website and you will see what appears to be a failure to notice this fact, my own included.
2. Forget Ideology – It's time to focus on what works. Ideology for the sake of ideology seldom has all the answers. What works is often what holds the answers. On top of that, what works doesn't always work forever because of the universal law of constant change (a law freedom lovers seem to be forgetting about).
This doesn't mean freedom is not a good cause. I think it's safe to say that we can determine freedom has been most beneficial to humankind. Freedom works. But its context in relation to the issue is something that needs to be addressed all of the time. Freedom as a whole works, but how it is applied doesn’t always work if applied as nothing more than an ideological concept.
And when we find that something doesn't work or no longer works (and everything will eventually no longer work according to that pesky universal law of constant change I mentioned earlier), we need to be willing to get rid of it and try something new. We need to be willing to experiment as well.
3. Culture – It's time to try something other than politics. Nothing truly seems to take hold until it is embedded in the culture. Culture influences politics, not the other way around.
We can talk about policy all we want. It won't do shit until a cultural setting has come to accept it. One way this can be done is through focusing on self-empowerment. And empowerment exists in more ways than just politically.
You can find it philosophically, spiritually, technologically, athletically, sociologically, psychologically, organizationally, artistically, personally, or any other of the multitude of disciplines that empowerment spans. That's culture. Focusing on one part of culture – politics – isn't going to cut it.
And when we enhance empowerment, we enhance freedom, because empowerment cannot happen without freedom. The more self-empowerment we develop in society, the more freedom we develop. That spills over politically.
Empowerment needs to be the new cornerstone of freedom.
4. Increased Consciousness – This mostly goes out to all the Net addicts like myself who spend considerable amounts of time on blogs and forums promoting liberty.
Live by example.
We can preach freedom all we want but if we're not out actually living it, we're probably not doing a good job of making it happen. By simply living freedom, we expand the consciousness of it. We expand awareness by example. We bring it into reality more. Being out there living it is the same thing as making it happen. The more you live it, the more it exists. The more it develops. And, the more others experience it for themselves. Then, the more actual results we have.
Live like you're free.
5. Neutrality instead of Noninterventionism - Noninterventionism got a bad rap in this last election cycle. The word conjures up images/meanings that could mean many things, to include Isolationism, all of which the opposition played off on to a great deal of success.
Recommendation: Stick to Neutrality. It's the same thing but a tighter description that cannot be manipulated because the Swiss have successfully modeled it as their foreign policy which is extremley well-known throughout the world.
Did I mention it was successful? Did I mention the Swiss provide a working example of Neutrality's success? Did I mention it was well-known throughout the world?
6. Focus on Choice - People like choice, and rightfully so because the more choice you have, the more freedom you have. There is a direct correlation between the two. Federalism is a way for choice to be expanded and provided, including opposing choices existing simultaniously.
Naturally, however, this should not deal with basic, human rights.
Otherwise, federalism is a bedrock of choice. It should always be considered a tool for such.
Those are my suggestions. Will they work? Who the hell knows. Using #2 as an example, let's give them a whirl and see what happens.
I plan to follow my own advice and, effective immediately, I am going to disconnect for a while and work on #4. Hell, I might not even come back.
Incidentally, I also started work on #3 over a year ago (foresight?) but never got farther than a single post with a list of stuff. At the very least, you can see a glimpse of an example of what I am talking about when I mention culture, if anyone cares to see it.
It’s a Free Country, but, like I said earlier, I now realize that depends on to what degree. I think it's time to increase the degree, or flat out ignore the prevailing degree and make our own degrees.
Perhaps by doing both we will accomplish both.
Either way will require a new game plan.