Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Ah! The Advocates

For Self-Government! I love them dearly. They have some good news for us in their last Liberator Online.
Dear friends,

There's good news in this issue for friends of liberty!

We report that two major U.S. newspapers have discussed the World's Smallest
Political Quiz -- with one printing the Quiz in its entirety and linking to it
at its Web site.

Those same newspapers also ran articles arguing that the old "left versus
right" view of politics is obsolete, that millions of Americans are
libertarians or libertarian sympathizers, and that libertarianism is a major
ideology in American politics.

Also reported in this issue is a new poll that indicates that, for the first
time, a majority of Americans -- 53% -- want to see a major, viable third party
emerge in America -- another sure sign of dissatisfaction with the left-right
statist quo.

All this comes on the heels of other surveys and newspaper articles we've
mentioned in the past few issues that make similar points.

These millions of libertarian-leaning Americans are what we've called for years
"the politically homeless" -- largely or completely libertarian in their
beliefs, but not aware there is a *name* for what they believe. And not aware
there is a vast, fast-growing movement of organizations, publications, and
activists working to put their beliefs into effect.

Our job as lovers of liberty is to reach them -- and bring them the good news
that they're not alone!

But it's not all good news, James Harris tells us that "Americans Know The Simpsons Better Than First Amendment"
* Only 1 in 4 Americans can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment (freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly and petition for redress of grievances).

* More than half, however, can name at least two members of the Simpson cartoon family.

* More than 1 in 5 of Americans could name all five Simpson family members -- Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. But only 1 in 1,000 can name all five First Amendment freedoms.

Go to this link to see that it's actually worse than that.

Then go on down and read Michael Cloud's and Dr. Mary Ruwart's contributions about... Well, H***, I'll show ya...

Oh! Great definition of a Libertarian there: "I believe in individual liberty, free markets, private property, and limited government. Period. No exceptions." But see the Ruwart article on some sticky points. I'll just quote Michael:
What are the reasons we are libertarians? Here are a few of the many different reasons I shared with the reporter.

1. Moral: because we believe no person or group has the right to initiate force against another.
2. Pragmatic: Freedom works.
3. Utilitarian: Freedom produces the greatest good for the greatest number.
4. Self-Interest: Freedom benefits you. It's in your self-interest.
5. Altruistic: Freedom benefits others.
6. Big Government Doesn't Work. Freedom does.
7. Personal Responsibility: Freedom rewards personal responsibility and punishes irresponsibility.
8. Choice: freedom maximizes choice. In fact, freedom is choice.
9. Prosperity: Economic freedom creates prosperity.
10. Tolerance: the free, competitive marketplace makes bigotry and prejudice very expensive. And very widely known.

There's a persuasion lesson here.

When you talk with family, friends, and co-workers, how many different kinds of reasons for being libertarian are you offering them? How many different approaches to libertarianism do you put in front of them?

* Why Government Doesn't Work by Harry Browne is one approach.

* Libertarianism in One Lesson by David Bergland is quite different.

* Healing Our World by Mary Ruwart is another way to present liberty.

* The Libertarian Idea by Jan Narveson is yet another.

Buy them. Read them. They will stimulate your thinking. Trigger ideas. And provide you with new ways to present libertarianism. Different paths to winning the hearts and minds of those you care for.

Different individuals want different things.

Different approaches to liberty reach different people.

Different reasons for liberty convince different individuals.

There are many paths to libertarianism. Many reasons for becoming a libertarian.

Don't be trapped by the fallacy that there's only one reason, one case, or one justification for liberty.

So, as I like to say, there!

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