Sunday, December 03, 2006

Building Libertarian Constituencies - Family Rights

Several strategies are necessary to a successful campaign for public office. One of the most important is to identify one or more Libertarian constituencies who are ignored by the major party candidates, and then use your campaign as a vehicle to advance their thoughts and concerns. IMHO, while you can motivate some voters to cast a vote for you due to your generalized commitment to libertarian principle (e.g., freedom, personal responsibility, social tolerance and fiscal responsibility), that number is very small. In my recent campaign for Michigan Attorney General, I attempted to articulate the thoughts and concerns of a number of groups with little support from major party candidates. One of those was the family rights activists concerned about the unfair treatment (read "violation of individual rights") they and their children are receiving from a Michigan divorce, child support and child protective services system run amok. This is a Libertarian issue -- a perfect example of Big Government and a bloated bureacracy that routinely violates individual rights, and hurts families and children. It does so in the name of the public welfare, and because of that, the major party candidates, Republican and Democrat alike, publicly jump on board in support of the system, because they think it is in their political interest to be seen as supporting the welfare of families and children. Unfortunately, the system DOES NOT help individuals, families or children. It has morphed into a bureaucratic monster single-mindedly devoted to perpetuating and expanding its own size and power. Witness the many recent revelations that state-approved foster parents and agencies have tortured, abused and killed children that the state's child protective services had taken from their natural parents "for the children's safety." Unfortunately, we can already see the system's response to these abuses. A campaign to blame this torture, abuse and neglect not on the incompetence and criminal neglect of child protective services personnel, but instead on a lack of sufficient funds to staff and oversee the system. The state family "services" bureaucracy will use its own wrong-doing to justify an expansion of the system and its own power. This presents an opportunity for the Libertarian Party, its candidates and family rights activists to work together in their mutual self-interest to fight the system. IMHO, this should be an important focus of Libertarian activism, and an opportunity for Libertarian electoral success, in the next few years.


Blogger Teri said...

Family rights are paramount. There's an entire civil rights movement devoted to family law reform. htpp://

12:30 PM  

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