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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

10 ways Ron Paul libertarians can better communicate with progressives

In the following I will refer, unless otherwise noted, to RP libertarians as '"you" and  to progressives as "us" or "we".
1. Understand that you are not likely to convince us to change our minds about the role of government in the economy. Stress your willingness to make the Ron Paul compromise of increases in domestic spending in exchange for a  net cut in overall government spending, which would come primarily from wasteful and counter productive spending on so-called security and defense and on endless wars for empire building and maintenance.
2. When you speak out against President Obama's policies, don't make it personal, and acknowledge where you are in agreement with President Obama, particularly in his campaign promises. As often as you can, affirm his legitimacy and the pride you felt when he was elected as our first African-American president. This is not to say that you have ever agreed with much of what he has advocated or done. Many Americans from across the political spectrum felt his election was giant milestone in our nation's history. Acknowledge where he has kept his promises and speak calmly with an open ear about where he has failed to keep the promises we wanted so much, such as the public option and being totally out of Iraq. You can do this without necessarily agreeing with all that President Obama has or has not done. Call him President Obama at least whenever you speak with a democrat or a progressive you are trying to persuade.
3. Tell us how you are as disenchanted with the Republican party as we are with the Democratic party. Stop  using of the phrase "Democrat party." Talk more about what progressives and libertarians believe in common rather than the score board of the duopoly.
4. If you like many of us initially supported the invasion of Afghanistan, tell of how your mind has been changed and how you wish that the money spent in this war could have been used for something good in either the private or public sector.
5. By all means stress that you are sick and tired of the corporatist power structure which controls our government. All corporations are not evil but many are structured in such a way that maximizing profit requires  oppression of workers, disregard for community and family preservation and minimal care for the environment.  
6. Acknowledge that while you and we have our differences of opinion on economic issues, neither libertarians nor progressives will ever have a chance to advance any major causes until both get together to peacefully overthrow the corporatist regime that ignores both Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders and other honest public servants like them.
7. Let us know if you are in favor of any tax increases on legalized recreational drugs, pornography, etc. Tell us that you are willing to consider the idea of a progressive consumption tax as a replacement of the current income tax. Tell us that you are in favor of increasing tariffs on products made on the backs of oppressed labor markets like China.
8. Tell us you, like Ron Paul, believe in the right of workers to collective bargaining and civil rights for all which requires the pardoning of non violent drug offenders, the dismantling of the Patriot Act, the closure of Guantanamo Bay, the end of rendition, the legalization and/or decriminalization of recreational drug use and the maintenance of all constitutional rights. 
9. Enter into a respectful and creative discussion with us about what a coalition cabinet would look like. Tell us some names of progressives you would like to see in the Ron Paul cabinet.
10. Tell us you desire the reform and/or replacement of both parties with parties and independent candidacies which truly represent the will of their constituents. Tell us that this begins with getting Ron Paul nominated and that you are willing in future elections to help Democrats do the same with their party.

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