How to Wage Political Warfare
by Richard Lamping, March 1999
As a political consultant, I have been on the front lines of political battles in Arizona and Colorado, two of the most active Libertarian states. In that time I've learned a few lessons about how the principles of war can be applied to the pursuit of peace in the political arena.
The lessons of war and politics are well documented. From the past we must learn to change the future. We must learn to challenge the existing paradigm of politics that keeps giving us the worst form of leadership at the time we need the best. The world is changing quickly, and current leadership is helpless to deal with it. If only they understood that the only truly empathetic and kind position is a Libertarian one.
It is time to take the lessons of war and apply them to peace. Libertarians are the only political activists who can rightly claim a consistent and peaceful message. But in politics, a field of battle littered with bad concepts, Libertarian sentiments are stolen to pad the speeches of George W. Bush or Bill Clinton. Our ideas of peace and freedom are twisted to fit their violent ends.
The best, uniquely Libertarian ideas are distorted to fit a model of society that is a proven failure. Bush and Clinton are recent examples. For his victory speech as Governor of Texas in November 1998, Bush wove muddled individualistic sentiments into his Statist ideas. Clinton appealed to privacy in the Monica Lewinsky turmoil -- at the same time he was requesting and authorizing over 100,000 more phone taps a year and Steve Kubby's bedroom was being videotaped.
As peaceful people, many Libertarians feel deep fear in the political arena, and many of us have good reason to feel it. The overreaching arm of our invasive government has been well documented, and nobody wants to be the next victim of the out-of-control actions and policies of Democratic and Republican politicians who are committed to welfare statism, the drug war or the IRS.
"We will always need the IRS,
"I want to build prisons from Fruita (Colorado)
These are two of the frightening quotes from the last race I worked on (for more on the race, see http://www.BarryMaggert.org), and they show how our opponent is bent on controlling the actions of the individual. Politicians like McInnis do not value the individual who goes about making choices in life. They value only the power to control and manipulate society.
These violent sentiments represent the failure and fear of McInnis and his peers on both the Democratic and Republican tickets. Politicians such as McInnis are actively feeding the fear of our culture because they themselves feel deep fear. Their desire to control and take is rooted in the terror that they will be viewed as soft or vulnerable. It is rooted in the fear that they might lose control, lose power, lose an election.
Our leaders are afraid because they know they're destined to lose. They know that you and I, the Libertarians, are coming. It is time for us to aggress in the political milieu. It is time for us to begin to understand our fear, and challenge ourselves to overcome it.
Passion overcomes impotence. Morale overcomes numeric advantages. We must take our ideas and champion them. Talent, understanding, intelligence -- these are the hallmarks of the Libertarian movement. Impotence and fear are for the other guy.
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War is not at all such a difficult art as people think. . . In reality it would seem that he is vanquished who is afraid of his adversary and that the whole secret of war is this. -- Napoleon, 1807
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One of the greatest qualities which we have is the ability to produce in our enemy the fear of the unknown. Therefore, we must always keep moving, do not sit down, do not say "I have done enough," keep on, see what else you can do to raise the devil with the enemy. . . -- General George S. Patton, Jr. 1941
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Richard Lamping is a Libertarian Political Consultant living in rural Colorado with his wife and two children. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Editor's Note: I invited Congressman McInnis to reply, but his office declined.
The Colorado Freedom Report is not affiliated with the Libertarian Party, though it reports on the Libertarian Party and prints editorials from its members.