Third Party & Independents Archives

Badnarik: 10 ways to get into the Race

Last week, I wrote the article covering the Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik and how the libertarians have been failing to get much needed media attention in the feature article “Libertarians: Whispering from the Rafters”. This week, I wanted to try my hand at giving advice on how to get some of that wanted media attention in a (somewhat) simple fashion. So, I present “10 ways for Badnarik to get into the Race.” It’s not too late, and these will surely help to bring visibility to the struggling libertarian campaign, or not:

  1. Right now, stop insinuating that your campaign is a spoiler. Either you want to win or you are wasting everyone's time playing games. Nader torpedoed his campaign because he urged supporters to vote Kerry in swing states. Stop shooting for the 10% of disgruntled fiscal conservatives and aim for the larger slice of the pie of those who are upset with both Democrats and Republicans.
  2. Use your blog as a pulpit as well as a press release venue. More people will read it if they know that opinions will be given there that they can't get anywhere else. Want to rebut something that Kerry or Bush said on TV and give your side of it? This is the venue.
  3. Meetup. It worked for Howard Dean's fledgling candidacy, and there's a good chance libertarians will want to build local contacts and introduce RINOs and DINOs to what your campaign is about. Twice a month would be optimal.
  4. Bush has two Achilles's heels: Ashcroft and tax-cut and spend. To attack him from the right and left at the same time, you hammer on the absurdities that Ashcroft spews ("calico cats are signs of the devil") while calling for more tax cuts and sweeping cuts of government bloat. Radio advertising with these messages would be highly beneficial.
  5. Get ready to snag the National Rifle Association endorsement from Bush when the assault weapon ban is extended in October. This is a tricky road because you'll need to have the word out early enough that you'll be visible, but won't be "the gun rights candidate."
  6. Want to get some geek vote? Talk to Slashdot and offer to answer some questions, you're a shoe in (being a computer consultant and a libertarian) -- Slashdot is a highly libertarian-minded site, weird but true. You'll get more Internet notice from this than any other web strategy.
  7. Call MTV and get on one of the "Rock the Vote" shows. They're so out of the political loop that they'll probably want to start a show based on your campaign. Stay away from TRL though, that show is crap. Actually, this one is probably not good advice.
  8. Get on the Daily Show. I'm sure they'd love to have a presidential candidate on the show that they can actually take serious and not be snarky with. Be quick on your feet around Jon Stewart, he's incredibly witty and quick but he's fair to people who display common sense and humor.
  9. Another political humor show to hop on is Real Time with Bill Maher. Sure, Maher is a smarmy liberal, but he won't turn down a libertarian presidential candidate who's willing to skewer Bush on fiscal policy.
  10. Go seek advice from Hunter S. Thompson. This is the only man who is going to be brutally honest with you about your campaign and can give you much needed guidance on what to do in order to heighten your profile.

Bonus suggestion: Get an endorsement from Ross Perot. I hear he's working on a book that he wants to launch right before the election that should be a bombshell for George Bush. See the August 8, 2003 Salon article -- Perot gears up -- for more info on this revelation. I've talked about this on my own site with the subject: Ross Perot Could Breathe Life Into Libertarians.

Have ideas of your own? Leave them in the comments.

Posted by Stephen VanDyke at June 28, 2004 11:27 AM