2017 State Convention Day 1

As I walked into the Tomahawk resort, I was greeted with the familiar laughter and the smell of beer. Yet something seemed different. Yes, I was still greeted with the pedantic conversations about the NAP and whether this or that regulation was the end of the world or just its harbinger, but the atmosphere had changed.

The laughter louder, the beer poured more freely. Instead of trepid, yet resolute, optimism forged by years of lackluster results in elections and an evermore antagonistic political environment, this time it was audacious, unapologetic, unafraid.

As I approached the front desk, packages with each guest’s names neatly lined the front table, banners and buttons bearing libertarian slogans hung with as much authority as any political rally I had seen. It was clear that the organizational skills of our party had grown. The result of what our convention committee had put together was incredible.

After several hours of debating, drink, and a brief dinner, we began our town hall style forum. There were many concerns for the party. As always, membership and securing candidates were areas of concern, but the main issues facing our party were clear: fundraising and organizational structure. As a third party, we are at a considerable disadvantage to the two main ones. They have resources to hire people to manage campaigns, gather signatures, and create marketing content. If we are going to make any serious headway, we need to engage in real fundraising, not just the hundreds (or dozens) we might get from our more grass roots members, but large donations from wealthy donors and organizations.

The night was also marked by the first meetings of the radicals and pragmatic caucuses. It’s a  significant achievement to have a party rich enough in diversity of thought, and large enough in structure to have two distinct caucuses. It was, of course, accompanied by sarcastic jabs and light hearted infighting, though innocent on the surface, I worry may hide a deeper underlying schism. I  hope the pragmatists can accurately portray their message to the radicals. One of tempered and prudent message that the public can understand, but as well reasoned and adherent to the principles that even the most devout radical espouses.

Once business was done, we got back to drinking, debating, and ridiculing our common enemy: the government. By the light of the bonfire, the peepers cheeped to signal in the new life brought by the changing season, so too did our jovial laughter usher in a new season in the chapters of liberalism.  

Written by

Peter Augelli

Vice Chair - LPWI

Secretary - LP Dane

 


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