Tips for Libertarian Activists

County LP improvements

Last updated 1994-11-06 by Tom Isenberg

The general suggestions I have are these:

  1. Job number one is finding new Libertarians via Nolan booths. Everything else is of much less importance and is probably diverting energy from this most crucial activity. Growing the party is job one. Get the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all prospects to the state party so they can be added to the mailing list.

  2. Supper clubs and newsletters may be fun, but if you aren't doing regular Nolan booths (at least once a month on a local college campus, mall, gun show, etc.) they are a dead-end. Worse, most local newsletters look awful. They do more harm to the Party than good. I think it's better to have no newsletter than to have the usual crappy one. Leave the newsletter to the state party.

  3. Every month, have the state LP office send you a list of new prospects/members in your county so you can update your county database. Call up every prospect and member and survey them regarding their level of interest, volunteering, etc.

  4. Look and act professional when whenever you represent the LP. That means dress well (business suits). Make sure that all candidates follow this rule even more strictly, and never let the media think you are a bunch of hippies or worse. People will take unconventional ideas from conventional looking people, but not unconventional ideas from unconventional people.

  5. Make sure you have a solid outreach effort to local high schools and colleges (giving talks to classes, etc.)

  6. Don't invite new members to business meetings where they will be bored and just hear about how little money you have and why so-and-so is a so-and-so for using Helvetica Bold on the front of the newsletter instead of Univers. Instead, invite them to monthly speakers programs and to monthly supper clubs, and have these events well-organized and designed to give your organization as smooth and professional a look as possible.

  7. Recruit your army before going to war. Try to find people who are already libertarians and don't know it before trying to do massive education efforts. Nolan survey booths and the like are good for this.

  8. Keep everyone enthusiastic. You should set achievable goals and achieve them; it keeps people thinking that they are doing some good. Don't set unachievable goals; keep things realistic.

  9. Don't be a jerk. Don't do things to drive new potential recruits away, and don't do things to make people think you are a crackpot. Listen to a "Liberty Communicator" audio tape course from the Advocates for Self Government; it may be one of the most valuable things you do.

  10. Above all, talk to the people who have done this already. Call up the communications director at the national LP. This is the single best piece of advice I have!

  11. Learn from the major parties. This may be a heretical suggestion, but I think it's sheer brilliance: become your precinct's committee officer for the Republican (or Democratic) party. You will get all kinds of useful information, training, and experience. Not to mention the voting lists for people in your precinct that you can pass along to the LP. Get involved in the local Republican party. Attend their meetings, see how they do things. We need that kind of experience and training.