Machiavelli was the First Political Consultant Scumbag

By Craig Dawkins – September 5, 2014

A couple of weeks ago, I had an interesting conversation with someone related to messaging and influence within and outside the liberty movement. Their message was that “we” in the liberty movement should endorse candidates who may be overtly bad on libertarian ideals, but are not as bad as other candidates in order to increase our influence among those who are running for political office. The idea was that if candidates felt that liberty proponents would support them, they’d be more apt to legislate in that fashion. Of course this was directed towards candidates in the GOP sphere.

 Additionally, it was offered that I needed to reread “The Prince” in order to gain a better idea about how to navigate the liberty movement to a relevant political ideology or one that would dominate with some significance. Niccolò Machiavelli, who authored “The Prince” in the 16th Century, was a guy who manipulated public opinion. He didn’t stand for principles of liberty. He advocated a commitment to any and all methods of propaganda, coercion and deception to maintain power. THIS is exactly what the liberty movement MUST avoid.

I understand politics. I know the game. I know that if you tell people what they want to hear, you’ll make friends in all places. I know that if you pander to one group and then to another, you’ll avoid energizing political enemies. I get that. But that’s not the game I want to play. And I don’t care if those running for office or who hold the reins of power today think favorably of my political views. It’s not about them or me. I’m not trying to win over Republicans and Democrats. I and others are trying to help nurture and grow a movement. And that doesn’t allow for selling out to political candidates who are modestly less horrible than other candidates on libertarian policy issues. I’m not interested in “undercover libertarians.”

So what do I want this election cycle? First, I’m going to focus on the issues that have synergy behind them right now among the people nationally. Those things are marriage equality, legalizing marijuana (ending the drug war), immigration reform (free trade), restoration of privacy (4th Amendment) and scaling back the police state. Oh sure I want many other things as well. But I’m not going to get the two major parties to reform the tax code, corporate welfare, the welfare state, shuttering of unneeded federal departments, repealing suffocating regulations, or stop crony capitalism. Can you think of any Oklahoma Republican that would promote any of the things I’ve listed? I can’t either.

So while I’ll continue to agitate for those things the parties won’t do, it would be foolish to not parse out some of the things that the people want and to really promote candidates that will bring those things to pass. The two parties aren’t going to reform government but they just might push through issues that are actionable at this moment in time.

So I’ll toast to any candidate that will advocate these things this election cycle so long as they aren’t also advocating the murder of people they don’t like, or whose religions they don’t like. I’m just hoping for a candidate that will acknowledge the humanity of all people.

So Constance Johnson-D will get my support for US Senate this year. I’ll get back later with others, should they emerge.


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