Why Should I Vote for Those Losers?

That’s exactly the question being asked by New York gubernatorial candidate John Clifton in this flier…


Honestly I don’t know how effective this type of campaigning is. A lot of the wording is above the heads of 99% of voters, such as: “If only one percent of NY State’s electorate votes off the treadmill for Libertarians John Clifton and Donald Silberger then this deviation from standard voting behavior will be noted, and the message will be clear. It will announce our citizenry’s awakening.”

But there is a certain refreshing honestly to admitting that the outcome of the election is pretty well decided at this point in time. Though I’ve never been a huge fan of implying that voters are “sheep” and then asking for their votes in the same sentence.

9 Responses to “Why Should I Vote for Those Losers?”

  1. Timothy West Says:

    they could have just used your tagline with the D’s and R’s picture below it. Would have been 100x more effective.

    “Next, we primer you on Austrian Economics and show you our plan to bring back the gold standard!” We want to educate YOU! voter shrugs shoulders, throws lit on the ground

  2. Eric Sundwall Says:

    John and Don are operating in the vacuum that the Weld affair created. New York is notoriously collective in orientation. Any innovative ‘West’ technique will also be lost on 99% of the electorate.

    ‘Effective’ is not possible with flyers and handouts. The dig about Austrian economics and the gold standard is petty and spurious.

  3. Donald Silberger Says:

    The Clifton/Silberger campaign is aimed at obtaining maybe as much as one per cent of the popular vote. LPNY gubernatorial slates since 1972 have never gained more than half of one per cent. We believe the great masses cannot be significantly influenced to change their behavior by candidates who are limited to our paltry resources. We are reaching out to a very small potential constituency; namely, to a literate populace that both sees itself as disenfranchised and that cares about its lacking a political voice.

    I am Donald Silberger, the LtGov candidate, and I have restricted myself to exactly one issue (and of course its ancillaries, to be mentioned only after they have been solicited): My issue is America’s enormous incarcerations. My experience thus far in the college town of New Paltz is that a large number of the people to whom I hand my flyer do read it, and that its message is very well received. Whether those people will vote for me… That’s another matter. Many of them will not vote at all.

  4. Chris Moore Says:

    In the 2001 Virginia Lt. Governor’s race, Gary Reams ran his campaign as a “Reeferendum”. His only issue was marijana law reform, and his main point was that since the Lt. Governor in Virginia doesn’t actually do anything, it doesn’t matter if you “throw your vote away”. Vote for Reams and your vote will count as a vote for marijana reform.

    It was pretty successful, considering he received 1.6% of the vote while the better financed Governor candidate recieved 0.8%. In Charlottesville, where he did most of his campaigning, he received over 6%.

    Targeted campaigns can be very successful. If you can’t win, you might as well bring in new faces to the LP.

  5. Timothy West Says:

    I didnt know NYLP campaigns have been so historically low. In retrospect, my
    comment was rude, and I apologize for it to both candidates. I do think the dig has a element of truth within, however, it doesnt apply here but to the broader LP. Clifton and Silburger deserves thanks for running and for suffering fools like myself.

    We believe the great masses cannot be significantly influenced to change their behavior by candidates who are limited to our paltry resources.

    thats true enough, so why not forget running impossible to win races, stop running paper candidates where doing so serves no greater purpose like ballot access for next time around, and stop running Presidential candidates that have no chance to win and serve as donation sucking devices that take LP donation money from more winnable races at the state and local level?

    Theres things that could be done that would begin to expand the support base at district level, if the LP supporters cared to support that path. But many of them are actively hostile to real political involvement by the LP and seek to undermine same. They dont believe in these institutions. They believe in smashing the state.

    make libertarianism more accessable and broader based across the left-right political spectum, and the paltry resource problem goes away, slowly, but surely.

  6. Chris Moore Says:

    “make libertarianism more accessable and broader based across the left-right political spectum, and the paltry resource problem goes away, slowly, but surely.”

    The Republicans and Democrats have that market cornered.

  7. Timothy West Says:

    then the LP needs to become something else and drop the “party” the end.

  8. Eric Sundwall Says:

    Having been actively involved in the LPNY the last year+, I can honestly say that there are few who are ‘actively hostile’ to political involvement. Resigned, perhaps, but few who would seek to exclude or alienate based on ideology. I’m a member of the state committee and frequently talk to the Chair and we constantly strategize to build and encourage membership. It was one of the primary reasons for my candidacy. It’s starting to bear fruit.

    We also implement these ideas. It’s slow going. We have just recently been able to ‘register’ as Libertarian (2003 court decision). We’re closing the divide between those that are proud enough to do so and those whose membership is primarily financial and whose actual registration is elsewhere based on the perception that primaries matter to them.

    I spent at least 3-5 days working with Don Silberger during petitioning. While he’s almost exactly double my age, 76, it was hard to keep up with him. Before the campaign I was running 5 miles every other day! Active adherents of Liberty like Don are the reasons I’m involved. A corps group has kept the Party simply alive as it suffers from electoral forays like Stern & Weld.

    I maybe as purist as it comes with regard to Liberty, but I honestly believe that the message is not the problem in NY. It’s the overwhelming dominance of two parties who co-opt any threatening third party. We stand solid against this co-option, strictly because of our beliefs. Taking advantage of new situations and dynamics may not be the forte of an older LPNY generation accustom to radical posturing, but that can be tweaked and changed as newer blood sniffs the real blood created by the red and blue junta’s.

    I implemented pragmatic and high tech features to my campaign and managed 2.5% on a Zogby poll in June. Had we not been shut down by the same crew that brought you Bush/Gore Florida we might have gone even higher and been a potential spolier. I was certainly looking forward to debating two insider lawyers with less time in the district then a happily married father of two, an over decade long businessman, with a classic liberal education to boot. All this was possible without ever giving an inch in principle. Defending a quirky philosophy is only problematic when you let others define you. I adopted this lesson from Barry Hess in Portland this year. I’ll put up my video interview with him VERY soon.

    Attacking the Red & Blue on their failed policies and ruinous governance is all that’s necessary. A savy LP’r need not divulge their penchant for Rothbard when talking to old ladies at the local parade complaining about their Social Security benefits. Simply remind them that their grand children will have no such benefits. As a new poster child for ‘ballot access’ I’ll do my best to continue the geniune spirit of Liberty regardless of the inertial electoral reality.

  9. ambien Says:



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