Running for Libertarian Party or any Position as a Libertarian? Get There Early.
Jeff Daiell is no stranger to Libertarian politics.
Mr. Daiell petitioned for the LP's first presidential ticket, John Hospers and Tonie Nathan, in 1972 and joined the LP of Louisiana the next year. (Ms. Nathan was the first woman in U. S. history to ever receive an electoral vote.)
Mr. Daiell gives the following advice for those will be representing the Libertarian Party at an in-person event (whether at the Convention in New Orleans or other):
Get there early.
Get. There. Early. This should be your norm for all events. It allows you to break the ice(1); it allows you to prevent slights(2), and it may enable you to have things set up to your advantage(3).
(1) In 1989, a supporter arranged for me to address a civic club. The head of the group brusquely informed me when I got there (early, of course!) that he did not like having political speakers until the election year itself. I said I understood, and then proceeded to help put chairs out, and engage the members in conversation, all before the program started. When I left, the leader who had been so angry at the start warmly told me he wanted me to return the next year.
(2) I once represented the LP at a tri-partisan forum in Beaumont. I got there early and claimed the middle seat. Had I not, the representatives from the Democans and Republicrats -- who were friends, in fact -- would have claimed the middle seat and one of the others, and proceeded to marginalize me from there on. Having the center spot, I could not be ignored.
(3) For instance, you might be able to secure the most advantageous display table for your materials.
He told me a story that I found hilarious. If you're planning on running for a position within the Libertarian Party OR for public office as a Libertarian, please keep this in mind as to why you should always keep a positive demeanor and use humor to your advantage:
A little humor regarding that 1989 event. Years earlier, I had run for Houston City Council. The incumbent refused to show up anywhere, but his other challenger and I were on a TV show together.
Her name was Ginia Ray Wright, and before the show started I joked with her that my mother had always predicted I would someday meet Ms. Right. The moderator overheard, got mixed up, and kept addressing Ginia as "Mrs. Daiell". I joked afterward with Ginia that I had not expected to ever get married on TV.
As it turned out, many of the folks attending the 1989 event were supporting Ginia for a school board seat in that area. I told the story about she and I "getting married on TV", and since, of course, it was the moderator, not Ginia, I was aiming my humor at, they loved the story and it broke the ice as probably nothing else could have.
Jeff Daiell has been writing since elementary school. He is a political activist, a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a naturalized Texan.