To caucus or not to caucus....

in #politics2 years ago (edited)


Just under a week ago I was privileged to be elected to the position of the Secretary of the National Libertarian Party. I am very proud of that accomplishment particularly since I ran a completely clean campaign in which I refused to say anything negative about the incumbent and in fact gave her genuine high praise. I had previously served as Region 1 Representative on the same body. For my prior term, I was an active member of the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus but had resigned earlier this year on good terms and concentrated on my Secretary race.

So now I am at a place to decide whether to rejoin the caucus or not. I have decided that I will not.

Why? First, I am now an officer in the national Party, and I believe that officers have a different standard and obligation to avoid the appearance of factionalism (nevermind any reality of factionalism). I think that caucus membership is at least the appearance of it - and can be a hindrance. I think it also frees the subject caucus to do its duty in evaluating its members' interest without any awkward loyalty ties to the officer.

But secondly, I was brought up short last term by noting how much I was squicked when others made their caucus membership or advocacy a point, and I thought, "Oh god, is that how I look too?" And I didn't want to. I did the whole thing at one time -- mentioning my membership -- and including it in my LNC email signature line. In retrospect, that was a mistake, and I would not do that again. There is no "rule" against it, but I think best practice leads in that direction voluntarily.

None of this is a hard and fast rule, and I understand others may disagree in good faith. But I am asking my fellow members of the National Committee to examine whether or not they may be contributing to a culture of factionalism at the national level, where the pitched battles at factional lines have done so much damage. My positions have not changed. My principles and viewpoints remain the same whether or not I bear any "label," and if the label may hinder my ability to discharge my duties, then the label must be secondary.

So at this point, I am asking all caucuses (caucii?) to add me to their discussion groups in the role of officer there to listen to and answer concerns and interact on that level. I hope I am taken up on that offer.


One thing I worry about is that the various caucuses will lead to factionalism. Time will tell of course. For the time being, I’m not joining any caucuses either.

They are healthy ways to band together for minority voices to be heard. I do think caucuses of majority views can tend to be bullies - caucuses are by nature ways to be heard when not heard already.

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