Thursday, January 24, 2008

Big Tent KSLP

I have been amazed at the reaction to the information posted on a couple blog’s about Kansas Libertarian - Bennie Lee “Ben” Ferguson.

Kansans in general are very tolerant of others - not counting Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist clan; however, we even let them spout their nonsense while we vehemently disagree with their approach to gaining media attention.

I believe that Ben is one example that shows that the Kansas Libertarian Party is “the big tent” party that is needed and severely lacking in the Kansas political arena. Ben’s choice of clothing may indicate he has a unique personality to many in Kansas, however, I think that is a plus. Who wants to be just like everyone else?

Another thing that I think these postings show is the fact that issues are also not a dividing factor in the KSLP; we can civilly disagree without getting personal. Ben is a supporter of the Iraq war. I would bet 80% + LP’ers will disagree with that position, (I do) but, we get along fine being on opposites of this specific issue debate. I have worked side by side with Ben at our state fair outreach booth many times – because Ben and I have differing opinions it gives us a great opportunity to discuss the Libertarian Party with whomever walks up to the booth. If someone walks up to a LP booth that supports the Iraq war and you immediately tell them they are a fool – what do think will happen? They get defensive and will walk away thinking “what a bunch of SOB’s. With Ben and I both working together if someone comes to the booth and they believe that the Iraq war is a proper use of the US armed forces, they have someone who can empathize with them. What happens then is they tend to drop their initial defenses to a new concept (libertarianism) and are able to “listen and hear” all the benefits (outside their position to current war policy) that make us right for America. If someone walks up that is opposed to the war – the same empathy with my position happens. By working together to grow the LP we can cover the wide range of issues that are important to the voters of Kansas.

Does all the KSLP get along perfect in our membership? Not hardly, we (just like all LP organizations) have our group of “purists” who believe they are the only people that have the correct stance on various issues. They are a minority and have not held back the overall growth of our membership, volunteers and effective lobby efforts we have been doing the last three years.

Ben is not the first or last LP’er to have differing opinions of either a platform position or others in the LP.

Mike Kerner, our 3rd District Coordinator and voting member of the Excom and I disagree on another possibly personally divisive issue – abortion. Mike is Pro-Life and I am Pro-Choice. Mike as a LP candidate has received the endorsement of Pro-Life groups. Mike and I also have worked well together, side by side at outreach events and we also gain the same ability to talk to anyone that walks up to us and asks about abortion. We have someone on both sides of (what could be or in reality is) a divisive issue for the person to get comfortable with initially – and then we really have the ability to reach and teach that person about the LP and how much better we are from the two big bozo parties overall.

I am so proud to be part of the freedom movement with the KSLP as my main venue to express the need to positively change the direction of our government.

The Kansas Libertarian Party is the big tent party we need to make major change for the future!

No comments: