Suggestions: Blunt AND Constructive


I was told that I could be "very blunt" in making suggestions so here's a start.

1.  First, let me share some disappointments, and perhaps lost opportunities, as well as a suggestion to avoid more in the future.  With the campaign's permission, I asked the following to discuss a possible endorsement with Johnson or Weld: Former Assistant Secretary of State, Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell, Ted Olson, George Schultz, John Kingston, J.C. Watts, and former Governor Douglas Wilder.   Subordinates of these men, except for Wilder and Watts, responded.  All who did bluntly said their boss would not endorse.   The only one I spoke with directly was Wilkerson.  Moreover, they showed no interest in even having a conversation with Johnson or Weld or discussing the matter in any way.  What is the lesson?   If Johnson and Weld aren't doing it already, they need to make a personal approach themselves to secure such endorsements.   Relying on volunteers is problematic.   Someone like Colin Powell, not surprisingly, is not even going to consider making an endorsement unless he talks to one of the "main men."   For this reason, Johnson and Weld need to pick up the phone and make direct appeals.  Perhaps they are doing this but I saw no indication in the above cases.  In fact, I saw no indication that any of the above had even been contacted by the campaign.

2.  The campaign need to respond in a more timely matter with news releases about current events, such as Trump's call for Stop and Frisk, stating what the policies of a Johnson administration would be.   Hillary's proposed national service in exchange for debt forgiveness is another example.  Could a news release point out the comparisons to the old debtors prison?

3.  Direct approaches need to be made to the Black Lives Matter Movement.  Gary make a powerful case that libertarians offer a better choice on such issues as criminal justice reform.  An excellent way to lead off such an approach would be a news release highlighting support for an old slogan by black militants from the 1960s: " community control of police."  Neither Clinton nor Trump is saying anything similar to this but there is a rich, and radical, black tradition to draw on.  

4.  Let me stress again that any endorsement of the Basic Income Guarantee would be a terrible idea and represent a repudiation of Gary's repeated warnings about the dangers of "free stuff."  It will also drive away much conservative and libertarian potential support. BIG represents a modern version of "something for nothing" idea and, as David Henderson have noted, would also be tremendously expensive.  It also serves to undermine habits and of mutual aid and self-help.  A better way to approach the problems of the poor is to play to our tried and true libertarian strengths.  Let's emphasize the demand to  end eminent domain for private development (which is destroying poor neighborhoods), institute community control of police (as mentioned above), repeal of land use regulations which impede more affordable alternatives such as high-density housing and modular housing, and repeal  licensing laws that bar the poor from certain jobs.   The Institute for Justice has a great track record on the last issue and several very personalized examples of that kind of oppression.  

5.  The campaign needs to roll out a shadow cabinet and quickly. 


Yours truly, Phil Magness, and David Henderson and many others could also some pointers.

 

 

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