Despite the lyrics of the Green Day song, I doubt that very many people “want to be the minority”. Now today’s discussion of minority has nothing to do about race, but rather ideology. However, as I’ve said in the past, it makes no sense to rectify past discrimination of certain races by promoting racist policies toward another group. Is the only solution to ending racism by enacting discriminatory laws? But I digress…
In politics, to be in the minority often means a lack of power, prestige, and respect. Who cares to join a movement that cannot ever affect policy? Not many people. From my experiences, that one point is the greatest failing of the Libertarian Party. Many active Libertarians I have met seem perfectly willing to maintain their minority status. Without reaching out to a broader base, all that they will ever be is a discussion group, pontificating about their vision of a perfect society, but never taking the necessary steps toward making their dreams a reality.
The same could hold true for limited government conservatives in the Republican Party. There exist factions of the Republican Party (the so-called moderates, the neo-conservatives, and the blind party loyalists) who don’t want to see us succeed. They have either embraced the notion of big government or refuse to take a stand on the important issues of the day. Like so many facets of life, the easiest path in politics is to accomplish nothing. If a politician or party doesn’t either pass or promote legislation, then no one will rise in opposition to them and they can hold power for a long period of time, generating kickbacks for themselves and their faithful supporters. Except for the whole kickbacks thing, the American political system was intentionally designed to slow and outright prevent new laws. The founders of this nation developed a system of governance and Constitution that they liked and didn’t want the next generation to radically rock the boat. For the most part, this system worked until politicians and parties fell down on their duty to defend the nation and it’s Constitution from all enemies. While big government liberals actively continued repeatedly to press for the expansion of the federal government, conservatives, for the most part, have quietly acquiesced or, even worse, joined in, looking to gain benefits for their constituents.
Although some people are enamored with the prospect of a third party (and I’ve written about the topic a bit), unless such a party supplants and replaces one of the two major parties, it will always be the minority and thus ignored. Names do change, but realistically in the whole history of American politics, the only party to achieve such success was the Republican Party, who formed after the splitting of the Whigs. Most Americans really do not give 2¢ about politics and so, in truth, all political movements are minority movements; still, of those who are politically active and influential, I do not want to be part of the minority. I honestly believe that the only realistic path to success is to push the Republican Party and Republican politicians (kicking and screaming if necessary) back to the principles of limited government conservatism that they claim to hold. Should politicians or leaders balk or act contrary, we must withdraw our support and find new candidates to replace them. To use a plant analogy: although some of the branches are rotten and in need of pruning, the solid roots of the modern Republican Party alone make it worth retaining. We must not be afraid consistently and ardently to champion our values and compel our representatives to do likewise. Otherwise, be prepared to remain the minority.