Things I Learned at ISFLC 13
Feb 25, 2013 at 2:58 PM
Two weekends ago the International Students for Liberty Conference was held in Washington, DC. It was the largest gathering of libertarian students ever, and it was absolutely amazing. These are some of my takeaways from the event:
- Libertarians have a problem with marketing our ideas. There is no doubt in my mind that our ideas are sound in logic and reason, and for the most part can provide perfect answers to the toughest questions we face as a society, politically or otherwise. But we focus very strongly on understanding and developing our ideas — so strongly that we forget that we need a way to convey those ideas to people who haven't heard them. We need to work on reaching out to women and minorities.
- Libertarians are underutilized in the workplace. Jobs specifically in what is commonly referred to as "the liberty movement" are hard to come by. The jobs that are available for places such as Cato are very selective, and for good reason. These institutes, after all, represent libertarianism in the mainstream political realm. Therefore libertarians need to think outside the box, especially if we intend to work in policy. If we don't intend on working with policy, then we need to be the best at what we do, and when we have a chance we need to talk about our beliefs with people we work with. We need to branch into more creative realms.
- We can't rely on Ron Paul to spread the message for us. I love Ron Paul, but his run for president is over. Our duty to his legacy is to not let it die. Part of that is going to require us letting go of him and moving on. We do not have a single solid leader anymore, and perhaps that's a good thing. This will allow a larger marketplace of ideas to manifest themselves. We have to stop hanging on to him and instead learning to follow in his footsteps.
- We have to incorporate God. I understand that some libertarians are atheists, but in order for our message to appeal to the mainstream we have to appeal to the majority, which means we have to relate it to Christians. That should not be hard to do.
These are just some of my take-aways from ISFLC13. What did you take away from this important event?