Tag: get the vote out

“Non-Partisan” LA LGBT Center Stumps against Trump

By Ryan Lau | @agorisms

As the 2018 midterm election draws ever-closer, races are beginning to heat up. In a recent poll, Texas Democrat Beto O’Rourke comes out two points above incumbent Senator Ted Cruz. Over in Missouri, Republican challenger Josh Hawley holds a narrow lead, with average polling less than a half point above incumbent Claire McCaskill. And in New Mexico, former governor Gary Johnson’s last-minute Libertarian bid is sure to be one for the books.

One place, on the other hand, that does not usually receive a lot of political attention is California. But this year, one group is going to great lengths in order to aid their agenda.

The Los Angeles LGBT Center is a California-based, not-for-profit corporation. As such, they take a great deal of pride in their status as a non-partisan group. In fact, one of their flyers, encouraging young Orange County voters to go to the polls this November, states this clearly along the bottom. However, the same flyer also sports, in bold-faced, capitalized print: “HELP STOP TRUMP!”

LA LGBT Center's "Stop Trump" Flyer

The card did not come alone. In a sociology class this past Monday at UC Irvine, about an hour south of LA, a representative from the LA LGBT Center gave a speech about the importance of getting the vote out. In it, she also mentioned both sides of this partisan, non-partisan duality.

71 Republic obtained a video Wednesday from an anonymous source, which showed the contents of the speech.

The LA LGBT Center’s Partisan Speech

The LA LGBT representative first spoke about the initial goals of the organization. “We are talking to voters, right here, in your backyard…specifically to voters who typically vote for president, but don’t vote in other elections”, she said informationally.

The spokeswoman then asserted that Orange County’s District 48 Congressional election is one of the closest in the country. This is true, as incumbent Republican Dana Rohrabacher and Democrat challenger Harley Rouda are locked in a dead heat. In a recent New York Times poll, the two men split the vote evenly at 45% each. One in ten voters voted “undecided”.

However, she then began to speak in a more partisan manner, referencing personal experiences and a distaste for President Trump. “I am personally really concerned about our country, and, the level of decency that we expect to treat each other with”, she remarked. “We have someone who is leading our country who is unprecedented, and we’ve never had someone like him in office before.”

Due to the harsh words on the flyer, the LA LGBT spokeswoman clearly was portraying the president in a negative manner. Though she later stated “we don’t believe in telling [voters] what to do”, the representative nonetheless passed out the flyers urging action to stop Trump.

The LA LGBT Center held another meeting the following evening, which the flyer mentions. It is unknown whether the non-partisan group maintained their partisan leanings at this and any other events.

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Why the 2018 Midterms are Important to the Libertarian Party

By Josh Hughes | United States

This year’s midterm elections are sure to be a lot of things. In the hectic, chaotic world of politics today, a lot of people find themselves confused and without a platform. There are hundreds of thousands of Republicans unhappy with President Trump and the current state of the GOP-controlled Congress. On the flip side, there are just as many moderate Democrats that are tired of the extreme direction the Democratic Party is headed towards. For this reason, the Libertarian Party needs to step up.

Average Voter Turnout Issues

It’s no secret that eligible voters are far less likely to vote in the midterms. In a FairVote poll, the 2014 midterm had about 25% less turnout than the 2016 Presidential election. Voter apathy in the United States is also a very large issue, with statistics that nationwide, eligible voter turnout rarely reaches 63%, at best. While there are many programs that work hard to get people to register to vote, the truth is no one can force voters to come out in November. With almost two-thirds of voters staying home in 2014, there is a large cache of untapped support.

If Libertarians were to launch a campaign from the bottom up, trying to sway voters to come out and support them this fall, there could be a large swing in favor of America’s third largest party. Convincing just 15% of the 65% of people who usually don’t vote would be huge. Without a doubt, it would lead to record support for local libertarian candidates.

The Libertarian Party can Gain Votes

While the media pushes the polarized agenda of today’s politics, the fact of the matter is the majority of voters are fairly moderate. That said, a lot of people on both sides are unhappy with the current state of their respective parties. In a Pew Research study of voters, 34% said their vote would be primarily a vote against President Trump. That’s 34% of people who would vote purely against Trump and his Republican agenda.

Admittedly, the majority of those votes will probably be in favor of a Democratic candidate. However, the reality is a large percentage of traditional Republicans aren’t happy with Trump. So, many of these votes will likely turn into non-voters this fall.

This does not have to be the case. A lot of voters are ignorant of the legitimacy of third parties. If the Libertarian Party put more resources into garnering attention at the local level, a lot of Republicans would turn in their favor. With the fall season coming up, it would be wise if Libertarians would advertise with a booth containing party platform points. Running ads in papers, on TV, on radio stations, would also help. American voters are notoriously ignorant, and tunnel vision plagues them. Thus, if Libertarians want to become serious contenders, they must make the effort to show voters their message.

What Liberty-minded Individuals can Do

Everyday people can make real changes. The idea that your voice can’t make a difference is far outdated. In this era of social media, one can reach out to hundreds with the click of a button. It can also be as simple as starting a conversation at your job or school. It’s amazing how much a five-minute conversation can do to someone who is already on the fence. Simply showing others your voice can spark an interest that could turn into votes.

If we genuinely want to see this year’s midterm be different from the rest, it’ll take an effort from all of us. The truth is, the Libertarian Party doesn’t have the resources to reach out to people like the Democrats or the GOP do. Donate to your local candidate. Volunteer to help on a campaign. Also, spread the idea of individualism and liberty in your community. This year could be huge for the Libertarian Party, and it would be terrible to waste an opportunity like this.

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