If you’re reading this, you’re very probably “one of us”. You’re fully aware of the current tempests-in-a-teapot, the issues-du-jour, and who the traitors are, that sort of thing. You know who’s hot and who’s not. You delight in reading artfully-written put-downs, as we Libertarians chew on each other.

Deep down inside, however, you’d really like to be an effective Libertarian, “spreading The Word among the Gentiles”, so to speak, a modern-day Saint Paul.

If that’s you, Bro, you’re in the wrong place. It’s nice to stay in touch here with like-minded folk, but to be effective you need to get Outside The Bubble. In other words, you need to write letters to the editor (or whatever the social-media equivalent is, these days).

If you agree, here are a few tips for you, as you put pen to paper.

1. Become thoroughly familiar with the actual words of the LP national platform. It isn’t all that long and it will give you some well-articulated thoughts to kick-start this project. Besides, later on, you can seriously authenticate your writing with the occasional brief quote. See: https://www.lp.org/platform.
2. Ditto with your State LP platform. This one is probably more of a shopping list of local concerns than it is a ringing declaration of eternal principles. However, it will educate you on what your local agenda is. See: https://docs.EastOvershoeLP.org/platform .
3. Then, get into the habit of continually scanning the headlines of the local (or State-wide) daily newspaper, systematically and deliberately looking for issues that have a “Libertarian hook” to them. Incidentally, please buy an actual subscription, so the paper is automatically in your hands every day, whether or not you remember.
4. (I know, I know: you’re gonna say Boomer, newspapers are so … retro, but please bear with me here).
5. Incidentally, you should skip the non-dailies, because they tend to be mere community-cheerleaders at best or actual shopping-guides at worst.
6. Remember that the readers of these serious dailies are serious people, the ones you wanna talk to. They typically own their own homes, have kids, tend to fret over their domestic budgets, tend not to be dopers, and … they might even be gainfully employed (!).
7. Do not actually read the news articles, unless you are seriously interested. Remember that you have an actual life, that you have only so much time each day to devote to this project. A lot of the articles are piffle, anyway, so do yourself a favor: skip them.
8. As you scan the headlines, you will become cumulatively sensitized to the local issues that are currently “in play”. Big-government/little government or governmental overreach or freedom-to-speak issues are always in vogue, so maybe you should start there. Remember, you are looking for the “Libertarian hook”, using the reader’s concern as an opportunity to tell them about Libertarianism.
9. Once you identify the issue, do some actual research on the topic. It is probably sufficient to use Google or Wikipedia, just so that you have some sufficient context for your writing. Equally important, please see what other Libertarians have said about it.
10. Remember that you are not writing for the Harvard Law Review (Actually, if you do write that way, your letter-to-the-editor will be DOA).
11. Incidentally, you should consciously develop a vocabulary that utters complex thoughts in a pithy-but-accurate way. Learn to summarize smartly, in clever ways. Avoid the inside-baseball language that we Libertarians love so much (My fave is “Anarcho-Capitalism”, which is about as comprehensible to me as “ordered chaos” or “military intelligence”). Time Magazine used to be really good at this kind of thing, under Henry Luce, but no more, I guess.
12. Also, remember that you are here to deliver The Message, not to show off, so focus on the issue, not yourself. (It is satisfying, however, to “show some leg” while writing your stuff. Once you get really good at writing these letters, you will be able to hide yourself in broad daylight and get away with it. Trust me on this).
13. Always begin with a proposed title for your letter or opinion piece, in capital letters, in bold. Even if the editor does not use it, you will have had the editor’s attention, however briefly. For example: I used CITY PAYS BRIBE TO LOCAL BUSINESS. Be inspired by that famous Daily News headline from the 1970s, when NYC was almost in default: FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD.
14. Your first paragraph should be pithy, a real grabber. Talk about the exact amount of taxpayer money is gonna be wasted on the project or how the reader is gonna get arrested in his driveway for washing his pickup truck on a Sunday, in front of his kids. That sort of thing.
15. Keep it seriously short. The newspaper industry has been mortally wounded by social media and they simply cannot afford to waste newsprint on your blatherings. They print your stuff simply to show that they are an essential community resource, that the community could not possibly survive without them, etc. You, personally, are irrelevant to their calculations and to this whole transaction. Know your place.
16. Whatever you do, do not get personal in your writings, calling out someone for the weeping-wound-on-the-Body-Politic that they truly are. This holds even with child molesters and convicted rapists. Stay on message.
17. Do not share your writing with your Significant Other, because they’ll make some smart remark and the whole project will become a bone of contention.
18. Lastly, read it out loud, in Churchillian tones. Let the rafters ring with your prose. If it does not proclaim well, it will not read well.
19. The last paragraph should always be: “Vote Libertarian”.
20. Close with “Yours in Liberty” or “Live Free or Die” (my favorite.
21. Put a copy in your scrapbook, for your grandchildren.

The opinions shared here do not necessarily represent the official position of the Libertarian Party. These editorial articles have been submitted by Libertarians across the country, and featuring these topics does not represent an endorsement of the content therein.

The opinions shared here do not necessarily represent the official position of the Libertarian Party. These editorial articles have been submitted by Libertarians across the country, and featuring these topics does not represent an endorsement of the content therein.