I write this post with a heavy heart.
I have identified with the Libertarian Party since first reading its platform in high school at about 16 or 17 years old. Over the years I have registered to vote in Delaware with one party or another for various strategic reasons, but the platform and philosophy of the LP have always aligned with my political goals.
It wasn't until 2010 when I truly joined the LP, attending my first state convention in Delaware at the Modern Maturity Center. Since then I have poured my heart into this party. I have spent many sleepless nights working on one project or another to advance our goals, protect our ballot access, or just make it easier for us to engage in activism at the state and national level. My four year old daughter is a lifetime member.
However, of late I have put myself into an untenable position. I ran for State Chair on a whim in 2017 because I was concerned about the tone that was being set by the two main candidates coming into that convention. I was often told about fights they were having and felt that the rest of the party was being dragged into personal disputes as a result. Thankfully, the current chair Sean Goward had passed along to the former chair Scott Gesty that he was willing to serve, and had prepared a short statement for Scott to read to the convention as Sean was unable to make it that day due to a family obligation. Sean won and he has been a wonderful chair, in my opinion, and my hesitation in writing this post is in part due to the effect it may have on him in his last weeks as chair. I have announced that I was willing to serve as chair after discussions with many people within the party that I have worked with over the years and whose opinions I value and respect. No one else wanted the job.
However, I now find myself in a similar situation to the candidates whose bickering in 2017 led me to launch a last minute and entirely unserious campaign then. Despite my best intentions to protect the integrity of the party from those whom I believe do not hold its best interests at heart, who are naive at best and part of a national effort to subvert the LP into an alt-right troll organization at worst, it seems I have now become the lightning rod of division and ill will within the LPD.
I will always be a Libertarian. My rebellious attitude and principled conviction that all people should be free to live as they choose so long as they do not interfere with the right of others to do the same will allow me no other alignment. However for the sake of my sanity and perhaps for the sake of the party I must take a step back. I will still accept a nomination for State Chair at the 2021 Convention on June 5th if anyone would like to nominate me, but I will not campaign for the position and fight against NOTA or some other unknown candidate who may jump in at the last minute to represent the interests of those whose actions over the past several months have thrown us into the state of turmoil that we now find ourselves in.
I will continue to serve in my capacity as webmaster and hold custody, in trust for the State Board of the LPD, the passwords and accounts on social media and other internet forums, but the critical web infrastructure of the party runs itself at this point and the others who have access to it are able to do what must be done without me. As events unfold at the June 5th Convention I will transfer access from the current party leadership to the new one as required by my contract with the party, and then offer my resignation to the new Board. I will not do so until then to save Sean the burden of dealing with this at an already tumultuous time for the LPD.
I do not know what the future holds for me in the political realm. I will accept a nomination for State Chair and I will serve to the best of my abilities if elected, but I will not fight for it and give those who have identified me as their enemy the satisfaction of beating me with their inflated numbers of Johnny Come Lately activists dancing to the tune of out of state interests intent on subverting the LP into an echo chamber of adolescent trolling. If I have to fight these people to hold the relatively meaningless title of State Chair then the party I would lead is already hopelessly divided and distorted into something I don't recognize.
More likely I will continue my activism in some form as an independent Libertarian actor, unencumbered by the strictures of the State AoA or answering to a Board even now being subverted by self-aggrandizing blowhards without a clue how anything works. This site will become more active as an outlet for the statements on Delaware legislation I have thus far reserved to be introduced to the State Board as resolutions on behalf of the State Party. I will fork the code for what currently exists as the "LPD Activism Application" and focus on the legislative social media aspects of that effort. I have started a few political parties in the last few months, I may try to get one of them or an entirely new one ballot access as an unaffiliated libertarian-leaning minor party. Freed of the brand and strictures of the national LP, we may be able to find avenues for electoral engagement with elected officials in the major parties that enable us to advance libertarian goals in other ways.
I will likely run for office again at some point in the future, either as a Libertarian if they'll still have me, a nominee of one of my new parties should we ever get ballot access, or by invading the primaries of the major parties as I have done in the past.
Time will tell.
It saddens me deeply to see the LPD go in the direction that it is going, and I take full responsibility for my part in the division and acrimony that has afflicted us of late, and for failing to more actively recruit reasonable, well intentioned, and intelligent people to be more active and counter the influence of those whose actions have brought us down this path. I just can't spend this much of my energy fighting people who claim to agree with me anymore. The State is out there and it is growing.