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South Dakota Libertarians File for Official Party Status

Last updated on 2014.07.20

Secretary of State Jason Gant announced Friday that the Libertarian Party has filed petitions to earn back its status as a political party in South Dakota. One needs 7,928 signatures to officially organize a political party in South Dakota. Secretary Gant reports that Samuel Saunders of Martin hauled in petitions with about 12,000 signatures Friday morning. Gant and his minions are counting right now.

So I guess we can celebrate the fact that thousands of South Dakotans feel strongly enough about "Libertarianism" to organize their own party. It's too bad "Libertarianism" is just selfishness in philosophical drag. Even the inexperienced, unaware, and immature have the right to organize, float candidates, and struggle to offer practical solutions to real policy problems.

But since the Black Hills Tea Parties are selling out to the Noem-GOP Establishment, the re-formed Libertarians may be the only place for insurgent candidates like Stephanie Strong to turn for support.


  1. Steve Sibson 2012.02.07

    So Cory, you really think common sense rural folks in South Dakota are:

    "dumb-ass redneck demanding the right to be left alone and not have to think about living in a world, let alone a community, that includes people who aren’t his next of kin."

    The link you used to say they are selfish says that. Ever hear of a community that has sluggards who covets their neighbors' property?

  2. Elliot Knuths 2012.02.07

    I'm sorry, but I have to loudly disagree on this one.

    "A Libertarian wants the smallest, least intrusive government, consistent with the maximum freedom for each individual to follow his own ways, his own values, as long as he doesn't interfere with anybody else's doing the same."
    -Milton Friedman

    I don't see what sounds immature about that, personally. If you can give me some specific grievances with libertarianism, I'd be happy to respond with my views, or those of a libertarian luminary like Dr. Friedman.


  3. Chris Sl 2012.02.07

    Except that Milton Friedman's definition never works in real life. (Not to mention, Friedman is an archconservative, not a libertarian.) For example: Ron Paul styles himself as a small-government libertarian, yet doesn't have any problem rolling back civil rights and inserting the government into everyone's uterus.

    For a true libertarian paradise, we already have Somalia. Strangely, I don't see lots of libertarians flocking there.

  4. Chris S. 2012.02.07

    To clarify, some people do define Milton Friedman and his school of economics as "libertarian." However, if it looks, walks, and quacks like an archconservative...

  5. Elliot Knuths 2012.02.07


    Friedman's definition has never been properly applied across an entire economic system. Heck, even Keynesian economics were never applied system-wide (thankfully.) Friedman often described himself as a libertarian, and I'll take his word over yours in this scenario. "I am a libertarian with a small 'l' and a Republican with a capital 'R.' And I am a Republican with a capital 'R' on grounds of expediency, not on principle," he said once.

    Ron Paul's definition of civil rights is highly dependent upon his views of what constitutes life. That is not the subject of this conversation, but, from his view, protecting a fetus is the same as protecting a civilian. Almost all libertarians, even minarchists, support the establishment of government force to maintain basic human rights. From his philosophical perspective, it is necessary to step in to protect innocent human lives within the state's realm of governance.

    Also, saying Somalia is a libertarian state is like describing the United States as a Marxist one.

    You're welcome to argue against a Nobel Laureate in his preferred field, but don't be shocked when he shreds you to bits (I make a point of avoiding disagreement with Hemingway when it comes to literature theory, myself.)

  6. D.E. Bishop 2012.02.07

    Good sources Cory. Ron Paul, and libertarianism exposed. I wish there was a third party that was moderate. Independent. But every time they try, the Big Two run them out of town on a rail. That's not good governance.

  7. Steve Sibson 2012.02.08

    Good sources? Rural conservatives South Daktoans are selfish, inexperienced, unaware, and immature dumb-ass rednecks.

  8. Owen Reitzel 2012.02.08

    a libertarian is nothing more then a Republican that wants to smoke dope. :)

  9. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.02.08

    Quit your crying, Steve. You haven't refuted the thrust of the criticism, that Libertarianism is really just immature selfishness dressed up as philosophy. Libertarians are all talk and abstract principles. They don't want to do the hard work of forming a truly effective political party, let alone engage in sustainable statecraft.

  10. Steve Sibson 2012.02.08

    When you begin to discuss policy and not go personal, then I will defend rural conservative South Dakotans.

  11. larry kurtz 2012.02.08

    Turn out the lights when everybody else has fled before you, Steve.

  12. WayneB 2012.02.08

    So let me get this straight - the values espoused by the Libertarian Party platform should be eschewed because we cannot ever attain them in their purest form, or even a practical reality?

    I don't see a call to make government only as large as it needs to be as a bad thing. I don't see the call to preserve my liberty to do or say as I please so long as it doesn't hurt anyone else as a bad thing.

    Heck, there's some pretty progressive stuff in that platform that gets a lot of social conservatives up in arms, and I'm okay with that.

    To say that because we cannot achieve a functioning libertarian society, we should abandon its principles in total... well, that's like saying we shouldn't have philosophy professors because they just talk about abstract principles all day and don't contribute to actually trying to make society work better.

    Remember, we're not striving for perfect - we're striving for least worse. And if the one and a half party system in South Dakota is driving people to Libertarianism, it's a sign of deep dissatisfaction with the way the Republican party has been running things. We need more ways to bring ideas and voices to the table.

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.02.08

    Wayne, if they can't muster the guts to put together an effective movement to recruit candidates, win elections, and govern, their values don't matter much, do they? (I hold the Occupy movement to the standard.) Beyond that, their principles are rather like full-reserve banking and Austrian economics: when their boosters can't point to a single sustainable government operating on its principles, their philosophizing sounds hollow.

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