Liberals no longer have a political home. It's time to
Liberalism is the bedrock upon which America was founded. The story of prosperity and freedom in the United States cannot be told without it. The great achievements of liberty—from the abolition of slavery to women’s suffrage to the victories of civil rights and LGBTQ+ rights—would not have been possible without liberalism. Without liberalism, we would not have the blessings of modern prosperity and global free trade.
Liberal values are grounded in the tradition of the Enlightenment. These values include reason, diplomacy, egalitarianism, free enterprise, charity, and self-defense. Its most important value, though, is individual liberty. They are usually called “classical liberal” values, but to us, they are simply “liberal.” These values are common sense and resonate with millions of Americans on a very basic and intuitive level. They are fundamentally American principles, embedded in our civic DNA from the Founding Fathers to the present day.
Attempts by activists to use the Democratic and Republican parties to advance these ideals have failed. GOP leadership and candidates actively pursue extremism and a fantasy of minority rule. The Democratic Party has proven it is unable and unwilling to move to the center to lead a broad-based liberal coalition, instead catering to its own ideological fringes.
In the United States, the words “liberal” and “libertarian” have been used interchangeably. The Libertarian Party has long championed liberty-based issues such as LGBTQ+ rights, ending the drug war, ending systemic injustices, fostering entrepreneurs, promoting economic freedom and pursuing electoral reform. For years, the Libertarian Party was a natural fit for liberals, but current leadership is taking it away from its liberal roots. The same illiberalism we have seen rise in the two major parties is now also being reflected by the current Libertarian Party.
In this historic moment, the American libertarian movement should be providing alternatives to the toxic discourse of polarization. And yet, the opposite has happened. This has left the American libertarian movement fractured, lost, and weaker than ever before. At a time when liberal values are needed more than ever, the Libertarian Party, ostensibly dedicated to these ideas, is actively and intentionally moving away from liberal principles, instead enabling illiberal populists and bigoted authoritarians. There are countless examples of this.
Just within the last year, the Libertarian Party and its leadership have supported:
- Ending a women’s right to vote
- Hanging the scientists who developed the COVID vaccine
- Telling prominent African American activists to “go back to Africa”
- Decrying Ukraine’s right to defend itself
- Equating Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Adolf Hitler
- Unleashing the police on homeless people
- An “anti-war” rally with explicitly Pro-Russia, pro-invasion speakers
- Cozying up to the antisemitic LaRouche cult
- Promoting racist conspiracy theories like “German New Medicine”
- Attacking members of the LBGTQ+ community as “groomers”
- Promoting pseudo-scientific racism and racial segregationism
Many of these instances came from one specific state affiliate: The Libertarian Party of New Hampshire. These are positions no decent human being can accept—let alone any supporter of liberalism.
This disgusting behavior from the Party’s leadership has unmistakably signaled to liberals and traditional libertarians that the Libertarian Party is not a place for them to call home.
The dark turn towards illiberalism is why the Libertarian Party is failing. Over a third of the party’s dues-paying members have left, revenue is at its lowest level in three decades, the party is running fewer candidates than ever before, and the party has lost its hard-earned 50-state ballot access.
Overall, the failure of the Libertarian Party leaves advocates of liberalism in a precarious position. We cannot afford to stand idly by while the principles that have fostered unparalleled prosperity and freedom in the United States are eroded and abandoned. These principles need a forthright, honest advocate in America’s political system, able and willing to offer this alternative to voters—and they need it right now.
That’s why we started Project Liberal PAC.
We are building a national grassroots movement around liberalism with the goal of electing more liberals to public office. The first step in this plan is building a political home for liberals.
Finding this home is what we will pursue with our first major campaign:
The Plan: The Rebirth of a Liberal Political Movement
Operation Phoenix will fundraise and organize principled liberal activists around the vision of a political party dedicated to advancing liberal principles through electoral politics.
In the first phase of this plan, we will organize delegates and coordinate efforts to achieve the following reforms to the Libertarian Party:
- Fully disaffiliate the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire. Disaffiliate any other state affiliate engaged in repugnant, illiberal messaging.
- Pass our transformative package of bylaw amendments that decentralizes the Libertarian National Committee, increases ethical standards, increases member control, rejects bigotry within the party, and reorients the party’s focus to winning elections.
- Nominate Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates who advocate liberal values.
- Remove the current Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer from the National Committee.
- Form a committee to explore a rebrand of the party.
We are willing to work within the historic structure and allocate resources to the Libertarian Party and its liberal candidates during the 2024 election, but only if the party adopts these items before the end of the upcoming 2024 convention (May 27, 2024).
Should this fail to occur, these resources will be redirected to liberal candidates regardless of party, while simultaneously supporting efforts to establish a new political home for liberals.
This home must embrace and welcome all who support:
- Free trade and free markets
- LGBTQ+ rights and full legal equality
- Sustainable fiscal policy
- Limited government
- A welcoming immigration policy
- Protecting the right to privacy
- Freedom of speech
- Electoral reform
- YIMBYism and property rights
- Criminal justice reform
Plainly, if the Libertarian Party no longer intends to be a home for liberalism, we will build a new one. We invite you to join us.
How You Can Help
Operation Phoenix will build the foundation for a renewed liberal movement for the next generation. But to succeed, we need your support.
Sign onto the plan, volunteer, or simply get alerts using the form below.
With your support, we can resurrect the values of liberalism and build a political movement for the next generation. The journey will be challenging, but with your help, our vision is not just attainable—it’s inevitable.