Are the duopolistic-types worried about the Libertarian Movement? Were Brian Holtz’s Libertarian election signs vandalized by liberty-fearing Republicans or Democrat neighbors? See the YouTube video!
Meet Libertarian candidate Brian Holtz, who is serving his fourth term on the Purissima Water District Board of Los Altos Hills, CA. In an interview with The Beacon, Holtz shared learnings from his past experience and advice for Libertarians running for office in today’s political climate.
In addition to serving on the Water District Board, Holtz was a three-time candidate for US Congress in the 18th District, running against now 28-year incumbent Anna Eshoo.
“I enjoyed answering candidate surveys and the few press interviews that I had. The candidate forums involved nervous anticipation beforehand, but then something like a runner’s high when you take the stage,” Holtz said of his time as a Congress candidate. “Your Libertarian instincts will guide you in answering questions, so the only tricky part is remembering your talking points for the opening and closing statements. I tip my hat to Eshoo; she attended every forum, and always stayed on her anti-Bush message, completely ignoring what was said by me or the Republican and Green candidates.”
Holtz shared a point from military science that he thinks Libertarians should take to heart: “Don’t pay for the same hill twice.” He feels that Libertarians involved in the Party spend way too much time reinventing the wheel; one set of leaders builds out an initiative in one term and the leaders in the next term feel the need to completely replace it. The new initiative is most often only slightly different and not necessarily an improvement to the previous one.
“Our policies, plans and initiatives should be sustainable beyond the tenure of their original proponents,” Holtz said. “We tend to pay for the same hill twice or even thrice. Let’s build on old initiatives with new initiatives directed toward different problems.”
Holtz suggests that budding candidates get started by picking one elective body in their city, county or district and becoming that body’s Libertarian “shadow.” Introverts can make getting started easier by telling themselves they’ll just monitor the meeting, and don’t need to speak up – yes, Holtz considers himself an introvert! After doing this for two or three meetings, candidates will probably find themselves unable to remain silent about something the government body does or says.
“Remain calm, collected and cool,” Holtz said. “If you’re civil and speak your libertarian truth, the incumbents will recognize you as a freedom-lover. Hopefully, this slow-roll, self-introduction will tempt you to run for office.”
Holtz wants the Libertarian Party to achieve greater participation and mindshare among the larger U.S. freedom movement. Before becoming active in the Party in 2000, he spent the 90s fretting that the Party Platform and membership weren’t close enough to his preferred branding. Then he realized that a freedom party has to be big-tent if it’s serious about increasing liberty through electoral politics.
“Libertarians of all people should realize that top-down centralized planning doesn’t work, even when Libertarians are the planners,” Holtz said. “They should have faith in the spontaneous order of every freedom-lover pursuing the kinds of activism that best suit their interests and abilities.”
From his days of running for a US Congress seat, Holtz denies that the job of those in Congress should be to dictate our choices in both our personal and economic lives. Holtz said neither he nor his opponents – or anyone for that matter – is qualified to make those choices for us.
However, he believes he is qualified to recognize what choices Congress should not be making for us. According to the Constitution, Congress isn’t supposed to have the power that it has over our choices today.
“If you agree with me, you should vote Libertarian,” Holtz said. “On Election Day, that’s the only way to say that the U.S. Congress is not qualified to run your life.”