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2022 Election Cycle Begins

Our choices in future general elections are determined daily, constantly, by the choices of grassroots activists and media, followed by politicians.

James Anthony
December 4, 2020

Needed: Small-Government Candidates

In the Senate, the number of members who have Conservative Review Liberty Scores of at least 80% is 6 [1]. To pass bills and confirm appointments takes 51. To pass treaties and to convict in impeachments takes 67.

In the House, the number of members who have Conservative Review Liberty Scores of at least 80% is 39 [1]. To pass bills takes 218.

Presidential candidates who increase liberty, or who voters think would increase liberty, occasionally overcome the Republican Party’s Progressive rules and crony funding to win the nomination and run in general elections.

When they do, such candidates—Reagan, Harding, Coolidge, Trump—win general elections. Reagan won with electoral percentages of 95% and 91%, Harding with 76%, Coolidge with 72% [2].

In short, candidates who increase liberty win general elections, often resoundingly, but first must get on the ballots.

Choices Come from Activists and Media

Ballot access and instant credibility are provided by major parties, and major parties are created by activists and media who intensely demand specific policies.

The Federalist Party was created by individuals who intensely demanded, and developed in secret, a national government that would be strong but limited.

Jefferson’s Republican Party was created by activists and media who intensely demanded that the national government would be small.

The Democratic Party was created by activists, media, and activist-politician Martin Van Buren, who once again intensely demanded that the national government would be small. Some of them also intensely demanded that our governments would protect slaveholding.

The Republican Party was formed by activists and media who, for two decades, intensely demanded that slaves would be freed. Most of them also intensely demanded that our governments would be bigger.

Politicians acting within the existing parties and governments never created choices that increased liberty. Such choices usually were co-created by media, but always were created by activists [3].

Voter-Information Meetings Build Power

In Colonial America, most people had long enjoyed freedom and were prospering but were well-aware that this freedom was unprecedented, so they were hypervigilant that their good fortunes might not last. The widespread hypervigilance drove widespread grassroots activism [4].

This widespread grassroots activism supported wide-circulation media like Ben Franklin’s printing, and these media reinforced this activism.

The few differences between people, although serious, were about strategy, not about the objective of preserving freedom. The overwhelming majority of people were resolved to remain free at all costs. And the American Revolution succeeded [5].

Later, activism to free slaves, supporting and reinforced by media, again led to later actions by politicians and governments, again driving, supporting, and reinforcing those actions, and succeeding.

In our time, desire to limit our governments has been widespread, but proponents have been divided over strategy. Most commonly, proponents wanted to transform the Republican Party.

More evidence is now in. The Republican Party works as a vehicle for ballot access and credibility for a relative-few extraordinarily-savvy Tea Party candidates. But the Republican Party resiliently resists being used to place majorities of constitutionalists on ballots, which is necessary for majorities to win and implement new policies.

The optimum path won’t be to take over the Republican Party and won’t be to start a new party from the outset, but instead is an in-between hybrid.

This optimum path will finish by building a new party that selects candidates using caucuses. This path will start by developing the precursors to those caucuses in the form of small, functional, neighborhood voter-information meetings.

Republican Progressives use short primary schedules, poorly-informed voters, crony money, attack ads, and posing as conservatives to push Progressives across the finish lines of primaries and general elections. Constitutionalists will counter their money disadvantage by providing small, potent inputs of volunteer labor from grassroots voters and activists, in voter-information meetings.

In voter-information meetings, the grassroots activists and voters who have better information will make their cases for candidates. More voters will have good knowledge about constitutionalists before the primaries, so more voters will show up for primaries and select constitutionalists. Afterwards, more voters will show up for general elections and elect constitutionalists [6].

Stories on Repeal and Individual Action Build Understanding

Media can strongly reinforce this grassroots activism by focusing on featuring stories that further inform us about how things work when people are freed to make their own choices in various policy areas.

The economics media that emphasize freedom are closest to providing such information, but need to go further and articulate policy actions that will provide improvements.

The political media are far from providing such information. They need to stop chasing the storms created by Progressive media and politicians. They need to understand and articulate what the economics media understand about how freedom improves choices and living standards in every sphere, and they too need to articulate policy actions that will provide improvements.

The default first improvement always should be to repeal the national, state, and local governments’ current statutes and codes that hobble free people from adding value.

Individual customers and producers, and individual borrowers and savers, need freedom to quickly take their hallmark massively-informed, rapid, finely-targeted and finely-calibrated actions.

Voting Can Bring Small-Government Candidates

Money is incredibly ineffective at delivering votes. Even poorly-informed and highly-misinformed voters already smell a rat reasonably well. An incredibly-small amount of quality information is enough to move voters to better candidates. The votes are there; the choices are not.

The only thing that makes money appear to have outsized effects now is the lock on candidate selection that’s currently held in place by two Progressive major parties working with media to keep voters isolated from each other and in the dark, with frequent commercial interruptions.

This house of cards can be shaken by a politician like Trump who sometimes talks a good game.

This house of cards can be destroyed by individual voters sharing good information socially. Also, by media voices adding to voters’ understanding of how freedom works and of how repeals can add freedom. And by politicians, every place and time they gain a foothold, using their constitutional powers to put a full stop to the execution of unconstitutional statutes and codes and opinions, and to start fully repealing our unconstitutional Progressive governments.

Our choices in 2022 and beyond are determined daily, constantly, by the choices of grassroots activists and media now.


  1. “Liberty Score.” Conservative Review, libertyscore.conservativereview.com/scorecard/. Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.
  2. “Table of Election Results.” Wikipedia, 28 Nov. 2020, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_presidential_elections_by_Electoral_College_margin#Table_of_election_results. Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.
  3. Cohen, Marty, et al. The Party Decides: Presidential Nominations Before and After Reform. University of Chicago Press, 2009, pp. 47-80.
  4. Wood, Gordon S. The Radicalism of the American Revolution. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 1992, pp. 169-188.
  5. Rothbard, Murray N. Conceived in Liberty. Single-volume ed., Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2011, pp. 1555-1560.
  6. Anthony, James. The Constitution Needs a Good Party: Good Government Comes from Good Boundaries. Neuwoehner Press, 2018.

James Anthony is the author of The Constitution Needs a Good Party and rConstitution Papers, publishes rConstitution.us, and has written articles in The Federalist, American Thinker, and Foundation for Economic Education. He’s an experienced chemical engineer with a master’s in mechanical engineering.


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