Friday, May 18, 2007


Interestingly enough, it's been rather a slow week for Corn Flakes, especially when you consider why this week's winner has been named. Remember, though, a Corn Flake is a person who embarrasses either the Libertarian Party or the liberty movements the LP is associated with by their actions in public. Corn Flakes are usually extremists and anarchists with no grasp of reality or common-sense politics... but, as this example shows, sometimes a rational person can show Corn Flake potential.

Patrick Dixon, state chairman of the Libertarian Party in Texas, won election to the city council of Lago Vista, TX in 2005. The election was nonpartisan; he was not listed as a Libertarian, and he mentioned the party nowhere in any of his campaign materials. This year he was the only elected Libertarian in Texas seeking re-election... and he failed of election, getting slightly more than 40% of the vote. (Early votes composed two-thirds of the final total and showed him down 25%-75%.)

Now, being defeated in election is not an embarrassment. Very few Libertarians get elected to anything. Even being defeated for re-election is not an embarrassment- although if that 25% number had held up it probably would have been.

No, the embarrassment comes because of Pat Dixon's conduct in office, and the voters' reaction to it. As quoted from this interview on Last Free Voice...

"Like many cities, there is a ruling regime. These people are not necessarily stupid or evil. They want to keep things as they are. These people endorsed me 2 years ago and I won. They must have thought I was going to be more supportive than my incumbent predecessor. When I actually started voting the way I said I would, they discovered that I had no problem dissenting. This year the same “old guard” that endorsed me 2 years ago recruited one of their own to challenge me. It is obvious from the election results that we were outnumbered. Twice as many votes were cast in early voting as on election day. Most younger and working people don’t have time during the workday for early voting, but the retirees can. I was down 70% to 30% from early voting. On election day that margin was too large to overcome... I had a much better run campaign than my opponent, but she was part of the 'old guard' that I was not going to persuade no matter how many advertisements I sent."

So... you got elected by persuading the voters you supported what they supported. Then you voted against the interests of those who supported you. Since you know this, obviously these people spoke to you personally and brought you their grievances... and, apparently, you blew them off. That's what I get from reading this.

Now, this example would seem to demonstrate that Libertarians, once elected, will follow their own agenda and pay no heed to the desires or needs of their constituents. This is NOT a good thing, since the only way a political party can win is by persuading the electorate that its candidates will serve the voters, not themselves, once elected.

But wait- there's more:

"In my first campaign 2 years ago the LP was a significant factor in my victory and I believe it can be for many libertarian candidates in small city municipal races. I did not run around telling everyone I was a Libertarian as this election was non-partisan. There is no reason to use a party label in such a race. However I never deny my affiliation with the LP and because of that I am known as a Libertarian. In that respect the party label can be an impediment."

So, wait. In your campaign you kept silent about your Libertarian association... and because of this you're known as a Libertarian?

And you begin the paragraph saying the LP was of significant aid, but end it by saying it's an impediment?

And finally:

"Additionally, this community is much more aware of the term “Libertarian”. I predict in 2008 that Lago Vista will have a significant increase in Libertarian voters."

Um... the same electorate which brought you in in 2005 threw you out pretty overwhelmingly in 2007, after having experience of you for two years as a person who didn't call himself a Libertarian but was one... and you predict this experience will INCREASE support for the party in Lago Vista?

For blowing an opportunity to show that Libertarians can be office holders that respect those who vote for them... Pat Dixon, this week's Corn Flake!

(Hopefully, though, Pat won't reappear in this feature. What I've seen of Pat is positive- a sensible, businesslike person with a level head on his shoulders. I don't think he's bad or inherently nutty- I just think, in this case, he really, really blew it for himself and our party. And since no Libertarian won in last Saturday's non-partisan elections, it's highly probable that we'll have to wait another two years or so for another chance to prove to Texans that Libertarians can be trusted in power. Hope whoever we have then has a clearer idea of what an officeholder's responsibilities to constituents are than Pat did.)

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