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Give Me Liberty

Volume 1/Issue No. 2 March 2003

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In This Issue:

Welcome

“Dr. Bergland’s Two-Point Communications Checklist” by David Bergland

“Government – Are They Qualified to Help The Poor?” by Bob Burg

Referring This Ezine

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Welcome to Give Me Liberty! We are thrilled to have you reading our

liberty-oriented news ezine that hopefully will become one of your

favorite monthly reads. For this issue, we are pleased to welcome one

of the pioneers in the Libertarian Party, Dr. David Bergland! Also Bob

Burg returns with another thought provoking article.

I want to especially thank Robin Slovacek for helping to spread the word

about our new ezine. She took the time to contact many of the State

Chairpersons of the Party about our new publication. Several responded

and have told their members about it.

We are especially interested in having your input and feedback since

this is YOUR ezine. We want to know what you want to see in future

issues. We are going to working on a web site in the future at

www.givemelibertynow.com and at that time we will be moving the ezine

from Topica.

Finally we ask you to spread the word about Give Me Liberty! If each of

you would invite just five others to subscribe then we could begin to

grow this ezine into the thousands very rapidly. Just ask them to send

an email to givemelibert-@topica.com !

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Dr. Bergland’s Two-Point Communications Checklist

By David Bergland

Effective communication is tough.

Libertarians are especially challenged. Our message contradicts what

most people “learned” in public schools and from the media. Underlying

that misinformation is the premise that government should solve all

social and economic problems and, further, that government intervention

can actually improve things. That’s “the fallacy of legislative

omni-competence.” Libertarians know government doesn’t work, but just

saying so won’t persuade anyone that ending familiar government programs

would help them.

Beginning in the 1970s, I’ve had many opportunities to communicate the

libertarian message. I soon learned that audiences weren’t very

receptive to my message (libertarian philosophy) or my delivery. So, I

went to the ridiculous extreme of training in communication in order to

become a better messenger for liberty. I haven’t stopped that study and

training; I never will. Anyone can improve as a communicator, no matter

how experienced.

What I call the “two-point communications checklist” appeared to me

during my 1984 Libertarian Presidential campaign. I was scheduled to be

on Crossfire with hosts Pat Buchanan and Tom Braden. Conservative

Buchanan and liberal Braden typically had liberal or conservative

guests, so one of them would side with the guest while the other

attacked. As a Libertarian, I was in for tough treatment from both.

While waiting to go on, several different staff members warned me to

expect vigorous attacks from both hosts, all in the interest of a

lively, interesting show. After the fourth or fifth such warning, I

thought: “What the Hell am I doing here?” Then (AHA!), I realized that

was exactly the right question.

My job was to decide what I could accomplish on that half-hour TV show

to advance the libertarian cause. Thinking further, I realized that,

with both hosts attacking and interrupting, I wouldn’t be able to

discuss libertarian principles, lay out the Libertarian Party Platform

positions, nor explain them. What I could do was represent the Party by

being firm, sticking to my guns, and not letting the hosts bully me or

misrepresent Party positions. My objective was for the audience (who I

assumed were mostly political

junkies) to take away a positive impression of the young Libertarian

Party, simply by observing that it had a competent professional as its

leader. I wanted the audience to see the LP presidential candidate as a

guy who could stand up to tough treatment and come out ahead. I’ve been

told that I pulled it off pretty well.

From that experience, I developed the two-point communications

checklist:

1. Know your audience.

2. Know your objective.

Knowing your objective may be the easier of the two, so we’ll start

there. First, you must consider the context. You could be a political

candidate in a formal interview on radio, TV or a newspaper. You could

be speaking to a service club, or in a Q&A after the talk. You could be

in a one-on-one conversation with a co-worker or neighbor. It might be

a discussion in a college class. You might be calling in to a radio

talk show, or writing a

letter to the editor. In every situation, you must decide what you

might accomplish to advance liberty.

Select your objective realistically. A candidate could choose from

several objectives: vote for me, contribute to the campaign, check the

Party website, etc. It could be something as simple as making a good

impression as a libertarian, countering common misconceptions (Aren’t

libertarians hippie, doper peaceniks? No, No. They’re right wing gun

nuts.) Simply by being a reasonable, responsible and thoughtful member

of the community, who happens to be libertarian, you promote liberty.

Selecting objectives realistically often means taking baby steps. It’s

unlikely you’ll persuade any audience on all of libertarianism. Nor are

you likely to bring them to the unalloyed libertarian position on a

single issue. For example: government should get out of the education

business completely and immediately. A sound libertarian position, but

few newcomers would accept it as stated.

When dealing with the “education question” it’s better to begin by

seeking agreement that we all want children to have the greatest

opportunities to get the best possible education. That’s a baby step

objective. Then perhaps you can seek agreement that the government

schools are doing a poor job at high cost, compared to private schools

and home schooling. Then perhaps move on to bringing competition into

education (vouchers, tax credits), causing government schools to

improve. Step by step you help your audience understand that there are

alternatives to government schools and

that libertarians are serious about improving education “for the

children.”

The objective(s) you select are also affected by the nature of the

audience.

“Know your audience” is deceptively simple advice. But what does it

mean?

What if you had four speaking engagements on successive nights? The

four groups are, respectively: accountants; construction workers;

engineers; and screenwriters. Intuitively you understand they are

different from each other. The others won’t receive what you say to one

group the same way. Why?

People have different basic needs and values. Those differences are the

core of what psychologist David Keirsey calls “temperament.” Since

Hippocrates in ancient Greece first observed it, scientists and

philosophers have seen that there are four fundamentally different kinds

of people. In the twentieth century, Dr. Keirsey has developed the

model. Think of four systems of personality organization, four

temperaments: Guardians, Artisans, Rationals and Idealists. Each

temperament is a coherent pattern of basic needs, values, intelligence,

talents, ways of learning, communicating and interacting. Every one of

us truly unique individuals functions most effectively and comfortably

according to one of the four temperaments. (I’m a Rational, as are many

libertarians, although Rationals make up only 6-7% of the total

population.)

People tend to choose work and careers where their needs are met, their

values are supported, and their talents appreciated. So, based on what

my study of temperament and personality tells me, I expect that each of

the four groups described above would be made up largely of people of

the same temperament: accountants mostly Guardians; construction workers

mostly Artisans; engineers mostly Rationals; and poets mostly Idealists.

Knowing this, I can tailor the libertarian message for maximum appeal

to each group.

How?

The primary ingredient of effective communication is respect and support

for audience values. Based on an educated guess as to audience

temperament, I know their values. I then speak, showing respect for

their values and that my proposals will support those values. For

instance, Idealists highly value empathic relationships and the

uniqueness of each individual. In discussing education reform with an

Idealist, I would emphasize my desire that every teacher and student

have the greatest opportunity to develop a nurturing relationship that

will enhance learning so that the student can flourish and become the

unique individual he or she is entitled to be. (Yes, I do believe

that.) From there we can discuss whether those values are best

supported in government schools or through private alternatives.

To “know your audience” means to know their needs and values. Knowledge

of temperament theory is the key to this crucial element of effective

communication.

David Bergland was the Libertarian Party Vice Presidential candidate in

1976, Presidential candidate 1984 and LP National Chair 1977-81 and

1998-2000. Author of Libertarianism In One Lesson (now in its 8th

Edition). An attorney since 1969. Founder of Cornucopia Consulting, a

firm specializing in self-discovery and communications workshops and

individual consultations. See: www.CornucopiaConsulting.com.

Government – Are They Qualified To Help The Poor?

By Bob Burg

The term, “Libertarian” (whether with a small or capital “L”) should

never be confused with “uncharitable”, even though that’s what many

people who don’t know better tend to think. Why is that?

Because Libertarians don’t believe in the welfare state. We don’t

believe that government has the right (the fact that government has

never in our over 200 year history ever had any rights – only powers

“granted” – not unconditionally given – by its citizens to protect them

from force or fraud is a whole other article) to forcibly pick the

pocket of one person in order to give to another, regardless of how

noble the intention might be.

And yes, without anger, I do use the term “pick the pocket” just to make

the point that whether or not one calls it “theft” or “taxation”, the

result are the same. As the saying goes, “You can call an elephant a

piano, but it still retains all the characteristics of an elephant.”

“But Bob” the well-intended person will ask, often with incredulity that

a person they know to otherwise be so charitable would feel so strongly

about this, “if there is no taxation for welfare, what would happen to

the poor person who cannot care for himself or herself?”

And that, dear reader, is the crux of it. The reason and excuse for the

multi-generational, hurtful, and anti-minority welfare state we have

today.

The well-intentioned person who asked the question is worried about the

poor, and this means two things:

#1 This person is in fact a well-intentioned, caring human being who is

disturbed by the fact that any of his or her brother or sister human

beings ever have to suffer from poverty. Hopefully, we as Libertarians

also feel that same sympathy and empathy. It should distress us all

that others have to suffer. Anyone who doesn’t feel that way I’d have

to be concerned for, as one sign of humanity is the caring about the

situation of others and not just ourselves.

Suggestion: in becoming a “freedom-persuader”, it is wise and good to

express to this person that you also feel the same way he or she does.

Example: It distresses me also, and I want to live in a country where no

one ever has to worry about where to sleep or where their next meal is

coming from.”

#2 This person is basing his solution (government forced/taxpayer

funded/bureaucracy imposed) on an extremely false and dangerous premise.

And I’m not talking here of their premise that even says it’s

Constitutional for government to do this. It totally is not. The

problem with that argument, however, is that this person doesn’t care.

Those in Washington who swear to uphold it, at this point, have

basically discarded our Constitution, anyway. And, even if not, to a

kind, caring compassion-minded person such as our friend, the end

(helping the poor) would more than justify the means anyway. So, let’s

not even go with the “Constitution Argument.”

Instead, let’s discuss the false premise that . . .

Government is in any way, shape or form qualified to handle helping the

truly needy.

Here’s part of a recent discussion I had with a person who is disgusted

with government and believes they should totally get out of our business

except.

. .

Darlene (not her real name): Bob, don’t you agree though, that there

should be a safety net for the poor who cannot help themselves?

Me: Of course. I totally believe that.

Darlene: Then . . .?

Me: What I don’t believe, however, is that a bloated, wasteful and

otherwise incompetent (which she agreed with earlier) government is

qualified to be the one to administer this “safety net.” After all,

they’ve been doing it for over 40 years now and all that’s been

accomplished is (and I listed all the results of our government

sponsored and applied welfare system including the fact that we see more

homeless and starving people now than we ever have before. That the

separation between the halves and the have-nots is more pronounced then

ever. That we’ve created a society of entitlement and robbed the

welfare-dependent of any type of self-esteem they may ever have had,

thereby keeping them down, not to mention the people who have “played”

the system illegally).

She agreed this was so. I didn’t even mention how much this costs the

taxpayer due to the fact that about 70 percent of every forced tax

dollar goes to pay the middle-class bureaucrats (see Dr. Mary Ruwart’s

book, “Healing Our World”) who actually have a vested interest in

keeping the system going. They want to protect their jobs.

Darlene: But, if the government didn’t do it, who would?

Okay, finally, we have the right question. And, still, the fact that it

even has to be asked in the first place makes me sad. It reminds me

that the people of this nation have forgotten how it was before

government stepped in to replace a system that had worked much more

effectively (not perfectly, but much, much better) than their own broken

system.

I explained that, in the days before government welfare, “people” took

care of those less fortunate than they. This was done in a variety of

ways. Churches and Synagogues, local charitable funds within the

municipalities where the poor lived, private contributions to various

private charities, civic clubs and organizations whose major role was to

seek out those who were helpless and give them the financial lift they

needed was just the tip of the ice-berg of the help offered the truly

poor person and their families. (Point of fact: while government-run

programs typically see 70 percent of the funds go administration and

salaries and 30 percent to intended recipients, privately-run charities

have the numbers reversed).

Even during “The Depression” (caused by Government Intervention in our

money system, but that’s another article) there were networks stretching

across the nation that supplied needed funds, food and other artifacts

to the needy.

I’m also a big proponent of “for profit” charitable organizations.

These are ventures that would be founded and run by entrepreneurs. They

would solicit funds from individuals and companies in order to support

one or more types of poor. The big differences between these

organizations and the government-run ones would basically be:

#1 The private, for-profit charity would be more accountable to their

clients (donors), having to show them exact figures as to where the

money would go, how it is spent, and how much they got to keep for their

efforts. And, if they cheated and were caught, they’d be held

accountable and perhaps face prison time, as opposed to the huge

government bureaucracy backed by the full force (literally) and support

of the government.

#2 Because this private charity would be run by a business person with a

profit motive it would be run more efficiently. The fact is, private

organizations run by someone who has a vested financial interest in its

success runs their company much more efficiently than do bureaucrats who

will make the same amount of money for not making changes and “messing

up the works.”

#3 Since private taxpayers, by not having to pay into the present

wasteful welfare system, will save thousands of dollars per year;

they’ll have more to donate to these private, more efficient charities.

#4. Those who are “playing the system” will have no source of “suckers”

willing to give them money for free.

#5. Those who truly are needy will see more charitable dollars and

genuine loving-caring assistance than they ever have before. They will

also be empowered and encouraged to help themselves to get off this

privately provided welfare and gain back their self-esteem; self-esteem

they can now pass on to their descendants.

Is a safety net right? I believe so, absolutely. But remember, people

help people; governments don’t help. They hurt. And, even if their

intentions are good (far fewer than can be imagined), the results are

not. And good intentions plus negative results, does not equal positive

results.

Bob Burg (www.burg.com) is an internationally-known speaker, and author

of the highly-acclaimed books, “Endless Referrals” (McGraw-Hill) and

“Winning Without Intimidation: How to Master the Art of Positive

Persuasion” (Samark). You can subscribe to his free weekly ezine

newsletter by visiting

REF=”http://www.burg.com/newsletter.html”>http://www.burg.com/newsletter.html

As you might imagine, Bob also enjoys speaking on the topics of Liberty

and Freedom. You may contact him at his Web site.

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Referring This Ezine – YES, by all means we encourage you to pass on

this newsletter to as many people as possible! We would only ask that

you make no changes to its content without written permission.

Cort McCadden

Managing Editor

Written by Donnell

March 1st, 2003 at 10:20 pm

Posted in General

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