The LP National internship program had an exciting week with outreach at several events around town including the National Taxpayers Union Conference, and Capital Pride. Interns have moved from all over the country to intern at the LP and participate in these events. While mostly focused on local events, they are also providing valuable services to state affiliates who need help with research, and creating flyers and pamphlets for outreach.
Outreach at the National Taxpayers Union went well, we’ve learned that the conservatives mostly know who we are and what we are all about, so they either chat with us a little bit, or ignore us completely. Although, we do have a rather unsavory fellow who constantly confronts us at DC events with the issue of unwed mothers being the biggest problem the US is facing today. Needless to say he’s not signing up for a membership anytime soon. Here’s a photograph of us at the NTU conference.
Capital Pride turned out to be the best outreach we did all weekend. The mostly democrat crowd is generally a blank slate in terms of their knowledge or understanding of what a libertarian is or what the philosophy means. That means we get to define it for them, which puts us at an advantage to people who may have formed negative preconceptions about us based on what they’ve heard from others. We signed up a lot of people on our e-mailing lists, and a follow up email netted several responses of people ready to switch their registration from Democrat to Libertarian based on their frustrations with the DNC and the Obama administration’s spotty record on LGBT rights. Here’s Mark Meranta, Ashley O’Donnell, and Anna Hiselman at the LP booth.
Also, this week we visited Congressman Ron Paul to deliver the Libertarian Party’s petition in support of HR1207. We collected 1,651 signed petitions supporting the legislation, which Dr. Paul was very pleased to see.
During a conversation about our internal Austrian Economics education program, he pointed at a picture on the wall next to Rothbard and Mises and stated that he bet we didn’t know who it was. Mark Meranta chimed in immediately, “Henry Hazlitt,” much to Dr. Paul’s surprise. After a few minutes chatting about current issues and discussions about future plans, we took a photograph delivering our petitions and left to go back to work at the Watergate.
Yesterday, our favorite libertarian Judge Andrew Napolitano stopped by CATO to deliver remarks and take questions about his new book “Dred Scotts Revenge,” an even handed look at the history of slavery and race in America. The interns really enjoyed the speech and afterwards we had lunch and got a photo with the Judge.
All in all, the internship program at LP National is making great strides in providing valuable services to affiliates, while also making a great impression at various organizations in the DC area. I’m extremely proud of my bright young students who are sacrificing their time, resources and energy to be a part of making progress for libertarian issues on Capitol Hill.