Why the Libertarian Party’s New Ad is Wrong


Dear Libertarian Party,

We need to have a talk. Specifically, about this ad:

This ad, which was posted on your Facebook page for “Double the LP,” is intended to bring other people into the Libertarian Party, and, thus libertarianism. I believe this group is under your jurisdiction based on the website. Correct me if I am in error. If not, please read on.

This ad completely defeats its purpose, and it shows a terrible face for Libertarians and libertarians*. It does not represent us. In fact, it undermines everything we believe in.

Let me tell you what this ad does say about us.

It says that we don’t value women as individuals but only as objects for pandering advertisements and that we don’t give a shit about alienating women. Millions of women hate this kind of advertising and think it is wrong.  Considering our current ratio is approximately 70% men, 30% women, you might want to rethink your strategy here.

It says that we are only interested in recruiting and attracting sexist men who value an ad only insofar as it contains a sexual object for them. Are these the kind of people you want safeguarding the sanctity of individuals?

It says that we aren’t party of principle but rather a cheap marketing firm that will do anything for page views, clicks, and likes. We are rich with ideas. We value women and all individuals as human beings. Don’t sell our values short for Facebook shares.

It says that there are so few women in the Libertarian Party that any woman that might be interested in our values would feel completely isolated upon joining; with an ad like this, she might even feel threatened. Ask yourself: How can a party that respects women for their individuality produce something like this?

Libertarian Party, you took a cheap stock photo and threw some text on it without any regard for the implications, particularly to those you represent. How do you expect non-Libertarians to join the LP when you demonstrate a clear disregard for our own principles? How can we trust you to represent us when you don’t even listen to libertarian women who tell you this is wrong?

You’ve betrayed your principles, your ideals, and your constituents. The values you represented here are not my values. I am ashamed of you.


V.A. Luttrell
Founder, Editor, Thoughts on Liberty 

P.S. Your attempt to make a male version of this ad falls flat, and is, frankly, insulting. You may see my comments on your picture for more information.

A proposal for photos for a legit ad series: woman in full pads playing football (or playing any sport, really). Man in full pads playing football ( or any sport). There. You deliver your message without having to sexualize or marginalize anyone. Or, better yet, a football.

*For the unfamiliar: capital-L Libertarian refers to the political party. Small-l libertarians refer, generally, to classical liberals. The two do not necessarily mean the same thing.