Friday, February 20, 2009

Brian Phillips, virtual candidate for mayor of Houston

Brian Phillips has earned a reputation as an effective campaigner against zoning and for property rights by making a principled case for restricting government intervention in the developement of urban areas. Now Brian hopes to take his promotion of individual rights to the next level by participating in Houston's next mayoral election as a "virtual" candidate.
Over the past few months I have previewed some of the potential candidates for the Houston Mayoral election in 2009. I have even fantasized about my ideal candidate. But rather than continue to wait in vain for my ideal candidate to emerge, I am now declaring my virtual candidacy for Houston Mayor. (By virtual candidacy, I mean that I am not literally running for Mayor. But I will address the issues as if I were.)
The idea of running as a "virtual" candidate is a potentially interesting one, particularly if the "candidate" is able to contrast his ideas with those of his very real opponents by expressing them in terms of concrete solutions to actual, real world problems.

Will Phillips' campaign be able to connect with an actual constituency and build real-world support for Objectivist ideas?

The election is in November.

Here's his announcement of his candidacy.

Brian's platform: statement of principles

Brian's platform: crime

Brian's platform: city services


  1. Mr. Phillips is intelligent, articulate, and philosophically knowledgeable in defending individual rights, especially property rights. His statements so far have been clear, principled, and aware of the difficulties of untangling the statist briar patch.

    I note, with hope, that such a virtual candidacy, carried out consistently, might be a step toward an actual candidacy someday. Such a candidacy, however, cannot be done alone--if success is the goal. Mr. Phillips will need a highly charged campaign staff.

    Individuals will need to step up and perform: as treasurer, as secretary, as legal researcher, and so forth. And money--lots of money is needed in a real campaign.

    I think the main emphases should be on philosophical activism (handled primarily through The Ayn Rand Institute as wellspring), intellectual activism (handled by about ten times more people than are currently active), and some forms of carefully chosen, fully funded, narrowly defined, political activism.

    Mr. Phillips's efforts are grounds for hope for the future.

  2. I've asked Mr. Phillips in a comment on his blog about how closely he intends to emulate an actual campaign. He has posted a response in the comments to his announcement of his "candidacy".