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3. Who did you vote for in 2000, 2004, and 2008? If I remember correctly, I voted Harry Browne in 2000, to sleep in and skip the process in 2004, and Bob Barr in 2008. I consider voting non-essential, but excusable as a defensive act and form of expression. Honestly, I sometimes half-complete a mail-in ballot, then toss it.
4. Apart from the presidency, what do you think is the most important race or ballot initiative being decided this fall? The marijuana legalization initiatives in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington are important, both as efforts to extend the protected range of personal freedom and as screw-yous to the federal government. If state governments have value, it has to be in the form of occasionally interposing themselves between individuals and D.C. (the same can be said of the feds returning the favor). The ObamaCare initiatives in Alabama and Florida fall into the same category.
5. Reason's libertarian motto is "Free Minds and Free Markets." In contemporary America, is that notion a real possibility or a pipe dream? I think "free minds and free markets" are always a possibility, but they increasingly find their niche in the interstices of regulated life. That's not because intrusive laws are new, but because the government has vastly more resources than in the past with which to enforce them. Fortunately, greater resources are also available to practitioners in the shadow economy and opponents of the state.
J.D. Tuccille is the managing editor at Reason 24/7 and the author of the novel High Desert Barbecue.
1. Which presidential candidate are you voting for and why? Gary Johnson.
2a. Between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, who do you think would be worse regarding economic freedom, including things such as industrial policy, free trade, regulation, and taxes? I suspect Obama is worse, but you never know. Romney's rhetoric on China certainly makes me dubious that he'll be any kind of free trader.
2b. Between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, who do you think would be worse regarding social freedom issues such as gay marriage, free speech, school choice, and reproductive rights? I'll say Romney is worse, but again I have reservations. There are a few areas, such as religious liberty, where he may turn out to be better. As with economic and foreign policy, the significant story isn't that one candidate is marginally preferable to the other; it's how terrible they both are.
2c. Between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, who do you think would be worse regarding foreign policy, military interventions, and the global war on terror (including domestic restrictions on civil liberties)? Romney is more likely to start a war with Iran, so I'll give him the dunce crown here. Do not take that as an endorsement of anything in Obama's foreign policy record.
3. Who did you vote for in 2000, 2004, and 2008? Harry Browne, Michael Badnarik, Bob Barr.
4. Apart from the presidency, what do you think is the most important race or ballot initiative being decided this fall? The marijuana initiatives in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon, a triple opportunity to give a vote of no confidence to the drug war.
5. Reason's libertarian motto is "Free Minds and Free Markets." In contemporary America, is that notion a real possibility or a pipe dream? It isn't a pipe dream to demand freer minds and markets. We'll see how far we can take it.
Jesse Walker is a Reason senior editor and the author of a forthcoming book on paranoia and American politics.
1. Which presidential candidate are you voting for and why? Gary Johnson, because he reflects my views more than any presidential candidate I've ever had the chance to vote for, because I know and like him personally (weird!), and because I am voting in a state (New York) that will certainly favor Barack Obama. The president richly deserves to be fired, for his economic mismanagement, his lying, and his ass-covering, speech-constricting response to the Benghazi attacks, but my vote cannot impact that. It is important to me that the preference for limited government be expressed by (at minimum!) a third-place showing on election day.