Conservatives Could Learn from Robert Sarvis and Libertarians

"Open-Minded and Open for Business" wins votes where retrograde social views don't.

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Sarvis strongholds reflects this. The Libertarian won as high as 17% of the vote in affluent, socially moderate precincts in suburban Henrico County (the home base of the U.S. House GOP’s second-in-command, Rep. Eric Cantor.)

On the same day, in an area nearby with a sharply contrasting electoral history, Sarvis pulled in percentages that high in part of Richmond City, pushing Cuccinelli down to third place in some artsy, student-centric, “boho” precincts.

Exit polls demonstrate that Cuccinelli’s morality meddling so appalled most of those voters that they would back the Dem, or not vote at all, if Sarvis weren’t an option. A Libertarian on the ballot let them cast a vote for markets and small government, to complement their social tolerance, that they wouldn’t have cast otherwise.

Glenn Beck, and his muckracking bloggers had Tea Party types ablaze on Twitter with a supposed “scoop” of an “Obama bundler” who “secretly financed” Sarvis, and “pushed” the Libertarian into the race to “throw” the election to a Clinton crony.

Flooded with emails attacking us, we on the Sarvis campaign couldn’t help but muse: what if Cuccinelli was the real “leftist plant,” “pushed” into the most-followed, post-2012 statewide election, to stain free markets with unsalable extreme social conservativism for a generation? Wouldn’t a committed lefty blogger salivate at that prospect?

Because many of those true believers are getting desperate. Here’s WaPo’s wizened socialist columnist Harold Meyerson excoriating voters who back Dems, but don’t bash markets. This sort of voter, he complains, “believes in such socially liberal causes as gay marriage but is skeptical of unions and appalled at economic populism.”

It’s a Libertarian like Robert Sarvis, crafting a message that reminds us we need to be “open-minded” if we want to be “open for business,” who can win those voters when the Democrats “Tea Party” themselves in primaries, letting inflexible teachers unions, professorial populists like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Occupier fellow travelers scare them off.

Free markets are too important for us to permit them to remain shackled to one “tribe” that refuses to jettison a retrograde and demographically losing social agenda. Markets are more important than the future of the Republican Party or the health of the conservative movement.  

If conservatives and Republicans truly care about free markets and limited government, they should give up their “tribal” habits and consider backing a forwarding-looking socially tolerant, market-oriented Libertarian (and libertarian) like Robert Sarvis instead.

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  • Aloysious||

    A vote for liberty is never a bad thing, even if it is futile.

  • KPres||

    I think a lot of libertarians could learn from Sarvis. As in, Libertarian is a category, not a degree. You don't always have to be a radical.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    I'm a radical for individual liberty. I'm not sure that makes me a libertarian, but Sarvis was by far the best candidate. I'm proud to have had the opportunity to cast a vote for him, even if all that vote did was to tell the DNC and the RNC I want better candidates. Without him, I would not have bothered to vote for anyone for governor.

  • David Wall||

    I respectfully disagree. To change the cultural death spiral we are in, we and eventually the candidates we support must be radicals for capitalism. It is a intellectual war.

    Not mentioned in this article is the intellectual education that can come out of a campaign, even a losing campaign like the one described in this article. But the ideas must not be cloaked behind some phone altruist veil. The moral argument for capitalism must be unveiled and proudly presented. It is the moral certainty in the voice and the message that draws voters, influences them, and challenges them to think about their basic premises. The candidates may lose for a while, but eventually the ideas will start to take hold because they are right, moral and life enhancing.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Despite being possibly the most strident and unregenerate social conservative on the GOP’s national stage, Ken Cuccinelli really, really was—way down deep—a small government, libertarian, free marketeer.

    Both can be true.

    So, with so much supposedly at stake, why did Sarvis run?

    Judging by his campaign ads, gay marriage mostly.

    Sarvis’ Libertarian vision of a Virginia that’s both “Open-minded and Open for Business,” is one shared by voters in the groups that are at once “purpling” the state and driving its economic growth.

    Are you fucking with us? The voters "purpling" Virginia are employees of DC who have as much to do with the free market and business as a USSR party apparatchik.

    Reagan Democrats—socially reactionary, economically populist—have died off, and they no longer dwarf their demographic inverse: libertarians are who socially tolerant and pro-market.

    Citation fucking needed.

    Get real, Reason. Vote for and support Sarvis if you think he's the best guy for the job, but there is nothing in here besides futile wish-casting.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Oh boo hoo the Team Red tears come early.

    Citation fucking needed.

    How about the observation that no one has whooed these people in decades? If you think they're around go find them.

    there is nothing in here besides futile wish-casting.

    Your party will knuckle under and learn to pander to us. No choice.

  • John||

    Sarvis didn't cost cuccinilli the election. Most of sarvis voters were wend lrotesting the fact that Mcaulliffe was a crook. If anythimg sarvis cost Mcauliffe a big victory.

    Sarvis voters were just big government loving dems who want to smoke dope. They are not voting repiblican any time soon. And chances are they will go back to voting dem when the dem candidate is less loathesome.

    The truth is it is the dems who should be going after libertarian votes. The democratic party is the natural home of a good number of libertarians especially in virginia.

  • Tonio||

    no one has whooed these people in decades

    Cyto, I don't understand what you mean by "whooed". Do a fellow commenter a favor and clarify.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    He clearly meant "woo," meaning to try to gain someone's love.
    "Language was invented for one reason, boys - to woo women - and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do." ― N.H. Kleinbaum, Dead Poets Society

  • Tonio||

    Thanks LFoD. I wasn't being snarky. I knew there was a word that was escaping me, I just couldn't call it forth.

  • Major Johnson||

    R's are nothing but D's with bibles. They're the same centralized, big government, big spending social/economic engineers the D's are.

  • DJF||

    So Republican should abandon the 45 percent who voted for them in order to capture the 6 percent who voted for Sarvis?

  • Cytotoxic||

    False choice.

  • John||

    No its not. Why should the 45% embrace what you like?

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Because they realize they were being retarded.

  • XM||

    How many vote did the libertarian candidate get in NJ? If all of them voted for the Democrat, Christie would have just escaped with the win?

    Sarvis outperformed all expectation, but let's get real. The libertarian vote MIGHT matter in a non presidential election in purplish state, but that's about it. Their vote comes from the same old group - probably mostly white, elderly, center right, RP college kids. That's not gonna be enough for the GOP, and Romney already lost despite winning the independents.

    Reason is making a lot of noise from the VA election while ignoring what happened in NJ. Christie is soft, but he won big among people who we need to support limited government. The real question isn't whether the GOP can capture libertarian votes, but whether minorities and women like limited government. IF they don't, then the nation won't be the same in 30 years.

  • AdamJ||

    Christie is not as socially conservative as Cucinelli, so it's not quite the same. He's probably not as fiscally conservative either. But the point is not that the GOP should have voted for Sarver but more that the GOP should be less socially conservative. Social conservatism
    is a losing bag going forward, except in TX and a few other places.

  • Michael Hihn||

    How many vote did the libertarian candidate get in NJ? If all of them voted for the Democrat, Christie would have just escaped with the win?

    False analogy, because Christie is more libertarian than either Paul.

  • TimMcD||

    Exactly right. If libertarians would rather have McAuliffe than Cuccinelli then I hope they are happy, because that is what they wound up with.

    When 90 percent of a coalition want one thing, and 10 percent want another, you ...... move 10 percent toward the minority. Libertarians consistently fail to get this. So they get Obama, and nationalization of health care. And Virginia gets state exchanges for it now, and I hope they are happy with them.

    Real smart there.

  • Cytotoxic||

    you ...... move 10 percent toward the minority

    Fuck off. We're not 'moving' for you. You lost? That's your fault and you're problem.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Some of these party hacks act like there's a difference between Team Red and Team Blue. Sorry, neither one is "my enemy's enemy", but both of them are my enemy.

  • Brett L||

    Good luck stealing those McAuliffe voters, then buddy.

  • JonJones||

    The biggest mystery to me regarding libertarians is how while they are usually excellent at seeing the unintended consequenes of well-intentioned actions (the drug war, the minimum wage, welfare), they don't seem to apply that same logic to their voting. Conservatives and libertarians are generally on the same side. We differ on a few issues, but those lesser differences are what the primaries are for. If a libertarian were to win the primary, I'd almost always vote for him or her over a Democrat. Why don't conservatives get that same solidarity from libertarians? I don't get it.

  • Brett L||

    You have this idea that we should vote for a guy who isn't even particularly good on government size or legal issues important to libertarians. Why would we possibly want to vote for a guy who only disagrees with 88% of our platform instead of 90%?

    Quit trying to convince us conservatives are our natural allies. They aren't. They want a bigger government and fuller prisons, too.

  • JonJones||

    I am a conservative, and I know that the US, a supposedly free country, incarcerates at a rate higher than any other country, much of which is unnecessarily because of drug laws. It took libertarians to educate me about these things. Also, it took libertarians to tell me about big government, which I now want less of. Therefore, I argue that instead of seeing conservatives as your opponents, see them as people who can learn from you (and maybe you from them). Just like drug addicts need education, not punishment, educate conservatives. Don't punish us (and yourselves and the country). See the unintended consequences of your well-intentioned actions.

  • OneOut||

    How can you claim to be a conservative but then needed education from Libertarians to know that big government is not good ?

    Are you saying that you were a big government conservative ? Isn't that a contradiction in terms ?

    Maybe you were just a Republican which is different than a conservative.

  • JonJones||

    Well, I thought I was for small government, but there were just so many levels of government intervention in our lives that I took for granted like all federal agencies with their superfluous regulations. I had never really thought much about them before until someone (namely John Stossel) pointed them out to me through his books and programs, and Stossel said that his thinking began to change when he started reading Reason Magazine, a publication I'd never heard of until I read about it from him.

  • LynchPin1477||

    JonJones, I'm curious why you call yourself a conservative when it sounds like you fall more or less in line with libertarians on the issues cited above. Are you conservative on social issues?

  • JonJones||

    Yes, I'm still conservative on abortion, immigration, the military, and same-sex marriage. However, since my eyes have been opened on some others things, I'm at least willing to consider the possibility that I could be wrong on these. In any case, I think a decent compromise concerning abortion, immigration, and same-sex marriage would be to simply let each state decide these issues for itself. However, our federal government doesn't fully allow that on abortion or immigration, and eventually may not on same-sex marriage. I'm not really sure what the libertarian view is on letting states decide for themselves on social issues. Maybe someone could educate me on that.

  • gaoxiaen||

    The "conservatives" are dying off fast. Where to turn, Team Red?

  • David Wall||

    Very insightful comment, Mr. Jones. I would only add that the right kind of Libertarian can educate--the one that understands the moral issues at stake. Basically honest people with mistaken premises exist in populations of both Conservatives and Liberals. These are the people who are in the market for better ideas. These are the people who Libertarian intellectuals should try to persuade--but persuade with well reasoned MORAL arguments. It is winning the moral war that will eventually win the political wars.

  • Brett L||

    Put another way, if you guys hate McAuliffe so much, why didn't all the Republicans hold your nose and vote for Sarvis?

  • AdamJ||

    Because the "intended" consequence is to use the minority power to move people like Cucinelli and the GOP more towards liberty. If we just buckled and voted with the GOP, there would be no possibility for change.

    And while I currently tend to agree more with conservatives, I'm sure that will quickly change when they get in power and start fucking everything up again.

  • JonJones||

    I'm sure that's true, but at what point does the unintended consequence, which is happening now, outweigh the intended consequence, which is a hypothetical? The war on drugs is supposed to stop drug use. That's the intended consequence. It doesn't work. Drug use remains constant, and crime increases because drugs are illegal. Libertarians recognize this problem.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    I'm glad things are getting more fucked up. If democracy is what people want, then democracy is what they will get.

  • Kyfho Myoba||

    "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." H. L. Mencken

  • Michael Hihn||

    When 90 percent of a coalition want one thing, and 10 percent want another ......

    It's not a coalition.

    Libertarians consistently fail to get this.

    I'll explain it for you.

    So they get Obama,

    No worse than the man he replaced.

    and nationalization of health care.

    On a purely fiscal basis, the GOP's Medicare Prescriptions were far worse. Medicare will take roughly 25% of the entire PERSONAL INCOME TAX this year, nearly a quarter-trillion dollars. In one year.

    In simple English, Medicare will run a quarter-trillion dollar deficit this year. You MAY believe that reduces the Medicare Trust Fund. Not since Bush. The Trust Fund remains almost entirely intact because they may now grab nearly half of all Medicare expenses (45%) from income taxes instead. The money must still be borrowed from the public, so the federal government net deficit remains the same, but the borrowing is NOT charged to the Trust Fund.

    That means the GOP conspired with Obama, to distort the value of the Trust Fund. Sweet.

    Bush + Obama = Hoover + FDR.

    Real smart there.

    Indeed. At least SOMETHING is intact, the unalienable rights of homosexuals and pregnant women remain intact.

  • Sam Grove||

    Depends on why they voted Republican. How many were voting against the Democrat?

  • cavalier973||

    Meh. Cuccinelli got more votes than Sarvis, so the former was clearly a better pick, if the goal was to elect someone "libertarian-ish."

    "Markets are more important than the future of the Republican Party or the health of the conservative movement."
    But they're not more important than "same-sex marriage".

  • Rasilio||

    "Meh. Cuccinelli got more votes than Sarvis, so the former was clearly a better pick, if the goal was to elect someone "libertarian-ish.""

    Um, that's not actually conclusive evidenvce.

    The only way to prove that would have been to run a race with ONLY Cuccinelli and Savaris in it.

    Tell me, how many McAuliffe voters would have voted Cuccinelli over Savaris, 2 - 3% That would still have made Savaris the govenor.

    Cuccinelli got more votes because he was the Republican candidate, not because he was the better candidate

  • XM||

    The GOP's election strategy would have changed if it was Sarvis vs. KC. Plus, the more socially conservative dem blacks or immigrants might have sit out the election, because they're not interested in choosing between two flavors of the "right wing".

    Sarvis would have gotten a lot more NEGATIVE attention if he was the de facto opponent of the Republican candidate. His stance on gun control, deregulation, opposition to single payer, legalizing prostitution, not forcing companies to pay for contraception, etc, would somewhat offset his other socially moderate position.

    Sarvis vs. KM is a win win for most Republicans, who wouldn't mind a libertarian governor. The left will treat Sarvis as another Republican, they typically don't make a meaningful distinction between libertarians and GOP. They didn't rescue RP during open primaries.

  • Michael Hihn||

    cavalier: "But they're not more important than "same-sex marriage".

    OMG! A real libertarian. :-)

  • radar||

    "the groups that are at once “purpling” the state and driving its economic growth."

    BWAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. The "purpling" of Virginia is almost entirely a function of the massive growth of Northern Virginia. Why is Northern Virginia exploding in population, hmmmmm? I'll give you two guesses.

    As a resident of suburban Henrico County, virtually all of the Sarvis voters I knew were disaffected lefties who just couldn't stomach voting for Terry McAuliffe. Since they figured McAuliffe was winning anyway, they thought an LP protest vote would be fun.

  • Chen Kuan Tai||

    And obviously vague anecdotes count as real evidence.

  • AdamJ||

    Better than whatever bullshit you have.

  • Michael Hihn||

    You don't understand libertarianism, or the left. Ron Paul's anti-war positions made him VERY popular on virtually every far-left web publication: Slate, Salon, HuffPost Daily Kos, etc.

    You may know that hardcore New Dealers on the left believe Obama's a sellout, not enough government.

    The left has equally passionate segments on civil liberties, individual liberty, etc. THOSE liberals are appalled by a President who claims the right to kill citizens without charges or a trial, pleads ignorant of NSA abuses and more.

    That's the same liberal quadrant which has moved to the left-libertarian movement for a half-century now. Yes, there is a left-libertarian movement. Their passion is social issues, but they support economic issues intellectually. And they come in from the left.

    Likewise right-libertarians are passionate on economic issues only, while supporting social issues, entirely but not their passion.

    Very few libertarians are passionately engaged in both economic issues, on passion the same as everyone else on the planet.

  • creech||

    But should the GOP decide to kill the Libertarian Party through unobtainable ballot access rules, then be prepared to welcome libertarians into your primary process - colorful folks such as
    Starchild, Blue Silver man and others.

  • Faceless Commenter||

    FAR worse than Starchild and Blue Silver man are the like of Carl DeMaio. Just snagged the GOP endorsement for CA-52.

  • sickofgovwaste||

    My research indicates that Robert Sarvis has much history and holds many views that are NOT Libertarian. If he were a true Libertarian, I would support your article without reservation. However...

    Please explain all of the following, which totally undermine your thesis:
    *Ron Paul called Sarvis voters "insane" (that was a huge red flag as to Sarvis being a faux Libertarian)
    *Sarvis had no plan or even clear idea of how he would reduce taxes and spending
    *Sarvis indicated that he was willing to expand Virginia Medicare under Obamacare

    I LOVE Reason and have unwavering Libertarian underpinnings, so your writing confuses me. It's as though you didn't vet Mr. Sarvis at all.

  • RobSmalls||

    Your research on Sarvis seems to run as thin as your professed love for Reason, given that Reason ran an article last week deconstructing your points against Sarvis' libertarian bonafides:

    http://reason.com/archives/201.....n-politics

  • sickofgovwaste||

    Quite frankly, there is a plethora of competing information regarding Robert Sarvis.

    My point was this: if Robert Sarvis was indeed a worthy, vetted Libertarian candidate, then Conservatives may have a lesson from which to learn.

    There are so many revelations about sleazy government (jury rigging the unemployment numbers, IRS corruption, and so forth), that I no longer dismiss "kooky" theories out of hand when it comes to political power at stake.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Your research on Sarvis seems to run as thin as your professed love for Reason, given that Reason ran an article last week deconstructing your points against Sarvis' libertarian bonafides:

    That's by Brian Doherty, a stalking horse for Santorum and Bachman, as an apologist for Ron and Rand Paul. Doherty reported immense friction between the liberty movement and Sarvis, but the liberty movement is hardly libertarian.

    Doherty notes that both Pauls endorsed the extreme social conservative, Cuccinelli. (HELLO?)

    Sarvis is publicly pro-life, but does not want government imposing that by force.

    So your comment says more about your own libertarian bona fides than about Sarvis.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Not having a plan is not the same thing as not being libertarian. I don't care how taxes and spending should be reduced, just fucking do it.

    Expanding medicare is not libertarian, but at least it is a challenge to Obamacare.

  • LynchPin1477||

    I think Ron Paul is insane on a certain issues. Ron Paul has done great things for liberty, but libertarianism does not begin and end with him.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Look at his social issues and he's not close to being a libertarian.

    And his wacky gold standard was demolished in a single sentence by Milton Friedman. "Do we seek a stable money supply or stable prices?" Duh

  • Libertarius||

    You are an economic ignoramus, duh.

  • Michael Hihn||

    (lol)

    1) You deny that stable prices is the goal? REALLY?
    2) You deny that the gold standard FAILED to maintain price stability, leading instead to constant deflation.
    3) You don't know why Friedman won his Nobel?
    4) You don't know that Friedman proved that the Law of Supply and Demand applies to money. duh

    Thus, you cannot grasp that the supply of gold could not keep up with the demand for gold, once we got into ... ever hear of the Industrial Revolution? Even when silver was added!

    Thus also ignorant of what happens when the supply of money cannot meet the demand for money ... ummm, deflation .. for the entire 19th century except for the two wars.

    So you don't know that worker wages were being constantly cut -- which Marx used to sell his notion of worker exploitation .

    Your WAY out of your league here.

    Hugs and all appropriate behavior,
    -Ignoramus (snicker)

  • Michael Hihn||

    Please explain all of the following, which totally undermine your thesis:
    *Ron Paul called Sarvis voters "insane" (that was a huge red flag as to Sarvis being a faux Libertarian)

    (lol) Only to those who are wacky enough to believe Ron Paul is libertarian ... when he stands with Rick Santorum on social issues.

    REAL libertarians, seeing disagreement on Sarvis' positions would, umm, visit his campaign website and think for themselves.

    http://www.robertsarvis.com/issues/

    Then visit Rand Paul's web page on social issues and be prepared to puke,

    http://www.paul.senate.gov/?p=issues

    His dad's even worse.

  • Chen Kuan Tai||

    Republicans could learn an awful lot about libertarians if Robert Sarvis actually was one.

  • Logical 1||

    "Those cues were taken from the conservative movement activists who continue to insist that it’s still “morning again, in America.”"

    Oh good, it's not too late to take a Plan B pill :)

  • Winston||

    Those cues were taken from the conservative movement activists who continue to insist that it’s still “morning again, in America.

    A bit rich considering those movementarians claiming that this is the Libertarian Moment and in fact the Libertarian Era!

    socially tolerant

    Does this buzzword have any meaning beyond abortion and gay marriage?

    And it's cute when libertarians are desperate to not be seen as "reactionary" when they advocate repealing about 150 years of government programs!

  • Libertarius||

    Back here on earth, it's pathetic to watch leftoids pose as the idols of progress while frantically fighting to defend a stale, corrupt giant government that is bankrupted by 100 years of profligate statism.

    And it's even funnier to watch these so-called "progressives" froth at the mouth in response to any suggestion that this giant government should be cut down to size.

    Don't you see who the new reactionaries are? It's the left!

  • gaoxiaen||

    It's not fun, but is pathetic, to watch both both Republicans and Democrats spend future generations into debt slavery and establish a police state.

  • sickofgovwaste||

    Libertarius -
    Best comment I've seen in a long time. Eloquent and rapier sharp!

  • Winston||

    Don't you see who the new reactionaries are? It's the left!

    Yeah I know. Desire for some pre-industrial pastoral existence. A desire for some feudal past except with credentialed experts running things. Appeal to some mythical nonexistent 1933-1981 period where there was consensus and government and society were perfect that is until Reagan and now the Tea Party came along.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Winston:

    Those cues were taken from the conservative movement activists who continue to insist that it’s still “morning again, in America.

    A bit rich considering those movementarians claiming that this is the Libertarian Moment and in fact the Libertarian Era!

    Umm, they're exact opposites. The "morning in America" leader was socially liberal way back in the 70s, even defending gays two decades before Clinton signed both DOMA and DADT. The "libertarian moment" leaders stand with Santorum and Bachman on social issues.

    socially tolerant

    Does this buzzword have any meaning beyond abortion and gay marriage?

    Is that your lame excuse for Ron and Rand Paul defending state power to impose their views on abortion and gay marriage?

    And it's cute when libertarians are desperate to not be seen as "reactionary" when they advocate repealing about 150 years of government programs!

    They ain't libertarians in they also defend government social fascism -- which requires neither spending nor programs, merely an iron fist. The New Inquisitors.

  • Winston||

    retrograde and demographically losing social agenda

    A bit rich since the progs say this about libertarians all the time!

  • JonJones||

    Does anybody notice how Sarvis looks like Merlin from the BBC show?

  • gaoxiaen||

    Does anyone notice how you look like a backwards-walking dog with a shaved ass?

  • JonJones||

    I didn't say it was a bad thing.

  • JeremyR||

    They should figure out how to get Democratic donors to pay for their campaign?

  • Michael Hihn||

    Who explains Robert Sarvis to the libertarian establishment? Sarvis is pro-life, but believes it should not be imposed by law. Same position as Ronald Reagan (who also defended gays in the 1970s and brought down the nationwide anti-gay Anita Bryant Campaign)

    Now compare

    If Rick Santorum proposed a plan to cut spending and balance the federal budget in 10 years, would we point to him as more proof of a "libertarian moment?" Or would we reject him for his extreme social conservatism?

    So why do we reject Santorum (I hope) but revere Ron and Rand Paul, both of whom are Rick Santorum with spending cuts? And anti-gay marriage.

    Has the libertarian establishment forgotten the very definition of libertarian for over four decades: fiscally conservative AND socially liberal? Have they forgotten that "limited government" means the size AND POWER of government? Or are they sucking up to the Tea Party, which so desperately NEEDS libertarian leadership?

    Has the movement gone off the rails?

  • JoeS54||

    See my post below. Support for government-run same sex marriage is not a principled libertarian position. Period. It is a radical egalitarian, left wing position.

  • Michael Hihn||

    (laughing) We like to call it Equal Rights.

    As long as government-run hetero marriage is the norm, the equality demands ... ummm ...equality.

    On what authority do you deny equal and unalienable rights to such things as inheritance, property ownership, taxation, inheritance taxation and lesser legal rights and obligations?

    See my post below.

    Yeah?

    1) You totally ignores the concept of equal and unalienable rights.

    2) You argue instead that libertarianism is somehow compatible with the social agenda of Rick Santorum - understandable when so many people falsely believe that Ron Paul is libertarian.

    Here's what a principled libertarian MIGHT conclude.

    Government should not be involved in marriage, except to perhaps record ownership issues required for inheritance. But as in all other issues, we must and will defend Equal, Unalienable and God-Given Rights.

    We would never deny the Will of God ... in the name of God.

  • Acosmist||

    Yeah I think perhaps it should be illegal to kill babies. Weird that it's a feature to you, not a bug, that "it should not be imposed by law." Holy shit.

  • Michael Hihn||

    It IS illegal to kill babies, so cut the crapola.

    Non-viable abortion can only be murder if one denies the woman's equal, unalienable and God-Given Right to Liberty. On what authority do you claim such a thing?

    And these:

    1) You never read the Declaration of Independence.

    2) You have no idea what "unalienable" means.

    3) You believe God-Given Rights magically vaporize when the woman is pregnant, but then magically reappear after she gives birth.

    4) You reject the moral foundation of this nation -- equal, unalienable and/or God-Given Rights.

    Yes, you have no right -- none at all -- to impose any other views by force of law. I cite our founding principles. What have you got?

    Still your choice. You can swear and shout denial .. or you can tell us where you claim the authority to violate ANYONE's unalienable Right to Liberty.

    Your moral premise is that government may freely violate my liberty to save the life of another human being, which strikes me as a moral atrocity.

  • David Wall||

    Mr. Hihn--

    I probably should resist, but it is so odd to agree with an argument in the concrete, but disagree in theoretical, moral premise offered, that I must ask you a question. Do you think your moral premise for freedom is any better than Acosmist's supposed moral premise of abortion? Human freedom is not based upon some mystic God given inalienable rights. You undercut your argument by offering it to someone who you supposedly is also offering a religious justification for their argument as well. Freedom's moral premises are based upon reality, logic and objective fact. You and Acosmist are like two guys from apposing Mennonite sects arguing the exact year of modernity to which God offers sanction.

    Both arguments presented are anti-reason, unfounded, and well, goofy.

  • Michael Hihn||

    You're pretty dumb!

    1) I'm an atheist, so you made a double fool of yourself. You saw the word God, turned off your brain and threw a hissy fit.
    2) The unalienable rights (laughing) are are in our founding documents. Protecting those rights is the only purpose for government.

    Your obvious religious bigotry has clouded your mind, if you have one. Yes, we do call it bigotry. Negative stereotyping.

    One more time for the thinking impaired. Here's what I said

    1) You never read the Declaration of Independence.

    2) You have no idea what "unalienable" means.

    Sorry, I can't stop laughing.

    I mentioned God-Given rights, which is also in the Declaration, solely because HE had used a religious argument -- which shows us all how incapable you are of ... reason. OMG

    If you're STILL confused (sigh) unalienable rights are the moral foundation of our GOVERNMENT. A "Creator" does not create governments. People do! So it is those people who define the acceptable moral standards for government.

    walks away laughing

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Sorry, but this argument seems to draw too strict a distinction between libertarianism and social conservatism. Yes, I know the two groups just love going at each others' throats, but the two ideologies' inherent enmity is vastly overstated. By any rational assessment of the term, Ron Paul would be designated a social conservative. So, not incidentally, would Rothbard. In fact, the success Reagan enjoyed in 1980 that movement conservatives keep trying to relive, was rooted in fusionism.

    So, where did things go wrong? Well, that fusionism was rooted in a recognition on both sides that a libertarian society would almost inevitably wind up pretty socially conservative in practice. Without the efforts of the state to protect bad choices, many of the behaviors social conservatives denote as deviant would be significantly curtailed. In some cases, people would learn from the mistakes of others. In others, the dramatic resurgence of civil society that a libertarian society would wind up generating would reintroduce social pressures to avoid bad behavior.

  • Michael Hihn||

    By any rational assessment of the term, Ron Paul would be designated a social conservative

    By any rational assessment of the term, Ron Paul is not libertarian. Two arguments refute you totally.

    1) If Rick Santorum proposed a plan to balance the federal budget, would we proclaim him to be libertarian? If you say "yes" then you have refuted your own argument.

    2) On gay marriage, Ron Paul says "leave it to the states" ... UNLESS a state chooses to legalize gay marriage ... then he voted for and defends DOMA.

    Can we say "abject moral hypocrisy?"

    The dramatic resurgence of civil society that a libertarian society would wind up generating would reintroduce social pressures to avoid bad behavior.

    That's true today. SOCIAL pressures, not the iron fist of government, because not everyone agrees with your definition of "bad" behavior ... nor do they have any moral or constitutional reason to do so.

    You fail to draw a line between a minority of social conservatives who are the American Taliban ... and the large majority of social conservatives who have no wish to impose their views on anyone by law.

    Any questions?

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Any questions?

    Yeah. A couple actually.

    You suggest that Ron Paul isn't a libertarian. Then, who is? In terms of announced principles, Paul has probably come closer to matching libertarian principles than any major politician out there. He hardly fits "Rick Santorum + balanced budget plan", where the politician in question otherwise advocates every expansion of government power and authority that comes down the pike. Is he capable of abject moral hypocrisy? Well, he's a politician. Doesn't that say enough?
    Secondly, are you suggesting that the social landscape isn't affected by government policy? I disagree. I'd suggest that the massive expansion of government we saw in the 20th century squeezed out or co-opted many of the institutions of civil society we saw previously. The "bowling alone" pheonomenon since the end of WWII is well documented. But, these institutions had previously created social pressures that encouraged their participants to good (or at least productive and self-sustaining) behavior. Take them out of the equation and counterveiling pressures to seek immediate gratification have nothing offsetting them.
    Finally, what in my commentary suggests I view social conservatives as uniformly social statists? My entire premise is rested on the notion that there's nothing inherent in social conservatism that demands statism. If that were the case, the earlier fusionism wouldn't have ever worked.

  • Michael Hihn||

    You suggest that Ron Paul isn't a libertarian. Then, who is?

    It has meant fiscally conservative and socially liberal for only 40 years

    Then, who is? In terms of announced principles, Paul has probably come closer to matching libertarian principles than any major politician out there.

    Reagan, Goldwater, Friedman, Kemp. Even Christie is more libertarian.

    Rejecting social liberalism, means failing as a libertarian. For 40 years

    He hardly fits "Rick Santorum + balanced budget plan",...

    Sailed right over your head. IF Rick Santorum proposed a balanced budget plan, then he'd be precisely where Ron and Rand Paul are.

    You fail to see the abject moral hypocrisy which says leave gay marriage to the states ... umm ... but if the states legalize it then it's federal. Are you serious?

    My entire premise is rested on the notion that there's nothing inherent in social conservatism that demands statism.

    Which part of this confused you? "You fail to draw a line between a minority of social conservatives who are the American Taliban ... and the large majority of social conservatives who have no wish to impose their views on anyone by law."

    Ron Paul is a statist. Period.

  • Imissbuckley||

    "By any rational assessment of the term, Ron Paul is not libertarian. Two arguments refute you totally."

    Um, the only way you could possibly get to Rick Santorum + Balanced Budget = Ron Paul, is if you discounted every single other issue important to libertarians other than Abortion and Gay Rights. Or you believe that Rick Santorum opposes the Drug War, a hyper-interventionist foreign policy, the surveillance state (PATRIOT Act, NDAA), the death penalty, etc., etc. all of whom Ron Paul has opposed, spoken, passionately about and as you yourself noted in an earlier post got him a lot fans among civil libertarians on the left.

    Also saying Chris Christie is more libertarian than the Pauls, when he himself is also a social conservative who opposes gay marriage , abortion, and had to be dragged/embarrassed into supporting medical pot in his state: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....4492.html, is kinda well not true, and doesn't pass your own test for libertarians.

    Add his attacks on libertarians for trying to reign in the NSA, I'm not sure how you got to the position of Chris Christie is more libertarian than the Pauls: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/.....rians.html

  • Michael Hihn||

    Imissbuckley,


    Um, the only way you could possibly get to Rick Santorum + Balanced Budget = Ron Paul, is if you discounted every single other issue important to libertarians other than Abortion and Gay Right

    Umm, you really have no clue what socially liberal means? Very convenient to your love of a controlling government.

    You're also manipulated on Christie. When he vetoed the same-sex marriage bill, he immediately said there should be a referendum. Said the issue was too important to leave to judges and legislators. (gasp)

    He's not a total like Ron Paul, who says it should be a state issue (for the retards who don't know the Constitution), UNLESS the state legalizes gay marriage which makes it a federal issue ... per Ron Paul. Good grief.

    Add his attacks on libertarians for trying to reign in the NSA, I'm not sure how you got to the position of Chris Christie is more libertarian than the Pauls:

    Ummmmm, read your own words. I didn't say he was perfect, just more libertarian. And I scored the entire range of social tolerance where Ron Paul is a fascist.

    Paul would ban abortion at conception, a unconstitutional violation of a woman's unalienable right to Liberty.

    On the issues YOU raised, Christie is more libertarian than Paul. Paul stands solidly in the Santorum camp, and ALSO focuses on abortion and gay rights.

    Read your constitution. 9th Amendment which Ron Paul and the Taliban deny.

  • Imissbuckley||

    "Umm, you really have no clue what socially liberal means? Very convenient to your love of a controlling government."

    Well, apparently you don't if you're describing 59% of Americans as socially liberal, and saying that makes them "libertarian." Being social liberal in the American lexicon has come to mean everything from being pro-choice and pro-gay rights, to pro-Affirmative Action, pro-gun control, pro-public funding for planned parenthood, contraception. The argument that simply being socially liberal makes one "libertarian" or "libertarian-leaning" is idiotic.

    "Ummmmm, read your own words. I didn't say he was perfect, just more libertarian. And I scored the entire range of social tolerance where Ron Paul is a fascist."

    Well he's pro-life, and as for putting gay rights up to a referendum. Doesn't sound very libertarian. As Gary Johnson himself said rights should not be up for a vote. The passions of majority should not sway the rights of the minority.

    "Said the issue was too important to leave to judges and legislators."

    Tell that to the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. Not to mention the Just recent legalization of Sam Sex Marriage in Illinois by a legislature.....SHOCKING!!!! And considering that it was the courts that saved gay marriage out in California from the voters, and the Supreme Court that struck down DOMA. While voters have tended to pass bans on same sex marriage. I think I'm comfortable with the courts.

  • Imissbuckley||

    He supports NSA spying, had to be dragged into supporting Medical Pot in his state where a majority supports it. He doesn't even pass your own test of being an imperfect libertarian. Toss on his embrace of Medicaid expansion in his state, I say that makes him a Moderate Republican, which there is nothing wrong with, but he's not a libertarian. He himself would say he's not a libertarian.

    "Paul would ban abortion at conception, a unconstitutional violation of a woman's unalienable right to Liberty."

    He's not a libertarian on abortion and Gay Marriage. But opposing the Drug War, the War on Terror, the massive surveillance state, the massive regulatory state, the death penalty, regulation of the internet, the Affordable Healthcare Act, makes him far more libertarian than Christie. And if that is your definition of a fascist then I hate to see your definition of freedom.

    And Chris Christie is conservative in a blue state which means like Giuliani he knows what he needs to do survive politically. Which is good for him, but being a good politician doesn't automatically make one a libertarian.

  • Imissbuckley||

    "By any rational assessment of the term, Ron Paul is not libertarian. Two arguments refute you totally."

    Um, the only way you could possibly get to Rick Santorum + Balanced Budget = Ron Paul, is if you discounted every single other issue important to libertarians other than Abortion and Gay Rights. Or you believe that Rick Santorum opposes the Drug War, a hyper-interventionist foreign policy, the surveillance state (PATRIOT Act, NDAA), the death penalty, etc., etc. all of whom Ron Paul has opposed, spoken, passionately about and as you yourself noted in an earlier post got him a lot fans among civil libertarians on the left.

    Also saying Chris Christie is more libertarian than the Pauls, when he himself is also a social conservative who opposes gay marriage , abortion, and had to be dragged/embarrassed into supporting medical pot in his state: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....4492.html, is kinda well not true, and doesn't pass your own test for libertarians.

    Add his attacks on libertarians for trying to reign in the NSA, I'm not sure how you got to the position of Chris Christie is more libertarian than the Pauls: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/.....rians.html

  • Imissbuckley||

    Now it is certainly possible for a person to be a libertarian on an issue while be a liberal on another. I can accept the argument that the Pauls are not libertarians on issues such as abortion and Gay Marriage or that their not "Pure Libertarians". But saying they're not libertarians at all? That's just stupid. Especially, if you count the Drug War.

    Your definition of "libertarianism" might be different from my own, but for me in order to be a libertarian you have to be both a civil libertarian, and a fiscal conservative.

    Which is why among most libertarians guys like Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani, and Rick Santorum don't make it into that category.

    It's why the Pauls despite their opposition to Gay Marriage and Abortion do. libertarian-leaning conservatives should be welcome in our movement, we deny them a seat at our table at our own peril.

  • Anonymousnonpurist||

    I think the two are toxic and should be avoided at all cost. Ron had a racist newsletter that doesn't really jive with most people post-1960s. Rand is a plagiarist who also strays on the immigration issue which some might perceive as racist. They will take down the Libertarian party with their racism and toxic PR. It's one thing to not be a 100% purist, it's another thing to be totally toxic.

  • Imissbuckley||

    The News letters were no doubt racist, and his excuses for it showed a level of incompetence unbecoming of a leader.

    "Rand is a plagiarist"

    Yeah, him and Joe Biden
    So maybe Rand Paul will get to be Vice President someday ;)

    With the exception of the 1988 Pres. election, neither Paul is a member of the LP. So I'm not sure how they'd destroy it.

    Dislike the Pauls all you want but if it weren't for them then I doubt the debates that have been going on in in the GOP over civil liberties, and Foreign Policy would be happening. Their involvement had led to the development of groups like Campaign for liberty, SFL, and the elections of guys like Amash and Massie.

    And trust me I'd love it if the more socially liberal libertarians took charge in our movement.

    As an example:
    There was an open senate seat in New Mexico last year that Johnson could've run for on the Republican side. If he ran and won (very possible, he's still well liked out there), we be talking about Sen. Gary Johnson. But instead he ran a third party campaign for Pres. that he himself half the time didn't want to be involved with. If social libs want to lead they have to….lead.

  • Michael Hihn||

    neither Paul is a member of the LP. So I'm not sure how they'd destroy it.

    Ron Paul is one major factor why the LP brand is nearly worthless. That, and the wacky candidates they run.

    It was Goldwater who said the Moral Majority would destroy the GOP. When he wasn't urging Christians to kick Jerry Falwell in the a$$

    If the GOP has not yet been destroyed by the American Taliban, then running Rand Paul at the top will be the last nail in the coffin ... and because Paul is falsely described as libertarian, THAT is why the LP will be damaged even more.

  • Imissbuckley||

    "If the GOP has not yet been destroyed by the American Taliban, then running Rand Paul at the top will be the last nail in the coffin ... and because Paul is falsely described as libertarian, THAT is why the LP will be damaged even more."

    Not if they're running their own candidate. I even heard Johnson is considering running again.

    "Ron Paul is one major factor why the LP brand is nearly worthless."

    Um, well in 1984 the LP candidate David Bergland from California won 228,111 0.25% of the vote.

    Ron Paul won 0.47 % in 88

    Marrou got 0.28% in 1992 against three major candidates

    Browne got 0.50% going against Clinton, Dole, Perot, and Nader. So I'm not entirely sure how you can blame for anything Ron Paul, particularly since the candidates before him did worse. And the candidates after him only declined due to a famous billionaire jumping in and sucking up quite bit of third party support in 92 and 96. Lack of funding and a apathetic American Public has hurt the LP and third parties not in general not "evil Ron Paul!"

    http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/index.html

    "Very convenient to your love of a controlling government."

    Yes, I voted for Johnson in 12, Barr 08, and Kerry in 04. Your right I really do want to control government. And make it less focused on intervening in places abroad, in the bedroom at home, in my wallet, and stop (or slow down) this point-less war on drugs. My vote for Kerry is my only regret, I should've voted LP then too.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Your definition of "libertarianism" might be different from my own,

    Many follow it more consistently than you.

    but for me in order to be a libertarian you have to be both a civil libertarian, and a fiscal conservative

    Just apply it more knowledgeably. 59% of Americans describe themselves as fiscally conservative and socially liberal.

    It's why the Pauls despite their opposition to Gay Marriage and Abortion do. libertarian-leaning conservatives should be welcome in our movement, we deny them a seat at our table at our own peril.

    59% of Americans describe themselves as fiscally conservative and socially liberal. only 13% self-describe as socially conservative.

    The GOP has crashed and burned since the libertarian wing abandoned the party. The libertarian wing is 3X larger than the American Taliban.

    If you think Pat Robertson has a larger following than Ronald Reagan ......

    Barry Goldwater said the Moral Majority would destroy the GOP. If not already, then soon.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    (continued)
    When social conservatives forgot this, they wound up flocking to guys like Cuccinelli, who were eager to use the power of the government to enforce morality. In doing so, they set themselves up to play the role of the creepy hypocrites who want to run your life. Guess what? It's not just libertarians who demur on that one. Meanwhile, when libertarians forgot this, they detatched themselves from the electoral process. Consequently they wind up attacking potentially receptive audiences and cozying up to the very progressives most hostile to the libertarian perspective.

    There is a lesson in the Sarvis candidacy. Just not the one the author implies. There's nothing wrong with people wanting to embrace traditional values. Most people, absent intervention, would inevitably wind up doing just that. They've become traditional values becuase, generally, they work pretty damned well. And libertarianism would do well to consider that the progressives hostile to those values understand full well that their own hostility to those values is part and parcel of their attempts to impose their will on society. But the conservative movement needs to relearn that enforcing those values by government diktat is not a winning strategy, either for those values or for electoral success.

  • JoeS54||

    Very well stated. However, the real split between libertarians and the Republican Party happened because of Bush's "compassionate conservatism". He very consciously rejected libertarianism on economic and fiscal issues. Expanded Medicare, expanded the federal role in education, etc. That was the real deal-breaker.

  • Michael Hihn||

    the real split between libertarians and the Republican Party happened because of Bush's "compassionate conservatism

    The GOP's libertarian wing -- signified by Buckley, Goldwater, Friedman, Kemp, Reagan et al -- left the party long ago, for the very reason Goldwater predicted.

    Barry Goldwater -- when not defending gays in the military or saying that Christians should give Jerry Falwell a kick in the a$$ -- warned that the Moral Majority would destroy the GOP. If not already, then soon.

    As we see now, the GOP cannot fly without its libertarian wing -- which is three times larger than the extreme American Taliban.

    I mean, Paul Ryan as a free-market guru? That's like saying Karl Marx was trained by Ayn Rand.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    That's true. But, I'd suggest that the problem goes back farther. That is, if the rift between libertarians and social conservatives hadn't emerged far earlier, "compassionate conservatism" would have been relegated to Karl Rove's fevered dreams of a "permanent electoral majority".

  • Michael Hihn||

    There's nothing wrong with people wanting to embrace traditional values

    Yes! Even libertarians! Like me. I have the very traditional values of most folks raised in the 50s. But I was also with Ayn Rand in the 50s, passed through the Goldwater movement to become an original libertarian. You get the picture.

    I learned an immense lesson in the late 80s, when I started a successful local tax revolt (schools). My biggest supporters, by far, were Christian conservatives, both time and money. They knew I was an atheist -- they always ask! -- and they didn't give a hoot. They didn't want to control anything, they just wanted an equal voice in decision-making. They actually laughed when I suggested they stop talking about Jesus Christ, incessantly, in the public square.

    When I was elected to the school board, I got them represented on all the major citizen committees, as individuals not as Christian surrogates.

    This atheist has been defending Christian conservatives ever since, the tolerant majority of them.

    When we attack "Bible thumpers" generically, we drive them toward the Rick Santorums, the only ones defending their core values.. Any oppressed group is drawn closer together.

  • JoeS54||

    There are two massive flaws with this article:

    1. Overwhelmingly, most voters do not decide who to vote for based on social issues. We're talking a tiny fraction of the electorate. The question is among those who do, which group is larger - those on the right or on the left? The answer is those on the right. The vocal supporters of social liberalism are big money donors, not voters.

    2. Support for government sanctioned, subsidized and regulated same sex marriage is not - not even slightly, not remotely, not in any way, shape or form - a principled libertarian position. It is a radical egalitarian position championed by the far left, and has absolutely nothing to do with individual liberty. ZERO. Be a left-winger on that issue if you want. But DO NOT call it libertarianism.

    As for abortion, it depends entirely upon whether or not an unborn child is a human being with rights. If it is, the libertarian position is to be pro life. As for marijuana, go out and show us how many people are going to peel themselves off the couch, wash the Cheeto dust off their hands and vote for you based on that issue. The answer is: less than the number who vote based on other social issues.

  • Michael Hihn||

    As for abortion, it depends entirely upon whether or not an unborn child is a human being with rights

    Total nonsense.

    Of course the fetal child has an unalienable right to Life. And the pregnant woman has an unalienable right to Liberty.

    Deal with it.

    No .... the right to Life does not trump the right to Liberty ... a morally barbaric claim.

    Can government deny my right to Liberty, if it would save the Life of another person?

    When rights are defined as unalienable -- check a dictionary -- that means they are precisely equal in that they can never be abridged, suspended or denied ... not ever ... by anyone.

    Does a woman have a God-Given Right to Liberty? On what authority do you deny her God-Given Rights? Are there any other God-Given Rights which are only temporary or conditional?

    No rights are absolute. When rights are in conflict, our Supreme Court has been empowered to define the boundaries, to draw the lines which resolve these conflicts.

    And under our Constitution, they are required to give equal weight to each conflicting right.

    In simple English, "Your right to swing your fist ends at the tip of my nose."

    It is at THIS level that Life and Liberty are equal to each other .. unless you assert that Thomas Jefferson and the Continental Congress were too stupid to know the meaning of unalienable rights endowed by a Creator.

    Were they?

  • David Wall||

    Mr. Hiln--

    Standing behind the authority Jefferson's (or John Locke, for that matter) "inalienable rights" doesn't cut it anymore. You are still pleading to authority, just a different authority than the religionists. Jefferson is not a god and "inalienable rights" justifies nothing just because you say so. May I kindly suggest a little more intellectual education on your part. Learn the fuller, powerful arguments for freedom rather than offering up someone's authority just because you think others will bow down and kiss the ring. Humanity has had of enough of that.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Standing behind the authority Jefferson's (or John Locke, for that matter) "inalienable rights" doesn't cut it anymore.

    DARN. We formed a new government.

    You are still pleading to authority, just a different authority than the religionists.

    You are REALLY confused

    Jefferson is not a god and "inalienable rights" justifies nothing just because you say so.

    It's because the founding documents say so!

    JEFFERSON IS NOT THE AUTHORITY ... THE FOUNDING DOCUMENTS ARE!!!

    Come back when you graduate high school. Or a G.E.D.

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  • Acosmist||

    Conservatives should indeed learn what not to do from this loser candidate who got beat by two others.

    Heckuva job!

  • Mickey Rat||

    Gillespie and other Reason writers have consistently written that Sarvis voters were not naturally GOP supporters. Sarvis' supporters are not nearly large enough to gain a plurality much less a majority, and not ideologically coherent enough that a small tweak to the GOP platform is going to move a significant number of them into the GOP column (or the Democrat column, for that matter). The Sarvis vote is interesting factoid but irrelevant to the election's outcome.

    How is the Libertarian Party going to adjust its message to attract enough of the 94% of the electorate that did not vote for Sarvis to make 50% plus one?

  • Anonymousnonpurist||

    In a 3 candidate race, why would you need 50+ percent of the electorate's support?

  • Mickey Rat||

    "Social libertarianism is ascendant."

    Only when it allies itself with social liberalism, which supports expanding the notion of "protected classes" making thought criminals of those who will not accommodate them. Social libertarians are outliers in the debates on social issues, not the driving force.

  • HenryC||

    I learned that people voting for Sarvis gets you a governor that is worse for liberty than Cuccinelli was. Pro entitlement, pro planned economy, pro government health care. Personal liberty is far more effected by these things that the Cucinelli issues that would have never passed the legislature anyway. The only way libertarians will have a chance to effect things is to take over the Republican Party. It can be done. Efforts like Sarvis detract, they do not add.

  • Reggie1971||

    So far as I can tell, the lesson here is that 45% of voters should have given the 5% who were rolling around on the floor holding their breath exactly what they want.

  • Yerkov Markakis||

    Conservatives...

    We need to leave libertarians behind. They are every bit as priggish as they accuse us of being. None need apply if they don't bow to their gay- pot- abortion-centric ideology. Social issues hold more sway than small government ones.

    We need to win and reshape the Republican party by making it truly conservative. Libertarians need to feel relevant for the first time in their history and that means tearing us conservatives down at any cost.

    Let them go. We can win without them.

  • Anonymousnonpurist||

    I think it's a great strategy to pick the most unpopular sides of issues according to polls and run on it because people just need the message delivered more elegantly.

  • Michael Hihn||

    It's not about winning, it's about freedom, where Republicans suck without the libertarian wing, typically Goldwater, Buckley, Friedman, Kemp, Reagan, etc.

    God help us if we ever get another Dubya and THOSE Republicans, the ones who setup Medicare to take a quarter-trillion dollar annual subsidy from income taxes. For this we need Republicans???

    Republicans cannot fly without their libertarian wing, and they ain't coming back until the American Taliban is muted.

    That's the dilemma. Libertarian Republicans are 3X larger than Santorum and his ilk, but Santorum will keep them away unless they see social tolerance has more influence.

    It would also help to have a credible alternative to Obamacare, and ANYTHING AT ALL on jobs and the economy.

  • Mark22||

    I won't vote for a social conservative, no matter what. Social conservatism leads to the worst kind of nanny state, even worse than all costly and ineffective regulations progressives try to impose.

    If Republicans want to come back to power, they need to become consistently small government, on both fiscal and social issues.

  • Anonymousnonpurist||

    +1

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