Who Should Libertarian Democrats Vote For?

"Libertarian Democrat," Joe Biden-basher, and reason contributor Terry Michael lays into the GOP ticket as the second coming of...Teddy Roosevelt-style Progressives:

Career Military Heroes and Unborn Life Lovers were certainly pumped for John McCain and his Brangelina bride, Cindy—who apparently wants to adopt the world. Witnessing her ethereal glow while cradling the Palin baby, those of us not awaiting the Rapture could only wonder, "Which of the 12 steps was that?" Indeed, VFW hats and evangelical bonnets bobbed in delight at the war-and-life-at-any-cost blather from speakers dwarfed before the JumboTronic-by-Sony American flag waving in the pixelated breeze.

But the third wing on the elephant, Goldwater libertarians, have got to be scared outa' their friggin' minds. They were pushed aside by the self-indulgent, authoritarian, Greater Purpose Than Thou Senator John Sidney McCain and his band of prime-enablers: the "compassionate conservatives," who comprise the fourth twig of the Republican Party. These Neo-Cons are the 21st Century version of the 19th Century "we'll run your life for you" Progressives, who came out of the Republican Party and later joined the Democrats—clueless that party founders Jefferson and Madison prized individual liberty and responsibility, not "social justice" distributed by elite experts.

Ms. Palin may have given libertarian Repubs some hope they can believe in, with her pistol-packin' homage to the Second Amendment and anti-tax bromides. But could they really warm to the no abortion, even with rape or incest, mantra? To her proud card-carrying United Steel Workers husband? Or populist attacks on Big Oil that could be voiced by Michael Moore? And what were non-interventionist libertarians to make of the infatuation of 1984's Miss Wasilla with The Bush-McCain War, to which she said she'd proudly send her son Track on September 11 (incredible timing there, Track.)

Michael had sworn off Obama in the wake of the Biden pick, but now goes back to the Dem fold. Is that happening elsewhere? Whole thing here.

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  • ||

    Jury nullification

  • Marlin||

    Pretty hard to believe that a libertarian could possibly ignore the trillions in entitlement spending that will be the hallmark of an Obama/Biden administration.

    It doesn't make the McCain option any better, but it shows a lack of prescience.

  • ||

    Terry Michael is a "libertarian" the same way Palin is. While he makes some good points, he's still a douche for trying to co-opt our good name.

  • The Extispicator||

    Wait. You mean we have TWO choices this year, and neither of them is any good? I thought this was America, the land where we get two candidates each election who represent opposing viewpoints about government, who will debate those viewpoints with reason and logic before a national audience ... multiple times, even.

    And now you're saying they really don't differ much on how they will govern? And that their stated positions and applause lines may be designed to garner support and not necessarily indicate what policy choices they will make if elected? Yeah right, I think you're thinking of a different country, Buddy. This is the USA, USA, USA!

  • Anonymoose.||

    How can one be a Libertarian and a Democrat? They're at odds with one another. Libertarians value freedom above all else and want the government to stop infringing on it, whereas Democrats want to infringe on it in the name of equality.

  • ||

    I'm all for expanding horizons and changing my understanding of things, etc... but... a Libertarian democrat?

  • JMR||

    Democrats, for all their many faults, at least had the balls to let Kucinich yak. The "big tent" wasn't that big when it came to libertarians of the Republican persuasion, but now "conservatives" who are likely to vastly increase the size of an already obese government seem to think they should own my vote. Uh, no.

  • ||

    Both candidates leave ALOT to be desired. If i could pick, I would pick Paul. But i don't get a pick, i get a choice.

    Given the choice I am going to vote for the person that will at lest restore Habeas and end the Torture regime. The person who at least understands the importance of the "rule of law", even if i disagree with them on what the law actually says. at least one side recognizes that laws do exist for a reason, and don't view them as an 'impediment to greatness'.

    The other side makes jokes about a 800 year old bed rock of Freedom.

    Taxes, Iraq, abortion, Trade. Small ball compared to the the Rule of Law.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    "Which of the twelve steps was that?"
    Ok. THAT is a funny line.

  • ||

    Wait, is a libertarian democrat like a libertarian socialist or anarcho-syndicalism?

    Is Noam Chompsky somehow involved here?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    "How can one be a Libertarian and a Democrat?" A good question, Anonymoose. But "How can one be a libertarian and a Republican" is just as valid.

  • Elemenope||

    How can one be a Libertarian and a Democrat? They're at odds with one another. Libertarians value freedom above all else and want the government to stop infringing on it, whereas Democrats want to infringe on it in the name of equality.

    I thought Libertarians were for individuality and against crass group identifications and/or stereotypes.

    Oops.

  • ||

    Who Should Libertarian Democrats Vote For?

    I didn't know figments of imagination would be allowed to vote this year.

    I wonder if McCain has the "under the bed monster" vote locked in? I would imagine that the wood elves, unicorns and prehistoric lake creatures will all throw their support behind Obama.

  • ||

    I'd like to lock up the nymph vote, myself.

  • ||

    Witness the power of the libertarian Democrats, bringing us Barack Obama! Nice job, guys!

  • ||

    doom
    Dooom
    DOOOOM

    I'm voting for Barr

  • robc||

    Given the choice I am going to vote for the person that will at lest restore Habeas and end the Torture regime.

    Yeah, Im voting for Barr too.

  • ||

    Speaking as a non-libertarian Democrat, I think libertarians need to ask three questions:

    1. Is there one party that needs to be restrained and/or punished for its behavior more than the other at this particular point in history? For example, in 1994, it was probably more important from a libertarian point of view to punish the Democrats for gun control and universal health care than to punish Republicans.

    2. What is the relative importance of the issues Obama would be better on from a libertarian point of view compared to those McCain would be better on, at this particular moment? For example, is it more important to push the country right on gun control, or to push it left on detention without trial?

    3. How good is Obama on the issues Democrats are better on, compared to how good McCain is on the issues Republicans are better on? And vice versa - how bad is Obama on issues Democrats are bad on, compard to how bad McCain is on issues Republicans are bad on?

  • Anonymoose.||

    Citizen Nothing | September 10, 2008, 9:23am | #
    "How can one be a Libertarian and a Democrat?" A good question, Anonymoose. But "How can one be a libertarian and a Republican" is just as valid.

    Yup. I don't know of many Libertarian Republicans, though. The only one I can think of is Milton Friedman, and he was only one because he thought he could enact more change from within the party.

  • Anti-Globalism||

    Wait. You mean we have TWO choices this year, and neither of them is any good? I thought this was America, the land where we get two candidates each election who represent opposing viewpoints about government, who will debate those viewpoints with reason and logic before a national audience ... multiple times, even.

    And now you're saying they really don't differ much on how they will govern? And that their stated positions and applause lines may be designed to garner support and not necessarily indicate what policy choices they will make if elected?


    I guess Plato was right about Democracy.

  • robc||

    lmnop.

    I thought Libertarians were for individuality and against crass group identifications and/or stereotypes.

    No, you didnt.

  • shecky||

    The way I see it, from the long term libertarian POV, Obama doesn't have to win. But McCain sure as hell needs to lose. A McCain win not only continues the Bush legacy, it validates his whole approach, from big govt to cultural conservatism.

  • robc||

    joe,

    As a non-libertarian-democrat, I think you need to answer 1 question first:

    1. Why did your 3 questions only consider 2 choices?

  • ||

    Every election I start out feeling a desire to vote for one of the "two". Same this year, and like whoever Gillespie is talking about I just can't swallow Obama if it tastes like Biden. Mc could have picked Romney and Guiliani for co-vice presidents and I still couldn't take Biden. Palin, eh. I hated Barr in GA, and find it hard to accept his about-face. Sigh... now the choice is down to deciding who to write in, Donald Duck or Ron Paul.

  • robc||

    Anonymoose,

    How tight is your standard? Not even including Ron Paul?

  • T||

    But the third wing on the elephant, Goldwater libertarians, have got to be scared outa' their friggin' minds. They were pushed aside by the self-indulgent, authoritarian, Greater Purpose Than Thou Senator John Sidney McCain and his band of prime-enablers

    Yeah, that's it! John McCain pushed aside the Goldwater republicans! It was Johnny Mac!

    Hasn't being paying much attention over the last 8 years, has he?

  • Anonymoose.||

    robc | September 10, 2008, 9:36am | #
    Anonymoose,

    How tight is your standard? Not even including Ron Paul?

    When I said "Libertarian Republicans," I was talking about those who self-identify. Ron Paul would probably qualify as one, even though he calls himself a conservative.

  • ||

    Speaking as a non-libertarian Democrat, I think libertarians need to ask three questions

    No, we don't. If you vote, you vote Barr. There is no confusion here. You can put as much lipstick as you want on Obama but it still makes him no better than McCain. Being better on "certain things" misses the forest for the trees.

  • ||

    robc,

    Because there are 2, not 3 or 5, candidates who might be the next president, and the first question anyone voting in the election needs to ask is whether one of them is substantially better than the other.

    If, after answering those three questions, neither of the 2 possible successors to George W. Bush comes out substantially ahead, then voting third party is probably the best move.

    If Barr is a 90, Obama is a 47 and McCain is a 48, vote Barr.

    If Barr is a 90, Obama is a 50, and McCain is a 20, vote Obama.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Is there one party that needs to be restrained and/or punished for its behavior more than the other at this particular point in history?

    Probably. But in 2000, I thought that after the anti-1st amendment, drug warrior, lying sack of shit Clinton, a change was needed. Had I followed the above logic, I would have voted for GW Bush. Instead, I followed my ideas and conscience and voted for Browne.

    To this day, I am very glad I did that.

  • ||

    Being better on "certain things" misses the forest for the trees.

    Wouldn't that be a question of degree? Isn't there some point where even a bad candidate from a libertarian pov is meaningfully better than a terrible candidate?

    I can also respect the position that the sole concern of libertarians is to boost the LP, even if it means accepting a much worse president than we could otherwise have, out of a concern for long-term thinking. I just disagree with that view - I think the question of who will be president for the next 8 years is an important concern, even if either option is sub-optimal.

  • ||

    joe | September 10, 2008, 9:42am | #

    Because there are 2, not 3 or 5, candidates who might be the next president, and the first question anyone voting in the election needs to ask is whether one of them is substantially better than the other.


    Agreed! I ask myself that every four years... No luck yet but maybe it'll happen for me one day.

  • BakedPenguin||

    ...the first question anyone voting in the election needs to ask is whether one of them is substantially better than the other.

    Exactly the point, joe. And the answer for the vast majority of people posting here is that there is no substantial difference between the two major candidates. Especially since neither can be trusted to do what they say.

    I had a couple liberal friends try to convince me to vote for Obama for just the reasons you mentioned. when I brought up the betrayal on FISA, one of them said "oh, he just did that to get elected". But if you can't trust his word on something as important as that, why the f*ck should we trust him on Iraq, Iran, or anything else?

  • robc||

    joe,

    If Barr is a 90, Obama is a 47 and McCain is a 48, vote Barr.

    If Barr is a 90, Obama is a 50, and McCain is a 20, vote Obama.



    Nope. I will vote a 90 over a 50 everytime.

    I agree with your standard though, just not the exact numbers. Lets put it this way, using a different set of people (because I cant type the numbers I want with the people involved, my hand wont let me):

    Super LP candidate - 99
    GOP nominee Ron Paul - 95
    Obama - 20

    In that case, I would vote for Paul over the super, near-perfect LP guy. But 90 v 50? Yeah, Im voting 90 every time.

    If Obama (or McCain) were an 88, they would get my vote. BTW, your argument is an encouragment for me to vote McCain - I figure it is about 90/50/20 with McCain as the 50 and Obama as the 20.

    That said, there arent 2 candidates who have a chance to win. Right now, everyone on the ballots has a chance to win, no one has cast a vote. I dont no what it would take for Barr to get people to vote for him, but there is nothing preventing whatever that thing is from happening. In primaries, where we go state by state, at a certain point candidates dont have a chance to win anymore. In the general, where everyone votes at once, that isnt the case.

    If you dont buy that standard, then I say there is only 1 candidate with a chance to win. It turns out that either McCain or Obama has no chance either, I just dont know which one it is.

  • spaghetti cat||

    joe,

    I think you are missing the point that in our Republic, individual votes have no effect on the outcome (unless you live in one of the few states with significant electoral votes that is actually in play). The size of the "mandate" assumed by the next president will be based on the electoral college not the popular vote.

    On the other hand, individual votes for fringe candidates are very important. Getting more than 1 million votes is enough for people to take notice. Anything under that and you remain a joke.

    The best thing for a libertarian is to vote for a libertarian candidate. Too bad there isn't one running.

  • ||

    Is there a choice? Clearly Obama is the lesser of the two evils. Surely no one is taking that idiot McSame seriously.

    JIffy Rappa
    www.anonymize.us.tc

  • ||

    I wish the Libertarians would have put forth a good choice, but they selected Bob Barr. He's just as statist as the others. While he may be a Strom Thurmond Dixiecrat, he's no Libertarian. Just one example of many from his website: it's bad for the feds to ban gay marriage, but it's perfectly OK for states to do it. Last time I checked, the libertarian philosophy called for government to get out of our lives, *period* - not that it was still OK for certain levels of government to ban things just because they're states and not the feds.

  • robc||

    joe,

    To add to my point, consider 2000. You will sometimes hear people call Nader a spoiler and say something like "If all the Nader voters had voted for Gore, Gore would have been president". This is true. What is also true is that if all the Gore voters had voted for Nader, Nader would have won the election. Stupid Gore voters, wasting their votes when they could have instead helped Nader win. :)

  • robc||

    spaghetti cat,

    Even if you are in a at play state, 1 vote doesnt matter. The error rate is so high than if your 1 vote matters, the election will be decided in the courts. 2000 was the final proof of "1 vote doesnt matter".

  • ||

    Rappa Jones | September 10, 2008, 9:51am | #
    Is there a choice? Clearly Obama is the lesser of the two evils. Surely no one is taking that idiot McSame seriously.


    I dunno, I kind of feel like

    Mc = bigger war
    Obama = big war + big healthcare

    Is the basic equation. Plus the load of other bullshit that both sides will load up their respective administrations with.

  • ||

    I can respect this point:

    On the other hand, individual votes for fringe candidates are very important. Getting more than 1 million votes is enough for people to take notice. Anything under that and you remain a joke.

    Once again, I think it's question of weighting. First, is either of the plausible (sorry, robc, but you're just blowing smoke. The next president is going to be McCain or Obama.) candidates significantly better than the other? Second, does that difference outweigh the interest in promoting the third party, even if it has no chance to win?

  • robc||

    rah62,

    Its up to the local libertarian candidates to fight state law battles. I have no problem with FEDERAL LP candidates pushing federalism. The laws at the state level might violate the same principles, but that fight should be fought at the state level, not the national level. I dont want national libertarians violating federalist principles just because they happen to be right about an issue.

    But thats just me, I think federalism is an important check on the national government.

  • Wince||

    While he makes some good points, he's still a douche for trying to co-opt our good name.

    If you're reading Reason, you're not in any position to be complaining about co-opting libertarianism's good name.

  • Demo-Republicans for Change Co||

    It matters little which 3rd Party candidate you vote for, just be sure to vote for one. It's the only way to show that you don't like the direction either party is going.

    Honestly though obsessing over the president- the one candidate out of all from mayor, state house rep, state sen. on up that our one vote matters least- is pointless. We had our chance in the primaries and let's face it Liertarian ideas got their asses handed to them.

  • T||

    First, is either of the plausible (sorry, robc, but you're just blowing smoke. The next president is going to be McCain or Obama.) candidates significantly better than the other? Second, does that difference outweigh the interest in promoting the third party, even if it has no chance to win?

    While I agree with you on this, the problem Obama (and you) faces is convincing anyone around here he's significantly better than McCain. Given that he's not, I'll be voting LP.

  • ||

    The only justifiable reason to go to the Obama-Biden ticket is to punish Republicans for nurturing big government. Good luck with that. The parties are moving to bigger government, and nothing will ever be done about it. Divided government is the prudent response. Unfortunately for Obama-Biden, the Democrats control Congress.

  • ||

    Who Should Libertarian Democrats Vote For?

    Bob Barr. Next question.

  • economist||

    I'm voting for myself this November.

    And Terry Micheal can go fuck himself.

  • Decision 2008||

    Voting for Obama will be interpreted as enthusiastic love for everything he does and stands for. Otherwise I would be a Libertarian for Obama. At least the message will be sent by voting third party. I don't think it matters which one, because it's not about winning. I think if third parties collectively won 10 or 20 percent that would be great.

  • ||

    Did Palin actually "send" her son off to War? I'm not a parent or a Veteran, but I'm pretty signing up for the Army is something you do on your own. I tried to look through any references Palin made to the Iraq War prior to getting tapped by McCain, and though it wasn't as impressive as the near complete silence of a Mark Sanford, she clearly wasn't some kind of war booster. The prospect of a mother with a son over in Iraq becoming President of the United States is actually one of the few redeeming qualities of the McCain ticket. It's reading tea leaves, and since modern convention dictates VP candidates never share their own views once they accept the nomination tea leaves are all we are going to get, but I actually think Palin would be the best of the 4 in terms of non-interventionist foreign policy. Her motherly concern for her son, her limited and muted Iraq War comments, her husband's involvement with AIP, her support of Buchanan, and her kind words about Dr. Paul all argue towards somebody who might secretly harbor sound foreign policy thoughts.

    In terms of a Libertarian Democrat, there is no such thing, and I'd question the Libertarian bona fides of anybody willing to vote for either one of the authoritarian clowns on the top of both major tickets.

  • Dave W.||

    speaking as a Republican (registered to vote Paul) with deep librtarian sympathies, joe nails it again with his three questions. In your heart, you know he's right.

  • Chloe||

    Libertarian democrat???

    Wtf is that shit? That's an oxymoron as libertarians are for freedom from government and democrats are for the government being all up your business.

    At the very least it's a moron.

  • economist||

    Actually, if this were a race between Biden and McCain, Palin and Biden (for president), or Palin and Obama, I might bring myself to vote Republican. And if it were a race between McCain and Richardson I might even consider voting Democrat.

    Otherwise, fuck it all. I know I agree with myself perfectly, so I will vote for myself.

  • Stan Marsh||

    I don't want to vote.

  • Kyle||

    But Stan, you have to vote, you have to vote for giant douche.

  • Eric Cartman||

    No way, jew, Stan's voting for turd sandwich.

  • Indecision 2008||

    Clusterf*** to the White House.

  • economist||

    "divided government is the prudent response"
    or armed revolt. Okay, so it's not prudent.

  • Mark||

    My 78-year-old friend believes this is the most important election of his life. You may think otherwise, but remember that the only reason Obama had a chance of being nominated is that it's 2008. People really are fed up.

    You and I know there will be a trillion-dollar hole in the budget under a McCain presidency, not to mention future trillion-dollar wars, that will ruin our shaky economic standing and eventually shake the foundations of society.

    "We are all Georgians now" ??? Are we going to war with Russia, John?

    You may think Social Security and Medicare were bad ideas from the start. Sorry, but McCain will not end those programs, and Barr will not be elected. Obama will be a pretty boy on TV and make everyone happy while balancing the budget and keeping us out of WWIII. Just give him one term, for the love of God.

  • ||

    This is still relevant I think.

  • Mark||

    "Our national leaders are sending them out on a task that is from God..."

    You'd rather have Palin's foreign policy over Obama's?

  • economist||

    Mark,
    Why does your 78-year-old friend care that much about this election. Not to be cold but unless he comes from a long line of centenarians, this election will mean fuck-all to him in a few years.
    Me, I might have as much as forty years to put up with this shit, so I'm just bitter about it.

  • ||

    I don't know of many Libertarian Republicans, though.

    You clearly have never watched a young Republican trying to get laid.

  • economist||

    "Obama will...balance the budget"
    Here, let me get high. I know I can predict the future if I just get high.

    However, I do not harbor any illusions that McCain will balance the budget either.

    A POX ON BOTH YOUR HOUSES!

  • ||

    Honestly, as a libertarian, Obama still scares me slightly less than McCain. I think it's the hawkishness of McCain, combined with just as much big government, if not more, than Obama. Obama is worse on spending for sure, but a war would balance that out. I really don't know. Either way, I live in New Jersey, so my state is going Obama. Since this is the case, I'm throwing my support in Barr's camp just to get more votes into a third party so hopefully, one day, more and more people will do the same and the third party will be viable. And yes, this is despite the fact that WAR is an asshole. They are all assholes, really, except WAR isn't very eloquent about it.

  • economist||

    "McCain will never get rid of SS and Medicare"
    all the more reason to make sure Obama doesn't get the chance to start something similar.

  • economist||

    Goddammit, I'm already drunk by 11:00 am.
    I think I might have a problem.

  • Mad Max||

    "First, is either of the plausible . . . candidates significantly better than the other? Second, does that difference outweigh the interest in promoting the third party, even if it has no chance to win?"

    The purpose of third parties under the two-party system is to come up with ideas worth stealing by the Dems and Reps.

    Even after Reconstruction, the Republicans maintained their vialibilty in North Carolina until the very end of the nineteenth century by making a coalition with populist third-party types - Fusionism.

    The Socialists and Progressives got respectable amounts of votes in 1920 and 1924, and coincidentally, portions of the Socialist platform started appearing in public policy.

    Richard Nixon pursued George Wallace voters - though of course it ended up being largely symbolic. This is perhaps because Wallace himself shot his was in 1968 and didn't create a lasting third-party movement.

    Ross Perot picked up a lot of votes in 1992. His platform (in addition to protecting his daughter against the Republico-gay conspiracy) involved denouncing the federal deficit. Lower deficits were, by coincidence, very much the flavor of the month during the 1990s. Would the Republicans have been so enthusiastic about deficit spending in the 00s if they still had the fear of a Perot candidacy?

    And so forth. Political strategists for the duopolists pay lots of attention to voters they see as being in play - "how can we attract the Wallace voters?" "how can we attract the white housewives in Spokane?" If the target voters have a tendency to go for certain third-party candidates, the strategists look at the things which appealed about the third-party candidates and try to imitate those things.

    (The reason they don't worry about Libertarian Party voters is that there don't seem to be all that many of them.)

    If I may modify a joke by (I believe) H.L. Mencken: If the Cannibal Party started getting significant votes, the Dems and Reps would start filing competing bills to include missionaries in the federal school lunch program. Democratic and Republican candidates would each claim that their opponent's missionary bill didn't go far enough, etc.

  • ||

    The Republicans are very much a spent force when it comes to wars. Democrats on the other hand have had eight years to dream up new American adventures. Bill Clinton deployed troops all over the world, neraly invaded Iraq and nearly got into a war in Korea. This in addition to actually getting into a war with Serbia.

    People who think Obama is a vote for peace are pissing in the wind. Further, wars have a life of their own. They tend happen even when leaders or especially when leaders are going out of their way to avoid them. I would say the chances of the US getting in another war are the same regardless of who wins the election.

  • Nash||

    If Obama would actually vote what he claims his conscience is I might overlook his economic policies. Those aside he still can't get the votes right. Patriot Act? FISA? The guy can't even pledge to get troops out of Iraq in his first term and even if he accomplishes that we're just going to put them into Afghanistan or Africa.

    He's wrong on economic policy. This much we know. He's also wrong on civil liberties and foreign policy.

    Sadly McCain is also dead wrong on all of the above. His health care plan is better, his tax plan hardly so. McCain is no economic conservative and because of that I won't be voting for him either.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Libertarian Democrat," Joe Biden-basher, and reason contributor Terry Michael..."

    There is no such thing as a libertarian Democrat.

    And that's that.

  • Terry Michael||

    Just a suggestion to those who think there's no such thing as a libertarian Democrat: read my "libertarian Democrat manifesto" (reported here on Hit&Run in July 2006) and at my libertarian Democrat blog...
    http://www.terrymichael.net/Htm_SiteArticles/LibDemManifestoJuly4_2006.htm
    Too many who believe they are libertarian seem to see only economic issues and ignore social cultural and national security questions. If you'll read what I have written over the past several years, I think you'll find I'm consistently libertarian on everything. I just happen to be a pragmatic voter who wants to move the Democratic Party in a more libertarian direction, where it already is on a lot of social and foreign policy things--though most Democrats remain hopelessly reactionary on fiscal and tax policy.

  • mw||

    Framing this as a choice between 2,3 or 5 candidates is a false choice. There are two possible federal government configurations we will be living under in january 2009:

    CHOICE A:

    McCain/Palin (R) + Pelosi leading a 100 vote D majority in the House + Clinton/Reid leading a potential 60/40 filibuster proof D majority in the Senate.

    Two Republican reformers with a reputation for bucking their own party and launching bi-partisan initiatives working with a Democratic Party holding the largest single party congressional majorities in modern history.

    - or -

    CHOICE B:


    Obama/Biden (D) + Pelosi leading a 100 vote D majority in the House + Clinton/Reid leading a potential 60/40 filibuster proof D majority in the Senate.

    A toe-the-party-line Democratic President and a consummate Washington insider working with a Democratic Party holding the largest single party congressional majorities in modern history.



    Choose wisely.

    Libertarians faced with this choice should vote for the configuration that that has been documented historically to limit the growth of the state. Divided Government.That is my choice. In 2006 I voted straight Dem. On Nov 4, I will be voting for divided government and will vote for Republican John McCain for President. I will also for Democratic representative Nancy Pelosi in the House of Representatives.

  • Mark||

    Why does your 78-year-old friend care that much about this election.

    Because he has a long line of progeny to worry about.

    If you're in a swing state I suggest you think carefully about your vote and not throw it away on a 3rd party. Maybe it made sense in 2000, but the stakes are higher this year.

  • Mark||

    Maybe I would make more headway with you people by pointing to something that would actually affect your life:

    Obama Answers Your Science Questions

  • T||

    I just happen to be a pragmatic voter who wants to move the Democratic Party in a more libertarian direction

    Good luck with that one, Terry. Maybe you and the guys from the Republican Liberty Caucus can get together over beers and discuss how well it's going.

  • Franklin Harris||

    Who Should Libertarian Democrats Vote For?



    Trick question: imaginary friends can't vote.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Too many who believe they are libertarian seem to see only economic issues and ignore social cultural and national security questions."

    Well I consider myself coservative rather than libertarian but it is quite proper to focus on economic issues over any social or cultural ones. The economic issues have a far greater real world effect on the lives of a lot more people than do the social issues.

    Everyone is forced to participate in and pay for social security and medicare whether they want to or not. Bans on gay marriage and/or abortion aren't going to affect the vast majority of people because most people aren't gay and most aren't going to want to get an abortion.

  • ||

    Fuck it! After reading that quote from Goldwater in a previous thread a few days ago, I'm going to dig him up, dust him off, and write him in.

    If ANY candidate had the balls to say anything resembling that, even knowing that the statists in congress would stifle such a thing in reality, I'd vote for him/her in a heartbeat.

  • ||

    To wit:

    "I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution or that have failed their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is ``needed'' before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents "interests,'' I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can."

  • Eric Dondero||

    The leadership of the Libertarian Party of Alaska endorsed Palin for Governor in 2006. She spoke to two LP meetings that year at their invite. Even her Libertarian opponent in the race Billy Toien endorsed her the last 3 days, telling his supporters to "vote for Sarah."

    I wonder if the Libertarian Party of Illinois has ever supported Obama? Somehow, I think not.

  • Eric Dondero||

    There was such a thing as a "Libertarian Democrat" once in history.

    In 2000, in a fluke election a crazy Democrat named Steve Vallaincourt, lost the Dem primary, and ran on the Libertarian ticket. He won. But his days as a "Libertarian-Democrat" were brief. He promptly joined the Republican Party.

  • Eric Dondero||

    Oh, the State was New Hampshire. Vallaincourt is still an elected State Rep. But interestingly, the Libertarian Party of NH doesn't claim him cause he's "too controversial."

  • ||

    DONDEROOOOOOOOOO!

  • ||

    Maybe I would make more headway with you people by pointing to something that would actually affect your life:

    Obama Answers Your Science Questions


    ScienceDebate2008: What policies will you support to ensure that America remains the world leader in innovation?

    Barack Obama: My administration will increase funding for basic research in physical and life sciences, mathematics and engineering at a rate that would double basic research budgets over the next decade.



    That means spend money.

    SD2008: What is your position on the following measures that have been proposed to address global climate change -- a cap-and-trade system, a carbon tax, increased fuel-economy standards or research?

    Obama: The U.S. must get off the sidelines and take long-overdue action here at home to reduce our own greenhouse gas emissions. We must also take a leadership role in designing technologies that allow us to enjoy a growing, prosperous economy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.



    That means raise taxes. See cap and trade.

    SD2008: What policies would you support to meet demand for energy while ensuring an economically and environmentally sustainable future?

    Obama: First, I have proposed programs that, taken together, will increase federal investment in the clean energy research, development and deployment to $150 billion over ten years.... Second, it is essential that we create a strong, predictable market for energy innovations with concrete goals that speed introduction of innovative products and provide a strong incentive for private R&D investment in energy technologies.



    That means spend money, raise taxes and muck with the tax code.

    Change we can believe in?

  • hotsauce||

    Holy balls, DonderoOOOOOOO and Terry "Will Claim Anything to Appear Cool" Michael on the same thread. Two whipping boys.

  • Rhywun||

    Everyone is forced to participate in and pay for social security and medicare whether they want to or not. Bans on gay marriage and/or abortion aren't going to affect the vast majority of people because most people aren't gay and most aren't going to want to get an abortion.



    Which is precisely why I value social issues over economic ones. Tyranny of the majority kind of sucks if you're not part of "most people".

  • ||

    I don't know why I seem to be the only one here who sees a clear and strong affinity between libertarians and republicans, but I think it's worth mentioning. I recognize that the war in Iraq isn't working out so well and everything, but come on. Barack Obama? "I am my brother's keeper"? This is stuff Hayek and von Mises and Ayn Rand would be shouting about in the street. At least with Fred Thompson you hear something about 'limited government' - you know, the central libertarian principle.

    Well, I guess that's just my perspective, though. I'm also a person who doesn't see 911 as a job our government could handle. Maybe you libertarian democrats could let me in on how they did? I mean, I'd be less hesitant to let them handle my health care if they could pull that job off.

  • ||

    I might add that, with the exception of Rothbard and Justin Raimondo, many libertarians agree that military and defense stuff is something are government probably should be handling.

    I have two suggestions for further reading:

    one is:
    http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/meast/09/09/iraq.secret/index.html

    the other is:
    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/31077

  • ||

    *our government

  • Rhywun||

    I recognize that the war in Iraq isn't working out so well and everything, but come on.



    A libertarian might wonder what the fuck we're doing in Iraq in the first place.

    This is stuff Hayek and von Mises and Ayn Rand would be shouting about in the street.



    Yep--all economics types, who had little or nothing to say about social freedoms. In case you haven't noticed, Republicans are big on "morality". Which is fine if their morals happen to match yours.

  • JMR||

    Maybe Shelley Sekula-Gibbs is what they mean by the elusive "libertarian Democrat," since that was the effect when Republicans threw a hysterical tantrum instead of facing reality...

  • ||

    Its up to the local libertarian candidates to fight state law battles. I have no problem with FEDERAL LP candidates pushing federalism. The laws at the state level might violate the same principles, but that fight should be fought at the state level, not the national level.

    Ah, so being a pricipled libertarian is beyond Bob Barr's pay grade. I prefer my Presidential candidate to have more principles than that, since he (or she) reflects on the party as a whole.

  • ||

    Nick what is wrong with you? Seriously.
    There is no such thing as a "libertarian democrat" ye you persist in pushing it on Reason.com.
    Why?
    Does Terry Michaels have pictures of you in a compromising positions? What?
    Terry Michaels, you need to get some therapy.
    There is no such thing as a libertarian democrat. Just because you close your eyes and say it over and over, doesn't make it so.

  • ||

    Everyone is forced to participate in and pay for social security and medicare whether they want to or not. Bans on gay marriage and/or abortion aren't going to affect the vast majority of people because most people aren't gay and most aren't going to want to get an abortion.



    Which is precisely why I value social issues over economic ones. Tyranny of the majority kind of sucks if you're not part of "most people".



    I thought the central, and arguably only, issue of libertarianism was coercion, particularly coercion by the state.

    So now it's libertarian to call for state coercion to force people to accommodate a relationship a vast majority of people in this country have made clear they don't want to accommodate?

    Ooookaaay.

  • ||

    Agreed. This libertarian democrat stuff is bogus. This guy responds to my posts by poo-pooing "economist types" in libertarianism. Like, say no more - I get where you're coming from.

  • Eric Dondero||

    Hey wasn't Obama a State Senator in Illinois for a few years? Illinois is one of the toughest states in the Nation for third parties to get on the ballot.

    Did Obama introduce any legislation to lower signature requirements for 3rd parties while a State Senator?

    Oops, I plum forgot, he was too busy trying to get his political opponents kicked off the ballot.

  • Rhywun||

    So now it's libertarian to call for state coercion to force people to accommodate a relationship a vast majority of people in this country have made clear they don't want to accommodate?



    As a step on the way to the orthodox position of getting the state out of the marriage business, yes, I think it's acceptable to bring this freedom (sorry, "coercion") to a greater number of people.

  • Old School Travis||

    Travis,

    I've been commenting on here for about a year under the name Travis. So please call yourself something like The Other Travis or Travis2 to avoid confusion. Otherwise you might sense some hostility from commentors who don't like me very much.

  • Travis||

    I have no problem with people self identifying themselves as libertarian democrats or libertarian republicans. I helps people understand were they stand in terms of political opinion. Shouldn't we be encouraging Terry Michael to form a libertarian bloc within the democratic party.

  • J||

    I mostly vote democratic (not that there are alot of choices locally) because I value social issues higher than economic ones. They are all linked and similarly important, but when I weight each independent thing, the social issues just seem more pressing, overall.

    I think democrats are the future for libertarians, since they at least realize that freedom is important, and just have to learn that economic freedom increases overall freedom and that they can just help others themselves, instead of forcing other people to.

    However, it's always an issue of weighting, as was discussed earlier. I understand completely those who loath Obama: he's pretty damn bad. I get those that think Obama and McCain are similarly bad, although I disagree. What confuses me are those that think McCain is better than Obama, overall.

    I am not sure who I am going to vote for, although I used to be planning on Obama. He's fallen far enough that it will probably be Barr.

    Ideal Libertarian: 98
    Ron Paul: 90
    Bob Barr: 80
    Obama: 35
    McCain: 20

    Since Obama sucks more than I had hoped, I think Bob Barr is the choice for me.

    Also, LOL LIBERTARIANS CANT BE DEMOCRATS. Just to, you know, fit in.

  • johnl||

    The GOP is too organized to reform.

  • J||

    I thought the central, and arguably only, issue of libertarianism was coercion, particularly coercion by the state.

    So now it's libertarian to call for state coercion to force people to accommodate a relationship a vast majority of people in this country have made clear they don't want to accommodate?


    I realize this is probably just trolling for fun, but in the future, leave "a vast majority" out when discussing whether an idea is libertarian or not. It'll help you to understand the underlying philosophies better. The rest is too long to be worth bothering with, if that doesn't clear it up for you.

  • B||

    "Is there a choice? Clearly Obama is the lesser of the two evils. Surely no one is taking that idiot McSame seriously."

    Clearly, because anyone who disagrees with you must be a total moron.

  • B||

    "I think democrats are the future for libertarians, since they at least realize that freedom is important..."

    Yeah, and the other party is just a bunch of Nazis. Seriously, does anyone actually believe this shit.

  • B||

    "What confuses me are those that think McCain is better than Obama, overall."

    If this bullshit quote doesn't remind you of the famous quote from Pauline Kael concerning Nixon's election victory, than nothing will.

    This quote and the quote I reference above from the moron who says anyone not supporting Obama over McCain is an idiot point to the reason why Obama is having such a hard time now. Liberals and the Democratic Party have such contempt for huge swaths of the electorate. Whether it be charges of racism for not supporting Obama, threats of race wars, accusations that only an idiot can support McCain, implications that only bitter gun clinging bigots vote Republican, women who vote Republican are not real women, etc. etc.
    Some, such as Jacob Weisberg, have even gone so far as to claim the United States will be an international pariah on the road to irreversible decline if Obama is not elected.
    Believe it or not, this kind of condescending and insulting bullshit turns people off.

  • ||

    I don't even know. I hate dealing with Bush-bashers of any variety. Okay, he was a dick about civil liberties and spending - very unlibertarian president, everyone knows that. You will see many shitty presidents in your lifetime. I, at least, didn't have to live through Obama's hero Jimmy Carter. Does anyone over the age of 40 regard that guy as anything other than a frivolous dork?

    That's my prediction for if Obama becomes pres, by the way. He'll focus on social reform and be remembered primarily because he happens to be the meddling democrat whose father was from Kenya. Best of luck to the man, but I'd really rather him rethink some of his policy.

  • jim||

    Libertarian Democrat? You gotta be joking me. How is it possible to reconcile libertarian beliefs and membership in a party that believes it is ok to raise taxes to such a level that some individuals will be paying more to the state than what they keep themselves? I guess economic liberty is not high on the list of liberties for "Libertarian Democrats". How is taking money from those who earn it and giving it to those who didn't even remotely libertarian? When did out of control entitlement spending become a hallmark of libertarianism. When did the appointment of judges who will substitute their own personal views of justice in place of the law when deciding cases become a hallmark of libertarianism? When did utter contempt for the second amendment become a lynchpin of libertarian philosophy?

  • B||

    "And what were non-interventionist libertarians to make of the infatuation of 1984's Miss Wasilla with The Bush-McCain War..."

    The Bush McCain war? This is such utter bullshit. The United States is at war, not just the president and a senator from Arizona. Calling it the Bush-McCain war is infantile and is a tactic best suited for hacks like Keith Olbermann. And if you are going to be like that, why not call it the "Bush McCain and a majority of congressional Democrats because they voted their approval for it" War.
    Why does Reason host such idiots? The first paragraph of this bullshit looks like it was taken straight from a diary at the Daily Kos. I haven't seen a piece this juvenile since I read a college newspaper editorial.

  • J||

    "I think democrats are the future for libertarians, since they at least realize that freedom is important..."

    Yeah, and the other party is just a bunch of Nazis. Seriously, does anyone actually believe this shit.


    Yes, that is exactly what I said.

    But really, what I mean is that most democrats at least pay lip-service to civil and social liberties (even if they utterly fail). When the majority of the republicans are for big government (if slightly smaller) and are too willing to pander to social conservatives on other liberties, there just isn't much there.

    This is, of course, the same thing as calling them nazis. Thank you for summarizing so accurately.

  • Mark||

    J and B, you need to hash this out over some JB. I'm on J's side for now. B is living in some fantasy world where Republicans deserve respect.

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