The Real Way To Get Politicians To Listen: Impact An Election

The Virginia Governors race between Dem. Terry McAuliffe, Rep. Ken Cuccinelli, and Libertarian Robert Sarvis demonstrates, frankly, the best way to get politicians to listen to you is to significantly impact an election. While Sarvis did not impact the outcome of the election, he likely narrowed the Democrat's margin of victory. In the case of the Virginia Governors race, the lesson may be for Democrats, not just Republicans, to pay closer attention to moderate voters who value both economic and personal freedom.

Despite McAuliffe leading by 7 points in the polls leading up to the election, he only won by 2.5 percent. A surprise to many is that Sarvis, the libertarian candidate hurt McAuliffe the Democrat more than Cuccinelli, the Republican. Sarvis turned out not to be the Republican spoiler conservatives had predicted. Exit polls reveal that twice as many Sarvis voters would have otherwise voted for McAuliffe over Cuccinelli. (ABC reports a third would have gone for McAuliffe, more than twice as many as for Cuccinelli)

Pundits had assumed the relatively popular libertarian candidate, Sarvis, garnering roughly 10 percent in the polls was a boon to Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe, at the expense of Ken Cuccinelli the Republican. (And yes, 10 percent in public opinion polls for a libertarian is high). However, Sarvis proved himself a serious candidate and deserving of attention—not just of Republicans but Democrats too. He’s a graduate of Harvard, Cambridge, George Mason, and NYU, pushes market based solutions for health care, and advocates for less government intervention in the economy, but also supports same-sex marriage. He also favors eliminating certain taxes and regulations that give preferential treatment to some industries, and strengthening liability laws to empower property owners to hold businesses accountable for environmental damage. Perhaps the fact he was even willing to discuss environmental protection and closing tax loopholes earned him credibility among Democratic voters.

Exit polls reveal that Sarvis voters were slightly more likely to be found among moderates, liberals, those with higher educational attainment, among those who think abortion should be legal in most or all cases, and non-tea party supporters. Moreover, what is even clearer is they were not overwhelmingly found among conservatives, those who disapprove of the president, or disapprove of the health care law.

These data provide some preliminary evidence to suggest how pragmatic libertarian candidates can appeal not only to Republicans, but Democrats too. Political candidates who believe markets generally solve problems better than government bureaucrats but also publicly demonstrate a sincere concern for the environment, and the power of the wealthy and politically connected to take advantage of government at the expense of everyone else can perhaps prove to Democratic voters they are not a shill for “powerful others” like corporations.

The lesson for libertarians is an unfortunate truth: the best way to get the political apparatus to care about you is to win an election, or at least significantly impact it. In fact, this is how evangelical Christians made their way into the Republican Party in the 1980s and 1990s. The tea party movement really only garnered significant national attention when tea party backed candidates beat out establishment backed Republicans in the primaries (i.e. Sen. Rand Paul beating Trey Grayson in Kentucky, Sharon Angle beating Sue Lowden in Nevada, Sen. Mike Lee replacing Bob Bennett in Utah, etc.)

Pragmatic libertarian candidates may be painful for the political parties in the short run, but may also demonstrate the importance of appealing to voters in the middle who want both parties to lean toward greater economic and social freedom.

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  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    The lesson for libertarians is an unfortunate truth: the best way to get the political apparatus to care about you is to win an election, or at least significantly impact it.

    Which is why I'm fine with Republicans convincing themselves that Sarvis and the Libertines (great band name, btw) cost them the election. They'll go through the stages of grief and then maybe come away with an insight about attracting more libertarians.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    The Libertines are pretty good.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9o8XDaf8GM

  • Homple||

    Yeah, how could a candidate who siphoned off enough of your voters to get you within at least recount range if not a thin win, have cost you an election?

  • Calidissident||

    Because they were never "his" voters. And FWIW polling seems to indicate that Sarvis not being in the race would have actually helped McAuliffe.

  • Harun||

    Really? I'd say Dem-leaning voters who decided they could not stomach McAuliffe and could never vote GOP would simply have stayed home.

    Some of those exist on the right, too, but I wonder if this is like chemotherapy where the its a poison to both body and cancer, but it kills the cancer faster. That would explain why some Dem donor was funding him. There could be some people who understand this far better than we do.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The GOP today is asking itself, "How do we win those Sarvis voters?" Their answer? Keep the next Sarvis off the ballot.

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    Sadly that insight is probably the one they'll come to. See comment above.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Purge, purge, and purge. Prudently and purgently.

  • Root Boy||

    Huh? They may say that as the Stupid Party, but didn't the article say 1/3 of the Sarvis voters were cosmos? Who would have voted Mac-daddy if no LP candidate was available?

  • ||

    FOE didn't say their conclusion made sense.

  • Paul.||

    The GOP today is asking itself, "How do we win those Sarvis voters?" Their answer? Keep the next Sarvis off the ballot.

    Romney 2016!

  • Pathogen||

    "Romney 2016!"

    No way, he's way to radical. That guy will make clubbing the poor and harvesting their skins mandatory. I'm sure that the gays and the elderly would get the gas too, right after the jews. I'm sure that the teathuglikkkans would just lap it up, and rejoice with a week of looting & killing in the government buildings... and burning them down if that nutjob got elected. And don't even get me started on his magic underwear...

    Mitt Romney's Washington == the road warrior's outback

    Now, Christie/King(NY) 2016... There's a force for good. sanity and moderation.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You know, leaving aside all of the political sportscasting, I've always deeply disliked McAuliffe. Sucks that people were stupid enough to vote for him in the primaries, let alone the general.

  • Another David||

    Leaving aside all the political sportscasting leaves aside McAuliffe in his entirety. The man puts 2008 Obama to shame in the Empty Suit Olympics.

  • Brett L||

    One day, my hope is that a plurality of people will wake up and say to themselves, "wait, I'm not voting for this shitbird no matter who is running against him!"

    I mean people besides us.

  • ||

    But then very slightly shittier birds will win! Apocalypse! Armageddon!

  • Brett L||

    No, a shitbird whose lies appeal to me less will win. Unless we all unilaterally stop voting for shitbirds in the primaries.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'm not totally immune to that line of thinking--voting for the lesser evil, that is--but the guy on the other side has to be seriously bad. Like Greg Stillson bad. Otherwise, I'm likely voting LP.

  • Brett L||

    I'll admit I voted for Nelson instead of Kathryn Harris, because I was afraid she had a chance to become a Senator. At this point, I pretty much just vote against the incumbent. Usually for the LP candidate if available. I'm pretty sure I wrote in my father for the 2012 presidency.

  • Whahappan?||

    Why the hell didn't you vote for Johnson?

  • Andrew S.||

    My last lesser-of-two-evils vote was when I lived in NY. 2000 Senate election, voted against Hillary Clinton. T

  • ||

    Yeah, well, what if the candidate talks up a big hopeychangey peacenik game while running for election and then starts claiming he has the power to assassinate American citizens without due process--just a star chamber checklist--after in office?

    A person like that could con a bunch of ostensibly libertarian mooks into voting for him because they want to "punish the Republicans" or something. Just a thought.

  • ||

    That is what happened in this election.

    The majority did not vote for McAuliffe.

  • Brett L||

    McAuliffe did have a plurality of the voters. That does not mean he is not a shitbird, or that most of his voters were voting against Cuchinelli.

  • Hyperion||

    He is most definitely a shitbird, among other things, none of them good.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Yeah, I think the main reason Sarvis did so well was that the other two candidates were utter crap. It's sad that despite that, over 90% of the voters just couldn't bring themselves to vote L.

  • ||

    No the plurality you were looking for did not vote for him.

    Of the people who voted The number of people who voted for him is smaller then the number who did not vote for him.

    This is a relativity issue. Yes he won "the plurality". But in your sentence you were looking for a plurality to vote against him....and a plurality (and a majority) did vote against him.

  • Paul.||

    You know, leaving aside all of the political sportscasting, I've always deeply disliked McAuliffe. Sucks that people were stupid enough to vote for him in the primaries, let alone the general.

    He is one suspicious character.

  • ||

    The lesson here is, are you a utilitarian, or are you principled? It's really that simple. Utilitarians will vote for a terrible, terrible candidate is they think that the other candidate is worse (for whatever reasons). Principled voters will only vote for someone they agree with (enough). The approach of the utilitarians actually causes shittier and shittier candidates to appear on ballots, because the candidates don't have to be good; they just have to be better than the other TEAM's candidate. Which naturally results in shittier and shittier candidates, and also candidates that become more and more similar. Because they just need to be the slightest iota different from their opponent and no more, because utilitarians will always vote for them anyway.

    Utilitarianism is morally repulsive.

  • Warty||

    Physically repulsive, too. Or maybe that's just Tulpa.

  • sarcasmic||

    And John.

  • Warty||

    John is statuesque and smells like flowers. Granted, I mean this statue and this, flower but still. At least he's not Tulpa.

  • sarcasmic||

    I can't believe you saved a link to that statue. Well, actually I can.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Deets on that statue?

  • Christophe||

    Roman art from Pompeii I believe.

  • ||

    Tulpa is not a utilitarian...he is just bat shit insane.

  • Hyperion||

    Sometimes I think that Tulpa is Cytotoxic and Cytotoxic is Tulpa. Especially when they show up here at the same time and engage in obviously staged arguments between themselves.

  • fish||

    Oh...like it is at home then!

  • Cytotoxic||

    That's because you're a moron who can dish it out but can't take it.

  • sarcasmic||

    Yep.

  • Brett L||

    they just have to be better than the other TEAM's candidate.

    To the small bloc of people who pay attention in the primaries.

  • Brett L||

    Separately, my problem with utilitarianism is that I reject the notion that there is a determinable "good" on an aggregate or collective basis. It always confused me how JS Mill could write On Liberty and Untilitarianism.

    Either each person has the liberty to get up every day and decide for themselves what the greatest good is and work towards it without violating the liberties of others, or you're back to the knowledge problem again, as "good" has competitive meanings.

  • ||

    At the end of the day, utilitarianism is repulsive because its calculus is utterly immoral. Utilitarianism's ultimate end point is ideas like that it's OK to kill 49.999999% of the planet because it saves or improves life for 50.000001% of it.

  • Brett L||

    Again, you (and I) consider this immoral. But even for those who aren't sold on sovereign individuals and autonomy as an end, I don't understand the argument. There are many competing moral goods and who is able to say any good, other than maximizing each individual's liberty, would necessarily result in suboptimal gross, net, and distributed good? Its the market knowledge problem.

  • ||

    A lot of these utilitarian voters are also single issue voters. For them, there is one overriding moral good that trumps all the others, and so the calculation for them is easy. Do you think abortion is murder? If so, that's going to be the main utilitarian calculus, which is vote against the pro-abortion candidate and for one that is anti-abortion. The same for being a climate change cultist, or a corporation hater, or a homophobe. These issues usually trump the rest, making the choice of who to vote for very simple.

    The politicians cobble together single voter issues into a platform, and attempt to get the right, magical combination to win. And utilitarians make that a perfectly reasonable strategy.

  • Brett L||

    Wait, if I think abortion is murder, can I still vote against anyone who doesn't oppose it without being a utilitarian. I mean, it seems like if you believed that, you could have a morality not rooted in utility calculus and justify voting for candidates who made that an issue.

    But that example aside, you are absolutely correct.

  • Killazontherun||

    I don't see how voting for a politician who passes a mere law has anything to do with whether abortion occurs or not. In an open society that tolerates it you are likely to get both fewer late term abortions where the moral problem of sentience and being comes to play as well as fewer medical complications for the women who have them.

  • Brett L||

    I'm confused. So someone who advocates doing away with laws against murder is fine because society won't tolerate it? I don't understand that outside a utilitarian standpoint.

    On the other hand, if a person believes that killing humans for no other reason than having an extra chromosome or because the mother does not want it -- or hell, even if they don't think the life of the child is somehow different in quality from the mother's life and thus shouldn't be sacrificed to improve the mother's survival -- is wrong, then they are not necessarily utilitarians. In fact, from a position that values autonomy as the primary end in itself, if you honestly held that belief, you'd be obligated to oppose the legalization of abortions and abortions in practice.

  • Killazontherun||

    If your moral prerogative centers around the concept that abortion is murder, you have a few choices as to how you pursue that as an end. One is to get the practice recognized into law as murder in the formal, legalistic sense. Being of sound mind, you understand that this is not going to stop abortions from occurring. There is no incentive for the two parties to the transaction to go to the police. Detective work to stop abortions has to be conducted by snooping and by informants, either a third party creating conflict, or one of the two actors (fetus not being viable is a passive party, of course) somehow feel burned and informs on the other party. This creates a climate where abortion is performed in shady circumstances, in hidden areas where everything else but the clandestined nature of the activity becomes a secondary consideration. Being aware of the reputation of 'back alley abortions' women become reluctant and procrastinate in making the decision resulting in later term abortions. So, even the utility of legal bans as a path to pursue the goal is questionable, at best, and at worst, creates more harm than would have otherwise occurred.

  • Killazontherun||

    Sorry for the late reply, you caught me in between activities of coming and going.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Killaz: I might be inclined to agree with you if the evidence for abortion before/after in countries with abortion laws wasn't so radically different.

    Poland after its anti-abortion bill passed has had about a twentieth of the yearly abortions that it had before the bill passed. Chile has similar statistics. This makes sense: most abortions are undertaken for convenience, and to the extent that abortion is made inconvenient the women seeking abortions for convenience will be less inclined to seek one out.

    The logic of your position makes sense, but does not correspond with the observed results of abortion legislation.

  • Killazontherun||

    I don't know where you are getting your numbers --

    In this chart

    http://www.johnstonsarchive.ne.....oland.html

    the most dramatic decline occurs in the years 1986-1993 when the more liberal laws under communism were in effect. According to Wikipedia,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion_in_Poland

    After the fall of Communism, the abortion debate erupted in Poland. The Roman Catholic and Lutheran Churches and right-wing politicians pressured the government to ban abortion except in cases where abortion was the only way to save the life of the pregnant woman. Left-wing politicians and most liberals were opposed to this and pressured the government to maintain the above mentioned 1956 legislation. The abortion law in Poland today ("Law on family planning, protection of the human fetus and conditions for legal abortion") was enacted in January 1993 as a compromise between both camps.

    If you check that chart the numbers for every year up to the cut off point 2011 remain fairly constant.

    Economic circumstance is a far greater determinant of those numbers than the legality of abortion as the dramatic rise of the practice in the 1930s made evident which is what I researched before writing the above little essay to make sure it was reality as well as logically sound.

  • Killazontherun||

    Actually, the dramatic decline begins in 81, the number I was looking at, but then scrolled down, but still, its evident that the 80s saw a far greater decline than what occurred after the law was enacted in 93.

  • Killazontherun||

    That wird spike in '81 is throwing me off again by a year this time. That kind of makes you wonder what occurred that year. Won the World Cup in soccer?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Economic circumstance is a far greater determinant of those numbers

    That's not a sound interpretation of the data. There is no correlation between positive economic indicators during 1988-93 (which had many years in which the economy actually *shrunk*), and abortion. It is difficult to establish effect when the cause is not consistent -- Poland was not economically secure for many years after communism, and real wages dropped significantly during that period. There are effectively three phases to consider when talking about contemporary Polish abortion law:

    1956-1988 (Abortion on demand and state-funded)
    1988-1993 (Abortion on demand; most state funding stripped)
    1993-- (Abortion criminalized in most cases)

    All three of these periods correlate strongly with significant change in abortion rates, but the one that had by far the greatest percentage change from one year to the other was the third phase. (I have not read any good analyses or seen good data prior to 1956, so I can't make a clear case for or against the abortion law implemented by Stalin.) These results are consistent with the correlation between # of abortions and abortion law changes in the other developed countries and regions I've looked at, as well.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    All that said, there is generally a weak positive correlation between strong economic indicators and a reduction in the abortion rate -- all else being equal, those who oppose abortion have a strong incentive to be in favor of legal conditions which foster prosperity over the long term.

  • crux||

    Actually, Episiarch, a single issue voter would, by definition, be a deontologist.

  • kinnath||

    50% plus 1 is the mathematical formula for tyranny.

  • Homple||

    The guys who wrote the Constitution had quite a bit so say about this, you know. So did Alexis de Tocqueville.

  • Ted S.||

    This is why I've been calling for Instant Runoff voting. Of course, the R's and D's won't like it because it makes it easier to vote third party without thinking you'll cost the R or D the election.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    That's not what utilitarianism is.

    Utilitarianism is simply the notion that you subject all moral choices according to some nebulous notion of moral cost/benefit.

    Electoral politics is more like a Sophie's choice: something which you consider objectively bad is going to happen whichever way you vote (or if you don't vote), but voting might have the outcome of determining which of two horrible outcomes occurs. Unless you created this circumstance, there is nothing immoral about choosing the least awful of the alternatives. A criminal forces you to choose between someone's death and amputation of someone else's arm, and if you don't choose he carries out both harms? Sophie's choice.

  • ||

    The Sohpie's choice example of why utilitarianism isn't immoral is so forced that it's laughable. The likelihood of having to make such a vile choice is basically nonexistent. And what it also implies is that utilitarians apply the same moral calculus to choosing between which child is killed to which politician gets elected. That's fucked up. And it's also a head fake. I'm pretty sure you're not a utilitarian, so I'm not understanding why you are defending it from charges of immorality.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I'm not explaining why utilitarianism is moral or immoral; I'm pointing out that Sophie's Choice is not a subset of utilitarian thought.

    In a properly-considered utilitarian scenario, you have two choices -- one "bad", one "good" -- and the "bad" one has relatively good outcomes while the "good" one has relatively bad outcomes. Typical example: a train is going to kill 20 people if it arrives at its destination. You have a pistol and can shoot the conductor, thus stopping the train. Do you kill the conductor and save 20 lives, or let the train reach its destination?

    Sophie's choice has nothing to do with utilitarian analysis, since it precludes the possibility of a "good" choice.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Third option...shoot the criminal.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    +Damocles' Sword

  • John||

    Utilitarianism is morally repulsive.

    Then by your logic isn't a Republic by definition morally repulsive? A Republic can't function unless groups compromise their principles, otherwise nothing gets done.

  • Warty||

    Sure. A government, even a republic, "getting things done" invariably involves hideous actions. It may be less morally repulsive than all the other options, but that doesn't mean we have to like it.

  • ||

    Uh...I'm an individualist anarchist, John. You can't extrapolate that I might find all government, including a Republic, to be morally repulsive? Come on.

  • John||

    Fair enough.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    Don't ever go reducto ad absurdiam with for-real libertarians. It's like playing chicken against a Tank.

  • Killazontherun||

    ++this.

  • BardMetal||

    So I guess that means there is no point in trying to appeal for your vote?

  • Brett L||

    Now you get it! Welcome to the boards.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Epi lost faith in democracy after he was the only person that voted to let Jason Todd live.

  • ||

    It wasn't fair! I called in 150 times to vote 150 times and it still didn't work! Democracy is bullshit if I can't rig it!

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    A republic is morally repulsive as long as individual freedom is up for a vote. I don't care what kind of government we end up with as long as individual freedom always overrules it.

  • Killazontherun||

    Hey, Mussolini had a pretty good run at not having to compromise.

  • XM||

    "The lesson here is, are you a utilitarian, or are you principled?"

    Lots of people are principled. But there are only two viable candidates in an election. The vast majority of Americans will weigh their options and either vote for someone who they can identify with, or vote against the greater "evil".

    If the choice was down to two terrible candidates and one acceptable third party candidate who will NEVER win, then I'll stay home or reluctantly vote for the lesser evil. I don't care for either Christie or Ron Paul, but I would vote for them over Clinton. Most of you would.

    Losing with stye is STILL losing. Those brave kamikaze pilots couldn't stop the Americans from crushing the Japanese forces. If you're not in power, then you can't influence policy. That's the lesson GOP learned in the shutdown drama. Dems own WH and Senate. Game over.

    If the candidate doesn't have the base playing team games, then he will lose. The GOP could secure both the libertarian and conservative votes and STILL lose.

  • Harun||

    "principled voters will only vote for someone they agree with (enough)."

    ...and yet you have left open a convenient utilitarian escape hatch for yourself with that (enough.)

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    *slides side door of libertarian van open...sticks head out*

    Hello little girl democrat...want some candy?

  • Ted S.||

    The stranger in the car offering candy and only harm one kid at a time.

    The collectivists who wish to use the power of the state to harm liberty and the rule of law harm all the children in one fell swoop.

  • ||

    You owe me royalties.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    The reason that the libertarian vote has not been courted by either major party is simple: for many years, both parties have seen libertarians as 1) an expensive vote, and 2) an apathetic one. If winning libertarian votes requires policies which turn off two other potential voters, and if they won't do anything but reluctantly vote for you (while bitching about it the whole time), they aren't worth much. Ron Paul and his son have proven that at least some segments of the libertarian vote are not apathetic -- that some will knock on doors, raise money, make calls, etc. That has raised the value of the libertarian vote -- but not to the point where it is worth it for a mainstream politician to court their vote at the risk of losing support in other areas.

    Quite simply, libertarians need to find good ways to be pragmatic iin their implementation of principles, without tethering themselves to one party as a permanent base of support (as is the case with SoCons for the Rs or blacks for the Ds).

    This election holds more lessons for libertarians than it does for either major party.

  • sarcasmic||

    The reason why the libertarian vote has not been courted by either major party is that the major parties are the antithesis of libertarianism, and the know it. Libertarians want to reduce government and expand liberty. Neither major party does. Their only purpose is to strengthen the power structure while increasing their own personal power.

    The conundrum is that, in general, people do not seek power for the purpose of dismantling it. They seek power for power's sake.

    How do you get people who do not want power to seek power and get votes so they can destroy the power structure?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Believe it or not, there was a time when mainstream candidates and parties in the US and Europe would run on getting government off people's backs, and very often win elections by doing so. That time was the 19th century. It was not by any means a perfect time, but given your apparent worldview nothing close to that should have ever happened.

    Politics are not always inherently leftist; they are so in the US and Europe as a result of careful strategy and better politicking on the part of the left. Libertarians are always saying that one should look at how the successful behave if one wishes to emulate that success. It would behoove libertarians to take their own advice and to look at how the left approaches politics. Some of it is not applicable on account of libertarians having, you know, morals and the like. OTOH, some of it is perfectly acceptable pragmatism which can be adapted for classical liberal's use just as it was during the 19th century.

  • John||

    No they are not inherently leftist. They only seem that way because leftists are so relentless and good at politics and the right is so inept.

  • wadair||

    And the left is good at convincing groups that they are victims and therefore deserve something given them by some victimizing group. Too many people like to feel like their problems are the result of victimization and are keen to vote themselves free stuff and retribution to the perceived victimizers.

    OTOH, the right tends to protect the perceived victimizers and limit the free stuff (except free stuff to their cronies, of course).

    Since libertarians don't like to give away free stuff--even to cronies--they will never appeal to the masses.

  • sarcasmic||

    That time was the 19th century.

    Well there's been a cultural shift since then, and I don't see it going back the other way. Those people were wild and free. We are their domesticated descendents.

    It would behoove libertarians to take their own advice and to look at how the left approaches politics.

    So libertarians should start cultivating ignorance and spreading lies?

    Some of it is not applicable on account of libertarians having, you know, morals and the like.

    Oh, I guess not. Maybe libertarians should try to cure people of their ignorance while telling them the truth? We could, like, have a magazine and write books and have a show on FOX Business and stuff?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Those people were wild and free. We are their domesticated descendents.

    The northeastern US was founded by the type of people who established a bloodthirsty Puritan republic in England before being booted for being such psychopaths -- basically, it was the closest any of the Euro countries got to something like radical Sharia law. The southeastern US was the demesne of slaveowners. Europe was feudalist. I don't think classical liberalism thrived on account of some more perfected or "freer" version of the human being having existed in the halcyon past.

    We could, like, have a magazine and write books and have a show on FOX Business and stuff?

    That's a good start, but barely a start. If that's all we are doing, we deserve to fail at politics just as Marxists did until they figured out how to win elections.

  • robc||

    it was the closest any of the Euro countries got to something like radical Sharia law.

    Which is why the jews were able to openly worship under the Cromwell's but not under Charles I.

    Wait, what? That makes no sense.

    As bad as the Cromwell's were, they were actually an improvement on the previous situation.

    Especially if you werent a member of the Church of England.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    As bad as the Cromwell's were, they were actually an improvement on the previous situation.

    No, they weren't. They were an improvement for the Jews, sure, but not many others. Why do you think the republic was so unstable, and lost the support of most everyone who supported them during the English Civil War? It sure as hell wasn't because they did such a great job or because they were so conscientious at protecting peoples' rights.

    Especially if you werent a member of the Church of England

    Hell, no. Read up on how Catholics were treated by Cromwell and his New Model Army, especially in Ireland. For that matter, other dissenters in Scotland and England were not treated very well, either.

  • John||

    Well there's been a cultural shift since then, and I don't see it going back the other way. Those people were wild and free. We are their domesticated descendents.

    You know what the shift has been? Back then the country pretty much agreed on culture and morals and thus politics wasn't about such. Now we don't agree on those things and politics is all about those things. If we all agreed about cultural issues, politics would be about spending and taxes, which wouldn't work so well for the left. The left loves starting culture wars because it takes the focus off the issues that matter.

  • ||

    Well then maybe you shouldn't play their KULTUR WAR game, John. Except that you do. With gusto. They may be waving the red cape, but you're the bull who is charging at it. If you didn't, they'd be able to make it all about KULTUR WAR a lot less.

  • John||

    Well then maybe you shouldn't play their KULTUR WAR game

    Okay, how does one do that without just letting the Left have everything they want? That is the problem, the left will never let the culture war go because that is how they win. Easy to say don't fight the culture war. But the left will never allow that. Even if you gave them everything they wanted, they would just dream up something else more and more outrageous until finally another one started.

    The only reason SOCONS are in politics is because the left fucked with them so much. Hell, there was no such thing in the 1970s.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Hey, it's working, a bit. Paul, Amash, & Massie are all arguably libertarian - at least to the 85% level or so.

    That's a small number, but it's more than 10 years ago.

  • robc||

    Big number for my state.

    25% of the federal politicians.

  • Hyperion||

    Yes, and one of those strategies is, how do we get the useful idiot voters to be our useful idiots instead of the lefts useful idiots?

    While that at first seems immoral, there is another way to look at it. These are the voters I am talking about who you cannot educate about the reality of the world because they are just too dumbed down or lazy, or both for it to be worth the effort. So, exactly what do you replace free shit with to get those votes? After you have enough of the votes, you can begin getting these folks back in the workforce and off of government dependence. And that's the reason why it's not immoral, because we would be doing something good for them, as opposed to the socialists illusion of doing good by keeping them dumb and dependent.

    So there it is. How do you get the freeper vote? I'm being dead serious, how can we ever win without dealing with this?

  • sarcasmic||

    You can't. Those who rob Peter to pay Paul can always count on the support of Paul.

  • wadair||

    And Paul outnumbers Peter by hundreds of thousands of votes.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Right, I think this is the start to wisdom -- though personally I have a high view of anyone who chooses to do something else with their time other than think about politics.

  • Hyperion||

    though personally I have a high view of anyone who chooses to do something else with their time other than think about politics.

    If the current course of politics in this country were not on a course to destroy the middle class and the quality of life for most of us, then that would be great. Unfortunately, the reality is that not thinking about politics right now is like burying your head in the sand to escape the incoming tsunami.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Sure, but the erosion of rights in this country is hardly the fault of the people who aren't paying attention.

  • Homple||

    You may not be thinking about politics, but politics is relentlessly thinking about you.

  • John||

    How do you get the freeper vote? Tell them that there is a better way and create that way for them. Doing that will require changing the culture. The first thing the left did in creating the dependent class was go after the idea of the dignity of honest labor. Before the welfare state, doing even the most vile and hard labor was considered noble. The guy shinning shoes or cleaning toilets was respected because it showed he was willing to do anything to take care of himself or his family.

    The Left went after that hard core. They turned that idea on its head and said those were exploitative and beneath people and anyone who worked them was a sucker. Before, people wouldn't take welfare because they would rather work a horrible job than take it. After that, people were very willing to take welfare because the alternative or working was considered being a sucker. The left did a hell of a number on the black community with this bullshit. Working a job was just giving into white racism. Look at how the left looks down on black maids and servants. That is not about oppression. That is about getting people to equate work with oppression.

  • sarcasmic||

    Before, people wouldn't take welfare because they would rather work a horrible job than take it.

    People wouldn't take welfare because the benefits came from the local community, not the state. Once welfare became a state responsibility instead of a local one, the shame was removed. No longer did they have to look the property tax payers in the eye when they spent their money. Nope. It came from the state, or better yet the feds. That made it free.

  • John||

    That is not totally true. People were ashamed to take welfare right up through the 60s. The real dependent class didn't come around until the 1970s.

  • sarcasmic||

    When did that responsibility shift? Why, the 70s!

  • wadair||

    John said:

    How do you get the freeper vote? Tell them that there is a better way and create that way for them.

    This sounds logical, but it seems a steep, uphill battle. I'ts not so hard to convince people that keeping healthy is better than living the couch potato life. You can even get them to buy magazines with stories about hard abs and butts by the truckload. But getting them to actually exercise is much more difficult. In the same way, It's much easier to get people to read and agree with Reason or Cato, but getting them to give up free stuff and the habit of blaming others for their failures is another matter.

  • ||

    Manipulating people to "do good" for them is exactly what so many here decry of progressives and nanny statists and all the other meddlers and slavers and assorted CONTROL scum. And now you want to be like them?

  • Hyperion||

    Who wants to be like them? So changing things to the extent that people want to work and do productive things instead of accepting government dependency, is bad? I don't get it.

  • John||

    No you can't lie and even if you could Libertarians are comically bad at it.

    But you have to understand that leftism is not just politics but culture too. They tore down the culture for a reason. They wanted to create an environment conducive to dependence and government control.

  • Hyperion||

    Who wants to be like that?

    Changing voters minds that instead of government dependence, they can vote for being individuals who can do productive things with their life instead of dumb dependence, is bad? I have a confused.

  • Hyperion||

    Damn squirrels, I hates them to pieces!

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    In the realm of electoral politics, we should desire to be dominant if possible. I would not consider it manipulation if we are being forthright, however: as I see it, a libertarian involved in politics is more like a doctor; simply someone with more specialized knowledge than the average voter and thus more helpful at meeting their needs and more judicious about the use of coercive institutions in society.

    Is it arrogant of a doctor to believe his specialized knowledge is helpful to the task of healing, and should I reject his services as a result? I think not. Just because a doctor doesn't tell me everything involved in his craft does not make him manipulative -- often, it means he has good bedside manner.

    If libertarians are going to be more effective, they'll need better bedside manner.

  • Hyperion||

    That's what I am saying. I am saying that we have go get the freepers to realize that their best interest does not lie with supporting democrats who want to keep them poor and dependent.

    The question is, how do we do that? We can't promise free shit, or lie in any way, but we have to be active and use, say, the dems own tactics against them without being immoral in doing so.

  • sarcasmic||

    We'd have to convince them that it's better for them to try to turn their hobbies into businesses than to exist on free shit.

    The problem with that is that there are layers upon layers upon layers of regulations making it nearly impossible to start a small business.

    Governments at every level, from town to state to federal, believe it is their duty to prevent economic activity. And that's not going to change, because that's where they derive their power. They can stop people from doing things, or if they allow people to do things they can bark orders at every step of the way. They're not going to give that up without a fight. Or a war. Like with guns and stuff.

  • ||

    Go read some histories of the American West and you'll see all sorts of stuff like 14-year-olds setting out alone and setting up their own successful businesses. Now? Better make sure your lemonade stand permits and protection money are in order.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Governments at every level, from town to state to federal, believe it is their duty to prevent economic activity.

    Even after being a libertarian for about 20 years, I could not believe the story about the Detroit regulators who had a mandate to shut down dozens of small businesses a week. WHAT. THE. FUCK.

  • Hyperion||

    And another thing that we have to do, is get to young people, early on and educate them against statist indoctrination.

    Ron Paul should be on the road and in every university auditorium that his aging body will allow. Be nice if someone young and charismatic could join him. I am inspired by the liberty movement on campuses today. It really takes guts for those engaging in it, in light of how nearly 100% of the faculty are hardcore leftists.

  • BigT||

    I heard Ron Paul at Oberlin last spring. He was pretty awful - rambling and incoherent. I am a fan, but I was not impressed. And the local progs were not convinced.

    We need better Communicators. And simple slogans. Reagan's slogan - what are the most frightening words in the language: "I'm from the government and I'm here to help" is the kind of thing we need to have.

    Cuccinelli's "Don't let them Detroit Virginia" is great. We need more.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    libertarians need to find good ways to be pragmatic iin their implementation of principles, without tethering themselves to one party as a permanent base of support

    FdA's 75% rule.

    For me to vote for the establishment candidate rather than the "no chance of winning" protest candidate (LP), the R or D must be more libertarian than not.

    If you use the (very) loose interpretation that libertarians are fiscally conservative and socially liberal, each party is (or claims to be) already half (50%) libertarian. To get my vote, he needs to come halfway of the remaining 50% (25%) towards libertarianism.

    75% libertarian is "pure" enough for me to not be a sellout to my principles.

  • John||

    And no one will ever do that, Dem or Rep. That is not how politics works. You will never get your big moment where the country turns to you and says "you were right all along".

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I think what people are looking for is a moment a significant number of voters say, "those libertarians are horrible heartless people, but I suppose they may have a point about some of these bad laws."

  • John||

    And that won't happen either. What will happen is a number of people will go "hey these drug laws are really stupid" or "hey we need to do something about taxes".

    People didn't wake up one day and decide "hey socialism is a great idea". No, they decided "medicare is really nice" and "we need welfare" and the "rich need to pay their fair share". And after a while their opinion of "socialism" didn't matter since the net effect of their views amounted to it.

    So they will never come and like you. They will just decide your views or some of them are good and then adopt them.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I think that's my point. They'll come to some libertarian positions, but won't be any friendlier to the ideological libertarian movement. Mainstream politicians will have road-to-damascus moments and the voters will elect them, casting aside those who were prematurely right.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    That lies outside the scope of electoral politics and is better handled by education of the body politic.

    Mind you, I think that electoral politics are probably the least important aspect of politics; if libertarians wanted to up their game on any other aspect of political advocacy it would help their cause far more than if they concentrated on, say, making the LP a really, really good party at winning elections.

  • John||

    Libertarians would do well to try and be cultural forces and give up on politics. Politics doesn't suit them the way it does leftists. But going after the culture might.

  • BardMetal||

    Thats how I've always felt Social Conservatives. They should make movies, books, television, and comedy that promotes traditional values, and leave politics alone.

    It would be more effective then trying to force people into their moral beliefs, and it wouldn't alienate the more libertarian members in the GOP because it doesn't involve government force.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    If politics left them alone, they'd be more likely to leave politics alone.

    But what are they supposed to do if, when they nod off even for a second, their churches are ordered to pay for contraception and sterilization, their florists are ordered to cater gay weddings, etc?

    Anyway, they have plenty of books, movies, etc. It's not either/or.

  • BardMetal||

    "But what are they supposed to do if, when they nod off even for a second, their churches are ordered to pay for contraception and sterilization, their florists are ordered to cater gay weddings, etc?"

    Then they need to focus on limiting the power of the federal government, which I think is something both Libertarians and Socons can get behind, and that message should be the primary message of the GOP nationally.

    The Socons have mostly been on the defensive in the Culture war, and think having the federal government leave them alone is a message they could get behind.

    Libertarians and Socons don't have to be enemies.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I agree with Bardmetal. If libertarians and SoCons are savvy, they can present a unified front (at least, on national politics) and fight at the state level.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Libertarians and Socons don't have to be enemies.

    If they stay with moral suasion instead of legal coercion on non-rights violating issues, no, we wouldn't.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    I'd like to believe that but they've demonstrated their will to attempt to legislate morality again and again.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Some will, some won't. Just like some social liberals are statists, and some...are Gary Johnson.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Agree with Eddie.

    Besides, getting SoCons to agree with us on national politics and restricting them to state politics would be a huge win for both SoCons and libertarians.

  • Homple||

    It's difficult to organize people who only want to mind their own business.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    And no one will ever do that, Dem or Rep.

    Then you can't have my vote. No skin off my ass. I lose whether an R or a D wins.

    And parties DO change. The socons took over the Rs in the 80s and 90s. There is no reason to think the Rs are incapable of adaptation should they find themselves continuously losing because they don't have my vote.

  • John||

    Then you can't have my vote. No skin off my ass

    And as the hard left happily gives them their vote and slowly over a course of years and decades gets more and more in return, it will be a lot of skin off your ass.

    Fransisco, you are a living breathing example of why Libertarians have never accomplished a single thing or seen even one of their policies actually implemented. You think politics works by some kind of magical process where by the country suddenly realizes who right you always were and embraces your views.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    And you, John, are a living breathing example of why the establishment parties remain establishment.

    Libertarianism will eventually succeed, quite simply, because it is right. I don't need to convince anyone of anything that isn't 100% true in order to win.

    That's the difference between us and the establishment.

  • John||

    Libertarianism will eventually succeed, quite simply, because it is right.

    And that is magical thinking. Nothing says that because you are right you will succeed. And even if it did, that doesn't mean you will succeed all at once and success won't require a ton of compromises along the way. That is not not how society and politics works.

    You sound like a liberal talking about the economy. Liberals understand politics in a way Libertarians don't.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    There is nothing magical about it. Libertarianism is a philosophy whose time has come.

    How do you think the socons took power? People were sick of what the party had become, there was an alternative in the socons and they had a leader to pull them together.

    And thats EXACTLY where libertarians sit today.

    And the difference is, our way is based upon liberty and reason instead of emotion or invisible sky people.

    I'm sorry (not really) your Team is being displaced, but it's for the best. Buck up little cowboy.

  • John||

    How do you think the socons took power? People were sick of what the party had become, there was an alternative in the socons and they had a leader to pull them together.

    They took power by working their asses off and making all kinds of compromises and voting for a lot of candidates who were anything but SOCON in order to make themselves an indispensable part of the GOP.

    That is not where Libertarians sit now. They won't take half a loaf and won't compromise and thus will not become indispensable to either party.

    The SOCONS never ran third party candidates to torpedo candidates they didn't like.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Your idea of compromise is for me to give everything and you give nothing.

    Tell me John, what is it the Republican party is offering me in return for my vote? Name one fucking thing.

    Yet, I'm supposed to give them my support? Fuck that.

  • robc||

    seen even one of their policies actually implemented.

    Homebrewing was legalized.

    You are wrong.

    And arent the drug laws changing all over? How is that not a libertarian policy?

  • John||

    And arent the drug laws changing all over? How is that not a libertarian policy?

    But they are not being implemented by Libertarians. Yes, if you work with others you can get things done. But if you won't do that, you won't.

  • Randian filtered me, I WIN!||

    "But they are not being implemented by Libertarians. "

    This is why you're called red tony, when it is demonstrated that you're wrong, you obfuscate and play stupid fucking games.

    Your claim was or "seen even one of their policies actually implemented."

    That was obviously wrong, yet you think that the same analytical skills that led you to that conclusion are reliable in the rest of your analyses.

  • John||

    Fine,

    That is one. In how many years? You guys are political losers. That doesn't mean you are not right. But it is what it is.

    And even marijuana laws are medical bullshit and not legalization. Hell we have medical opiates, how is that working out.

    If medical marijuana is your showcase success, you don't have much to show for 50 years of work.

  • Homple||

    The loosening of MJ laws just points out that the folks in charge are realizing that they have to start passing out Soma pretty soon.

  • gaoxiaen||

    True. It took thirty-five years to get that (grudgingly)from my parents.

  • BardMetal||

    75% Libertarian is somewhat vague. It's not like you're measuring weight.

    It comes down to priorities. Whats more important the drug war, guns, government spending, the culture war?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    That's my thought. Beyond that, there is a fair amount of diversity in libertarian views, any mix of which might produce a different electoral result. Someone running on Walter Block-style parental rights reform or repealing the CRA is going to lose badly. Someone running on reducing taxes or drug war reform might do better. Picking issues which comprise your 60% or 75% or whatever your purity standard is more important than the purity level. Picking a good platform is only the beginning of what libertarians can do to improve themselves.

  • Hyperion||

    Beyond that, there is a fair amount of diversity in libertarian views

    Which is natural in a movement based on individuality. As opposed to the progressive movement, which is based on group think. Which is why lefties seem to always agree with each other and why they are such a great voting bloc for team blue.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Didn't say it was a mathematical formula. Certainly whether the candidate achieves 75% is a subjective determination, made by...

    ...me.

    My priorities will obviously sway that determination.

  • John||

    Exit polls reveal that twice as many Sarvis voters would have otherwise voted for McAuliffe over Cuccinelli.

    That could mean that those voters wanted McAuliffe to be more Libertarian. But more likely is that they though McAuliffe was such a horrible crook that they couldn't vote for him and wouldn't vote for a SOCON. If the Cuccinelli had not been a socon but a big spending moderate, those people would have probably not voted for Sarvis but gone R.

    The question is why were they not voting for McAuliffe? Was it because he was too much of a liberal or because he was too much of a crook? I think it is the latter and the lesson for the Dems is try to run a liberal who is not so loathsome even Mother Jones (on the day of the election when it is too late to do any harm) admits is a sociopath unfit for office.

  • wareagle||

    why do you assume they voted FOR TM and not against KC?

  • The Rt. Hon. Serious Man, Visc||

    I take it Ekins has not done an internal poll at Reason to see what our opinion is on alt-text.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Wow, Sarvis lowered the Dem margin of victory? I bet that Obama bundler who funded his ballot-access campaign is so happy to hear that!

  • John||

    Why should he care? There is no level of winning. McAulliffe won. It is not like he is going to be chastened or act any differently because he only won by one point or whatever.

  • Root Boy||

    He went in trying to buy votes away from Cooch, but ended up taking more from Mac.

    Dems playing with fire - they have to be careful if it backfires, which it almost did. He'll think twice about trying it in a Presidential election.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Yeah, the lesson will be "keep those third-party candidates off the ballot, they're wild cards and might bite us in the butt!"

  • Hyperion||

    moderate voters who value both economic and personal freedom.

    In all of my time here, I have never read a sentence in an article here that is more... ummm... fuck, it's so weird, I don't even know how to label it.

    Those who value both economic and personal freedoms, i.e., those who are very likely libertarians, are moderate voters? Whoaa! I have never heard moderate used to describe libertarians. I have mostly heard it used by both teams to describe themselves, you know, moderates as compared to those damn extremists on the other team?

    Fuck.the.what, H&R, do you need an editor? Well, ok, I believe in journalistic freedom, but wow, that was a doozy.

  • John||

    moderate voters who value both economic and personal freedom.

    Goes back to my question above, did the Sarvis voters who otherwise would have gone D really value freedom or did they just think McAulliffe was a crook and hated Cuccinilli?

    Just because you think crony capitalism is bad doesn't mean you value freedom.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    I have never heard moderate used to describe libertarians.

    Perhaps we should refer to ourselves this way from now on. It's a measure ripped from the progressive playbook. Call your position moderate making the other side the radical.

    I like it. Moderate libertarians.

  • MJGreen||

    I consider myself pretty moderate. I mean, I'm an anarchist, but my actual opinions are pretty damn moderate compared to the things some progressives, conservatives or even centrists say.

    Really, I'd think "live and let live" is the basis of a moderate position.

  • Hyperion||

    When I think of a moderate in politics, I always think of someone who really believes in nothing or, iow, someone who will change what they believe in dependent on what they think will get them votes. A pure politician with no morals, values, views, or anything, except for the desire to get elected again.

  • MJGreen||

    That sounds accurate for a politician. Such a politician would be called both moderate and pragmatic. In other words, doing whatever the conventional wisdom of DC is at the time.

  • Andrew S.||

    OT

    If you're a cop, emptying your gun at an unarmed man, including standing over him 3 times and shooting him in the back, equals self defense. http://www.chicagotribune.com/.....2817.story

  • Homple||

    What we have here is another kick in the nuts.

  • Aresen||

    The best thing about this may be the fact that getting only 48% of the vote makes it harder* for McAuliffe and Team Blue to claim a 'mandate.'

    *They will claim it nonetheless, but it is harder to do so without a majority.

  • John||

    Not really. McAulliffe can't run for re-election. He doesn't care what anyone things. This is his last big score. He will never hold high office again outside of maybe being a cabinet member in the next D administration. He is going to steal and pay off the hard left like there is no tomorrow.

    Is Reason really that naive? Do they honestly think winning 48% is less winning than wining at 50%?

  • Aresen||

    I am talking about the way that Team Blue will play it, not about whether it is more decisive.

    Meanwhile, I will do some wining myself.

  • BardMetal||

    When did facts ever get in the way of Team Blue's narrative?

    Even if they won one vote in a 4 way election they would claim they had a mandate.

  • gaoxiaen||

    I prefer tequilaing.

  • Harun||

    The key claim the Dems want inputted into the cultural consciousness is that the voters rejected the Tea Party.

    Sure, if you add Sarvis to Cooch, you could easily say the voters rejected corruption, or the tea party leaning groups won, but they won't focus on that.

    The MSM will push this hard as "voters spurn Tea Party."

    We may note that it could be "voters spurn SoCons" but I bet most media outlets will work the Tea Party line.

  • ||

    Wouldn't it be better if the libertarian candidate actually disrupted the election?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    "Chris Christie won! We should all be more like him!"

  • Hugh Akston||

    "We'd better start eating now!"

  • ||

    "Why are we using quotes!"

  • gaoxiaen||

    Damn. I have to quit going to the gym.

  • bendover||

    From the article Emily links to:

    “Finally, while it didn’t change the outcome, the third-party candidate in the race, Libertarian Robert Sarvis, may have made it closer for McAuliffe than it would have been otherwise. Had he not been on the ballot, a third of his voters said they’d have supported McAuliffe – slightly more than twice as many as said they’d have gone for Cuccinelli.”

    Am I wrong in reading this as 33% of the people polled said they would have voted for McAuliffe / 17% said they would have voted for Cuccinelli / and 50% said “bugger off, it’s none of your business.”

    Wake me when we make contact with the alternate universe where Robert Sarvis decides not to run for Governor.

  • Aresen||

    Most likely, the writer was innumerate, but I hope that "50% said 'bugger off'."

  • Andrew S.||

    Guessing it's more likely that the 50% is split, with some of them saying what you said but more saying they would've stayed home and not voted.

  • TANSTaaFL||

    "50% said “bugger off, it’s none of your business.”
    No, I took this to mean 33% would voted TMac, 17% CoochieNuts and 50% said it was always going to be one of A)Sarvis, B)another 3rd party candidate(if there was one) or C)stay home.

  • Kid Xenocles||

    The point is that if the poll is to be believed for every Cooch vote Sarvis took he took two from McAwful. The remnant is irrelevant for this particular discussion.

  • bendover||

    "The point is that if the poll is to be *believed* for every Cooch vote Sarvis took he took two from McAwful"

    And that Kid X is exactly my point - a poll with this much unknown means nothing.

  • Kid Xenocles||

    It's one indicator, nothing more. Could be an outlier, but these polls do at least tell us how the sample answered the question given - and of this sample, those with a stated second choice would not have gained anything for the GOP. I am willing to give it that much.

  • Root Boy||

    I think Libertarians will have little impact in these executive elections. The way we win is by slowly but surely put more libertarians into Congress and the State Houses. Mostly likely they will be Repubs like Amash, but some will be true LPs.

    Once you get a critical mass of LP and Tea Party Repubs, you can start setting the agenda and stopping stupid shit from getting through Congress. Imagine if that caucus is 50 strong with maybe 10-20 anti-drug war/antiwar/anti-NSA Dems. You could take down NSA, stop wars, and hopefully push for tax simplification/spending cuts. Some of that is happening.

  • Homple||

    It's nice to think so, but don't forget that the real government is a vast hoard of permanently entrenched self interested bureaucrats who are impervious to the influence of those pretending to manage them.

  • Thomas O.||

    Libertarians also need to get some big money people on their side. I think the main reason we've been treated like crap in the GOP is because Big Church is still one of the GOP's major sugar daddies, if not the biggest one. And they'll throw money at whoever stays on the anti-gay anti-licentiousness message.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Money isn't enough. SoCons are literally dying off and if Big Church gets its money displaced then they have no power.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    Its stupid that personal and economic freedom ever got separated. It tells me that TEAMS! purposely picked opposing sides, regardless of whether they were consistent with other positions they already picked.

  • John||

    They were always separated. In 1899, sodomy and adultery were illegal. But we are a thousand times more economically free.

  • sarcasmic||

    But we are a thousand times more economically free.

    Really? We're not at all economically free. Ever looked into what it takes to start a business? Governments at all level, from city to state to the feds, all feel it is their duty to prevent you from engaging in economic activity. Say you manage to get all the permits and licenses, now you must do everything their way. They practically run the business for you and can shut you down on a whim. Was it that way in 1899? Hardly. This was the Land of Opportunity, because you could actually start a business without asking permission and taking orders. Not so much today. We are a thousand times less economically free.

  • John||

    Sorry. I meant WERE. We are not even close to being economically free today as we were back then.

    My mistake.

  • BardMetal||

    I'm not sure if we're even more personally free now. In 1899 you could buy any type of drug you wanted, any type of gun, and you could smoke anywhere you damn welled pleased.

    Besides things related to sex (which would be hard to enforce anyways) we have a lot less personal freedoms.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    If you break it down to individual issues like guns, democrats and republicans are both a fucking retarded mix of positions.

  • John||

    It is because there are so many single issue groups that have to be united to get a coalition. Politics can never be pure.

  • Death Rock and Skull||

    True, but it would be far more dynamic if they all weren't so retarded with refusing to reevaluate primitive baggage.

    And there is at least one way to purify politics.

  • Calidissident||

    I don't mean to be "that guy" but it really depends on who you mean by "we."

  • Winston||

    In the days before police there was slavery so you anti-cop bigots obviously support slavery. And before the militarization of the police and a huge incarceration rate there was segregation and sodomy was illegal.

  • jimmyvvh479||

    My last pay check was 9500 dolr working 12 hours a week online. My sisters friend has been averaging 15k for months now and she works about 20 hours a week. I can't believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
    This is what I do---------- http://www.jobs53.com

  • Winston||

    the middle who want both parties to lean toward greater economic and social freedom

    Uh yeah. Who is this middle and why do they support statists? And why would the Dems care about libertarians when they win?

  • Michael Hihn||

    Who is this middle and why do they support statists?

    Libertarians rarely offer a meaningful alternatives. We string together a bunch of anti-gubmint slogans ... anti-gubmint instead of pro-liberty.

    People win elections by claiming to enrich people's lives, true or not. We have no policy prescriptions beyond "limited gubmint" That's a fact, based on 40 years on the front lines.

  • Ron Wagner||

    I cannot reconcile your opinion with that of Ron Paul, who supported Cucinelli. IMHO Ron Paul has the best record as a libertarian leader.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Yes, but a very low standard to judge by. He's a gold bug, and the gold standard was a major factor in the rise of Marxism.

  • anon||

    Politicians listen?

    I missed something.

  • James Anderson Merritt||

    "...the best way to get politicians to listen to you is to significantly impact an election..."

    I've been saying that since the 1980s, especially in response to the empty-headed GOP cheerleaders who keep advising libertarians to "work within the two party system." All that gets a libertarian is burnout and bitterness, along with the scorn of the GOP establishment that succeeded in conning, using and abusing yet another sucker. Politicians respect only those who can either help them win, or deny them victory. When libertarians help the major parties win, they are soon discarded and marginalized. This happened, for example with the Reagan victory in 1980. The people who got to drive the bus weren't the libertarians, they were the neocons (who are anything BUT libertarian). Libertarians were told to sit down in the back of the bus and shut up until they could lead cheers for the GOP in the next election. As I see it, the only remaining, realistic path for libertarian success is the so-called "third party strategy," which involves spoiling or winning elections -- denying victory to one major party, the other, or both. Good for Sarvis.

  • Michael Hihn||

    Appealing to the middle is NOT how it works -- as known by the vast majority of elected libertarians (not just me)

    Libertarians -- by definition -- have potential appeal across the entire spectrum. That means crafting policies with appeal both left and right. Many or most of those voters are in the middle, but that's not where to aim.

    We've been the majority for over 35 years (I was there, see WSPQ). In scientific polling, 59% of respondents self-described as both fiscally conservative and socially liberal in 2005 -- if offered that as a choice. Have we capitalized on that?

    If we ask people about 5 social and 5 fiscal issues, the majority are -- let's call them "generic" libertarians. If we ask them to self-describe, and offer the choice, a majority are fiscal conservatives and social liberals.

    But if we use the libertarian label -- it collapses to somewhere around 15%. It's the libertarian BRAND that kills us, not our message.

    What if we ignored labels ... campaigned on issues that combine fiscally conservative and socially liberal (tolerant) issues.

    Politics includes championing voters' values and causes. Campaign as an aggressive advocate of BOTH fiscal conservative AND socially liberal issues.

    The American people are WAY ahead of us. Have been for decades. It's long past time to catch up.

    We've sent all these years promoting libertarianism ... instead of a free society.

    Copyright 2013 by Michael J Hihn. All rights reserved.

  • ax123man||

    "The best way to get the political apparatus to care about you is to win an election"

    So naive. Politicians have never, and will never care about you. They may give lip service, but you will continue to live as a pseudo slave. The whole idea of some stranger 1000 miles away "caring" about a collective is really quite, well, collectivist. How about instead we all ignore them and there ridiculous rules and regulations and go about our business.

    You want to stop the train of socialism, fascism, crony capitalism,etc? Then they must fear you. When the realize they might actually have to get a job that results in the production of a real good or service, then you will have corralled this monster.

  • kiyakaka||

    my neighbor's step-mother makes $81 every hour on the internet. She has been out of work for 5 months but last month her income was $15044 just working on the internet for a few hours. hop over to here.......
    ==========================
    http://www.works23.com
    ==========================

  • Wirewizard||

    I don't get you people. There was NO LIBERTARIAN IN THIS RACE!!!!!
    Th GOP dropped support for the Republican on October 1st because they would rather not have a Conservative Tea party favorite win. It only took The Blaze 5 minutes to uncover the Administration backing behind your "Libertarian".

    Had the GOP continued to back him, the outcome of this race would have been much different.

  • taithit||

    my co-worker's half-sister makes $81 hourly on the computer. She has been fired for 5 months but last month her pay was $20214 just working on the computer for a few hours. hop over to this website.....
    WWW.JOBS84.COM

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