On First Looking Into Chapman's Voting

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When he participtated in Reason's "revealing presidential poll," Chicago Tribune columnist Steve Chapman wrote, "I haven't decided between John Kerry and Michael Badnarik. I have only the dimmest hopes for a Kerry presidency, but I think Bush has to be held accountable for Iraq, the worst foreign policy blunder since Vietnam, and the accelerated growth of the federal government."

Now he's made up his mind: "I'm going to vote for a Democrat for president," he declares in his latest column, adding, "Bad things have been the hallmark of the Bush presidency, from either a conservative or a liberal perspective. On Nov. 2, we can let him expand the grave damage he has done to the national interest–or we can hold him accountable. I'll vote for John Kerry without high hopes or enthusiasm, but vote for him I will."

Whole thing here (reg. required).

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  1. I am thoroughly disappointed in this committed Libertarian. An open statist, a secret statist and an open libertarian, and Chapman chooses one of the statists. Additionally, it’s common knowledge that a vote for Badnarik is a “disaffected conservative” vote against Bush…how can he endorse an open status?

  2. status = statist

  3. That’s it, somebody confiscate his secret decoder ring NOW! He’s no longer welcome in our debating society.

  4. You communist bastards!

  5. From the editorial: His presidency would also restore something valuable: divided government. Unlike Bush, Kerry would face a Congress dominated by the opposition party. As Cato Institute Executive Vice President David Boaz puts it, “Republicans wouldn’t give Kerry every bad thing he wants, and they do give Bush every bad thing he wants.”

    So, that would seem to make libertarians happier than four more year$$$$ of the $$$$ame.

    In other news, the WaPo endorses Kerry.

    And, Intel chairman Andy Grove says he’s voting for Kerry specifically because of the flu vaccine shortage and what it indicates about the administration in “Flu muddle makes Intel’s Grove mad at administration”: “I can’t make an argument that a Kerry government would be better… But I can argue that (the Bush) government is not working and is unlikely to change.”

    For more on that flu vaccine shortage, see this roundup.

    Based on my reading of several articles, it appears the FDA was completely negligent. And, I don’t think the buck should stop there, as this potential crisis – which might cost more lives than 9/11 – represents a deeply flawed and irreperable management style.

  6. I wish it didn’t come down to this, but it does.

    Gridlock is Good Government.

  7. FACT: Badnarik doesn’t stand a chance to win, period. Principal is worthless unless you have power to impliment it which the LP will NEVER bring us. Libertarians have to start being practical.

    FACT: Kerry DOES have a good chance of winning. If you really don’t want to see Dubbya in the Oval Office, your best chance of seeing that happen is to vote for Kerry.

    Just to be clear, I don’t like Kerry any more than I do Dubbya. That’s why I’m cross-voting for every Republican politician on the ballot to make sure we get a divided government despite the fact that they are militaristic, morality mongers. I may come out of the voting booth feeling dirty, but at least I really wouldn’t have wasted my vote for a no-win ticket featuring a nut who wants to blow up the UN building and outlaw the ZIP codes, and a running mate has a “Ph.D” in New Age bullshit from a diploma mill. Mark is right, until things change, we need gridlock to keep both sides in check.

  8. You guys are basing your entire gridlock thesis on the Clinton presidency and the fact that a Republican congress crossed swords with him here and there. Other than that there is no evidence that the theory of gridlock works because for the last 10 billion years the congress has been Democrat regardless of who was in the White House (I know the exceptions, they were short lived).

    Aside from that I don’t count an astronomical increase in government spending and regulation a huge success.

    And, your betting against the come that the Dems won’t control the congress if Kerry is elected.

    Since I have to shave most mornings, which requires looking at myself in the mirror, I’ll vote libertarian.

  9. Since I live in a state that probably will go Kerry, I’ll probably be writing in Tom Tancredo, even though he says people shouldn’t do that.

    However, if it’s close I won’t hesitate to vote for Kerry. I don’t think he’s anywhere near the person that Rove has, unfortunately successfully, been able to portray him has.

    If you want to vote Libertarian, but you also care about what happens during the next four years and you want to prevent another string of Bush failures, here’s a suggestion: either live in a state that doesn’t matter, or use one of those vote trading sites.

    With either you can send your message and also get something better than another four years of failure.

  10. Vote trading sites??? I can trade my votes AND my organs on the internet? Cash THIS, old schoolers!! Bartering’s BACK!!!

  11. The headline’s reference to Homer is simply fucking ingenius. And they said English majors were good for nothing!

  12. Actually, it’s a reference to Keats. I guess that English major was good for something.

  13. Additionally, it’s common knowledge that a vote for Badnarik is a “disaffected conservative” vote against Bush…

    Not necessarily. I’m voting for Badnarik, but I would not vote for Bush in a million years, mainly because his religious social agenda and all the warmongering cronies he’s dragged back into the administration from before I was born really turn me off. Plus I live in New York State, so… I can vote for whoever I want.

  14. Plus I live in New York State, so… I can vote for whoever I want.

    That must be the cutest thing I’ve read on this board. Sort of redefines freedom in democracy.

  15. Maybe I’m missing something. In the long term, to create a free society, don’t we need a strong libertarian political force? Have libertarians given up on doing anything more than slowing down our decent into oblivion? Or is there some secret plan here that I just can’t see?

    /Proud Badnarik supporter

  16. “Maybe I’m missing something. In the long term, to create a free society, don’t we need a strong libertarian political force?”

    We aren’t going to get it with the current crop of schitzos and and black helicopter watchers that currently make up a sizable portion of the LP and its leadership.

  17. Has any major US election ever been decided by a single vote? Until one is I think I’ll vote for the person I actually agree with the most regardless of whether they have a shot at winning. Besides, I live in California so my vote is pretty much guaranteed to accomplish nothing other than being an act of personal expression.

  18. I have never stated that those who do not vote Libertarian should hand in their decoder ring, or any other ridiculous “secret club” analogy. I merely thought that, first of all, a vote for someone is 100% of the support that you can give them, for all practical purposes. You can stump, donate and endorse, but the vote is ultimately what matters. And for a committed Libertarian to vote for a statist for the sake of some mythical “divided government” is a bad idea. After all, aren’t we the ones who came up with “the parties are all the same”? Even during the Daschle years Bush and Co., along with the Democrats, managed to spend a lot.

    And you’ll never get anywhere with that loser’s attitude about the LP. It ain’t the best, but it’s what we’ve got, and it could be better if most libertarians would shut the hell up and try to fix it instead of bitching.

  19. “FACT: Badnarik doesn’t stand a chance to win, period. Principal is worthless unless you have power to impliment it which the LP will NEVER bring us. Libertarians have to start being practical.”

    Um … this is what I thought I was doing with
    Bush last time. Fool me once…

    I’m voting Libertarian this time.

  20. I’m totally with this. All Libertarians should vote for Kerry, since his 3000 or so appointees, who really run the government, are more likely to be hostile to religion, friendly to both pot & porno, and convinced we need to neuter the fed police immediately – and these are the important civil liberties issues of the age, on which the election should be decided.

    – A Proud Kerry Voter.

  21. Well, Keats and Homer apart, WTF is with this Manchap’s writing? “Bad things have been the hallmark of the Bush presidency”? Bad things? I wouldn’t call that loading every rift with ore.

    “[B]ut vote for him I will”? Yoda I am. Write column for Tribune I do. Sheesh!

  22. We Democrats can do divided government gridlock all by ourselves, thank you very much! Remember the 93 health care bill?

  23. That’s why I’m cross-voting for every Republican politician on the ballot to make sure we get a divided government despite the fact that they are militaristic, morality mongers.

    This is rather a broad brush, isn’t it?

    until things change, we need gridlock to keep both sides in check.

    Nothing will ever change as long as ‘people of principle’ abandon their principles to play power politics.

    All Libertarians should vote for Kerry, since his 3000 or so appointees, who really run the government, are more likely to be … convinced we need to neuter the fed police immediately.

    I’m sorry, this is delusional (my opinion).

    G

  24. Very simply, a vote for Kerry is a validation of the Michael Moores and MoveOns of the world. And frankly, I don’t like the idea of their feeling validated.

    So I’ll be voting for Bush. This election is about far more than the single man whose name is on the ballot. That’s not where the power of a win will lie.

  25. Sadly, Sam, a vote for Bush is, in the same way, a validation of the Karl Roves, Rush Limbaughs, Judge Roy Moores, and Swift Boat Liars of the world.

    There’s just no point in making up your mind that way.

  26. A vote for either of them is a validation of the mindset of both sides, and I thought that libertarians claimed that we were above that. However, it seems that many libertarians, while they claim that they are beyond the left-right dichotomy, are stil sucked into so much that they can’t decide: Bush or Kerry?

    Quite frankly, neither Bush nor Kerry will know or care WHO voted for them, be it libertarians for this reason of disaffected conservatives for that reason: all they know is that a vote for them is a vote for their past performace and their current beliefs.

    I choose to validate neither, and libertarians will never make themselves heard if they continue to support the two-party machine.

  27. “All Libertarians should vote for Kerry, since his 3000 or so appointees, who really run the government, are more likely to be hostile to religion”

    Is that what libertarians stand for, hostility towards religion? You sound like a fucking communist

  28. A vote for the establishment keeps the establishment in power. Your individual vote can’t possibly make a difference if the greater or lessor of evils gets to sit on the throne. Each and every vote against the establishment is precious. If more people voted Libertarian, more people would consider voting Libertarian next time around. Therefore, unless you vote for the LP, you are throwing your vote away.

  29. “All Libertarians should vote for Kerry, since his 3000 or so appointees, who really run the government, are more likely to be hostile to religion ………….”

    Well, Terry Kerry, her hubby, and the minions will doubtless be hostile to anything remotely connected to christianity, but most other religions will be fine (except the occassional Koresch-type wacked-out cult).

    Aside from that, I have to agree with Grummun that this is delusional pre-election wishful thinking. The man is a statist and there is simply no way to get away from that. You’re just trading a Kerry rabbit punch on guns for a Bush rabbit punch on dope.

  30. I never thought I’d live to see the day when I thought Clinton was… not so bad after all.

    Well, Terry Kerry, her hubby, and the minions will doubtless be hostile to anything remotely connected to christianity, but most other religions will be fine

    Do I smell a whiff of anti-Catholicism?

  31. Warren is right on…if you want your voice to be heard, it needs to be added to a bunch of other voices just like it, or be drowned out. The more of us vote libertarian, the more legitimate the LP becomes. Eventually, the “…crop of schitzos and and black helicopter watchers…” will be only a small part of LP compared to all the “normal” members.

    I just love all the sell-outs. As TWC says, it’ll be nice to be able to look at myself in the mirror after the elections.

  32. I just love all the sell-outs

    This is a serious question, based on a hypothetical full of hindsight. Serious. Really.

    It’s 194something. Germany.

    the candidates / their poll numbers
    ———— —————–

    Adolph Hitler / 49%
    Johann K?rry / 49%
    Schlumpi Badnarik / 0.002%

    1. Whom do you vote for?
    2. Would a libertarian voting for K?rry be a sell-out?
    3. How evil does one of the possible winners have to be before “selling out” becomes the only possible option?

    (Please note – I am not saying Bush is Hitler. I am interested only in the answers to the hypothetical.)

  33. raymond, methinks Herr Godwin’s rules would be in effect.

    Seriously, had I been a voter in Weimar Germany, I might well have supported an authentically liberal party, but since the Chancellorship was dependent on the confidence of the Reichstag, I would have been happy to participate in an anti-Nazi coalition of parties, which a parliamentary system allows.

    Kevin

  34. 8. Are there any topics that lead directly to Godwin Invocations?

    Well, yeah. Of course. … talk with a Libertarian for more than a few hours and he’ll almost certainly bring up Nazis…

    I had to look Godwin’s Law up. A worthwhile little effort.

    (I don’t think it applies here, though.)

    It is my opinion that even the staunchest libertarian – even a full-blooded anarchist – would vote for Kerry if he felt Bush was truly a threat to his own well-being.

    …had I been a voter in Weimar Germany

    In my hypothetical and given the date, it isn’t Weimar Germany. So, he is running for re-election. 😉

  35. Raymond, no, I’m not specifically anti-Catholic I’m generally against religion of any stripe, including so-called Native American religious stuff that is used as a club to screw up some of our historic sites. I even opted to send my kids to public school because I couldn’t find a private school that wasn’t religious. But, I digress.

    When I say “remotely connected to christianity” I mean that any hostility toward religion will be extended toward any christian religion, including Catholicism.

  36. Well, since I’m a white guy, I could’ve been comfortable voting for Badnarik in your hypothetical. 😉

    It’s a big stretch to compare the 2, however, and even without Godwin’s law…how could I, as a voter, have known just how evil Hitler was?

    Nice try, but I don’t think your hypothetical stands up to scrutiny.

  37. …not specifically anti-Catholic…

    I figured since Kerry’s Catholic… Simplified version–> I know Christians who do not consider Catholics Christian. So I understood your comments in that light. My mistake.

    how could I, as a voter, have known just how evil Hitler was?

    Because he’s running for re-election, and because you’re blessed with hindsight. Hypothetically.

    The point I was trying to make (“the staunchest libertarian – even a full-blooded anarchist – would vote for Kerry if he felt Bush was truly a threat to his own well-being”) really boils down to this: Every mature person has one first principle: his own well-being (however he may define that well-being).

    So I don’t see a libertarian’s voting for Kerry as a “sell out”.

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