Libertarians and the GOP

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The real political battle that I hope will be in our future will not be the tired old Republican/conservative versus Democrat/liberal debate. It should be one within the GOP between libertarians and the entrenched Republicans who have forgotten their promises after taking power….

There are facts that support my gut feeling that a lot more libertarian-leaning folks like me are out there than are recognized by the media and politicians.

In a recent Gallup Poll, it was determined that 27% of Americans are conservative, 24% liberal, and 20% libertarian. Since we tend to operate within the GOP, we libertarian 20% tend to be lumped in with the conservatives, which does us a disservice. The poll found that libertarians are the most educated and growing sector of the voting public. We also tend to be more diverse than even the liberals. Yet we are taken for granted in the GOP like the blacks are in the Democratic Party. We have about as much clout within our party as the Log Cabin Republicans, and that needs to change.

From a column written by Ron Hart. Whole thing here.

Cato Institute's David Boaz on "libertarian orphans" here.

Me pointing out that the Log Cabin Republicans actually get better seating at big conservative events than libertarians here.

Two libertarian Democratic things to consider: Freedom Democrats and Terry Michael's blog.

NEXT: Baby-Making Blather

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  1. 20% are libertarians, eh? Perhaps if you use a very loose definition of the term.

  2. You know, going by the comments I read here, I don’t see many Libertarian-Republicans abandoning the GOP. When it comes down to it they simply don’t see there being as much threat to their civil liberties from the right as they see there being threats to their economic liberties from the left.

  3. You guys don’t have the guts to cast off from us Republicans. Oh, and, don’t talk to the press about this without clearing it with me first.

  4. Maybe it’s that many individuals are 20% libertarian. I know plenty of people who are libertarian when it comes to issues where they personally want more freedom, and statist on issues where they don’t want others to have. Libertarian on things like taxes and services they don’t use, but statist on services they do. Add to that the general acceptance that people have of the status quo, and you might arrive at people whose voting habits indicate libertarian tendencies 20% of the time.

  5. When it comes down to it they simply don’t see there being as much threat to their civil liberties from the right as they see there being threats to their economic liberties from the left.

    My impression was that when it comes down to it, many see a bigger threat from taxes, public schools and any type of gun regulation than from illegal spying and expanded government police powers.

    Also it seems that many would rather eat shit then vote for a nanny-state big spender democrat. I think the GOP knows what’s up. They know that the worst case scenario is losing the libertarian votes to third parties, not to democrats.

    That’s just my impression I get, and in no way am I trying to pass judgement.

  6. It’s funny, as someone who first voted in 1994 and has seen a Congress with a GOP majority for my adult voter life, I’ve evolved the other way. I prefer moderate Dems in the Clinton mold, who reign in spending (in part due to the opposition of a Rep. Congress). On the other hand, they are reasonably keep true to basic liberal social tenets (pro-choice, reasonably good about 4th amendment concerns, etc.)

    While the far left of the Dem party scares, the far right of the GOP scares me more. With moderate Dems, you get the economic benefit, without the cost of social conservatism. The same
    mentality attracts me to moderate Reps, who are scarcer than ever In 2000 I absentee-balloted (is that a verb?) to RI, and voted for Chafee, who has been a disappointment as far as being a voice of moderation in the GOP. Now that I am a VA resident, I long for moderate GOP. I’d also vote for McCain for prez in a heartbeat (sorry Reason staffers).

    I guess this post is my long winded way of saying I belong to no one, like most libs.

  7. See also: What’s happened to the Collegiate Network.

  8. Libertarians who vote GOP are even sillier than the holy-roller-buy-american contingent that laps up GOP lip service.

    Unless your idea of libertarianism is giving tax money (or special tax breaks) to whoever gives your campaign (and your wife) more money, libertarians should not be voting for a party that elects Tom Delay, and the the Boehner, and Bill Frist to leadership.

  9. With moderate Dems, you get the economic benefit, without the cost of social conservatism.

    Well, you get the economic benefit only so long as the Republicans hold the Congress. After all, Bill Clinton’s first major legislative proposal was socialized medicine, and the only Dem complaint I heard about the recent belt-buster budgets was that they didn’t spend enough and didn’t raise taxes.

    The social conservative agenda is annoying, but it rarely shows up in legislation, really. Sure, some of the regulatory agencies get pretty uppity (the FCC leaps to mind, and the AG’s rather creepy pursuit of pr0n), but really, have the socio-cons pushed through any legislation of note? I can’t think of any off-hand.

  10. It doesn’t take legislation for an administration to do damage. I know I’m going to have a heart attack the next time I see one of those ONDCP commercials.

  11. My impression was that when it comes down to it, many see a bigger threat from taxes, public schools and any type of gun regulation than from illegal spying and expanded government police powers.

    You must understand the engine that drives illegal spying and expanded government police powers.

    1. The police state is depended on taxes – You can’t have a police state without paying for it, and police states are expensive if they are to work. Low or no taxes are incapatible with a police state.

    2. An armed population is the ultimate defense against a police state. The threat of popular revolution from the people is enough of a scare police state tactics from being used on the majority of people.

    3. Public Schools are the propoganda engine of the police state – We wouldn’t have a police state if we didn’t have a government run school system that preaches that the government should solve all problems (i.e. police everything).

    The police state is the end result of other government policies (and in general, a pro-government ideology)), not an isolated policy in itself. The police state is the inevitable consequence of big government. THE ONE AND ONLY WAY to stop the police state is to support a small, decentralized government. If you support anything other than a small decentralized government, you support the police state.

  12. I can’t think of any off-hand.

    The Communications Decency Act immediately comes to mind.

  13. Nice jeremiad, Rex. Now try dealing with the reality that people want what you call a police state, and not just because they went to public schools.

  14. Nice jeremiad, Rex. Now try dealing with the reality that people want what you call a police state, and not just because they went to public schools.

    If the sheeple want a police state it’s because the police state lies to them, and they believe the lies. A lot of the lying occurs in public schools, but you can watch CSPAN or an episode of “Cops” to see more of the same.

  15. I like watching cops, it mostly confirms my deep suspicion of police officers.

  16. The cause and effect are reversed. The GOP has abandoned conservatism AND libertarianism. I’ve got a suggestion for the next ideal ultra conservative libertarian oriented Presidential candidate. He will be rich even if the family fortune comes from funny dealings. Despite being well educated and his family politically connected he will serve and promises to support the military going forward. In fact his budgets will push to raise military spending double as a current percentage of the budget. Clearly religious to the point of people openly questioning his loyalty he will be vehemently anti-abortion. His budgets won’t have any of this progressive (liberal agenda) nonsense about Medicare or Federal education funding. He will be unafraid of foriegn entanglements to the point of massive intervention without bothering with any of this silly congressional oversight crap. His name? JFK. And today he is far too conservative and smal government to be even considered a viable candidate.

  17. The Communications Decency Act immediately comes to mind.

    To be fair, wasn’t Bill Clinton very proud of this? And it passed with an 84-16 vote, so I don’t know if this would qualify as “socio-con” legislation

  18. Don’t forget us civil libertarians. Without us all you would have is neo-libertarians now.

  19. The Communications Decency Act was passed in 1995, shortly before Bill Clinton was re-elected. I think you could count it as a “moderate Dem” product at least as much as a socio-con product.

    Have we all forgotten Tipper Gore as well as Hillarycare?

  20. I think there are more libertarians than most people think.

    One problem is that most libertarians never even heard of the word before and don’t realize there is an organized philosophy they believe in.

    The other problem is that an awful lot of them don’t vote, rationally so if they think the only choices are Republican or Democrat, and since they don’t go into the booth they never see the Libertarian alternative.

    Finally, there is inertia and the whole does-my-vote-count deal people wrestle with. Inertia is a problem because people think only one of the two major parties can win, even though we have an awful lot of people on our side (my opinion, and apparantly also the poll in question’s opinion too). Therefore even on a forum like this people feel the need to argue Republicna vs Democrat. I’m sure there will be those who reflexively smash the LP, but in terms of principles they are still the most libertarian of all the parties.

    So unless you happen to live in Ron Paul’s district, then I suggest voting for the LP candidate. Your vote is not going to decide they election regardless of who you vote for, but if all libertarians voted for the candidate that fir the libertarian mold best, they’d vote LP. But they vote for one of the other parties, or more often don’t vote at all.

    Don’t blame me, I voted for Kerry before I voted against him.

    Ok I actually voted Libertarian, but don’t ask me his name, cause I don’t know, lmao.

  21. What’s a libertri-un, again? I think my uncle was one but I never understood what he was talking about because he was also always staring at my ass.

  22. I have always voted Democrat, basically because the law-and-order thuggish police-state Republicans scare me a lot more than the Nanny-state Democrats. I’d like to find a plausible alternative, but seriously–the LP? Everybody I’ve ever seen an interview with who was running under the LP imprimatur struck me immediately as a tin foil-hat nutjob. Surely there’s a way to get the “mostly want to be left alone middle” together?

  23. …most libertarians never even heard of the word before and don’t realize there is an organized philosophy they believe in.

    Libertarianism is an organized philosophy?
    Ha ha ha!
    Funniest thing I’ve read today.

  24. *Also it seems that many would rather eat shit then vote for a nanny-state big spender democrat.*

    Now, a nanny-state, big spender Republican….

    Where’s mah walkin’ stick?

  25. I think it’s important to remember that libertarian ties to the Republican party go back a long way, through a time when Democrats truly dominated the political machine. If it’s true that libertarians are really the most growing sector of the voting public, it seems obvious to me that the ties between libertarians and the GOP will weaken considerably.

    After all, if you discovered libertarianism within the last 6 years, it’s doubtful that you see the Republican party as anything but an affront to liberty. I think you also see a much higher level of debate within the libertarian community than with either of the major parties, which appeals to people who have grown tired of the inane talking points that pass for arguments (not that they don’t exist in libertarianism, it’s just that they’re not centrally directed ;)). Finally, the computer tech crowd certainly seems to have a higher than average libertarian population. Maybe it has something to do with their knowledge of decentralized systems and aversion to regulation.

    Will any of this add up to a valid LP? No. But it can’t hurt. Besides, all this talk about the GOP abandoning their conservative principles is ridiculous: they’re only hiding them until they lose a little power.

  26. I don’t think it’s that there are really so many libertarian Republicans here. I’d say there are probably as many non-Republican libertarians posting here. (I’m not counting the non-libertarian Republicans in either category.)

    It’s just that there aren’t any libertarian Democrats. *cough* Here, I mean. 😉

  27. If the sheeple want a police state it’s because the police state lies to them, and they believe the lies.
    On what do you base that rather fantastic statement? I don’t doubt that the state lies, but the idea that if people could just see the light, they would rebel is silly. People see the truths they want to see (and yes, that includes libertarians). Humans may or may not be wired to seek freedom for themselves, but they are certainly not wired to seek it for others.

  28. It might take a few more national election wipeouts for the Dems, but I can actually see something like this happening down the road. A political party really does have to stand for something more than legalized theft.

    Unfortunately, all they really have to stand for right now is not being Republicans to gain a substantial portion of the vote. If you couple that with those GOP voters who are disaffected by the current administration’s policies, I think the Dems actually stand a decent chance of winning some power back…even if they don’t have anything new to say.

    If I can’t have a decentralized government, at least I can hope for a centralized one that’s cut in half.

  29. 25/f anyone want to chat? Have pics

  30. Reason Pillow Girl,

    You wouldn’t happen to know where I could get orGAn%#c h&ERBAl V&iaGRa f4or LEss?

  31. I think David had it right in the 4th comment in this thread. A lot of people will describe themselves as libertarians, except that they think the government should prohibit people from doing X, where X is some activity where everyone involved consents, but the fact that X is happening so inconveniences or offends the sensibilities of the “libertarian” in question, that regulation is appealing to them.

    While talking politics with a friend of mine, I thought I had brought him into the libertarian fold after hearing what he thought about a lot of issues, and pointing out to him how neither the Ds nor the Rs shared his positions. He self-identifies as a libertarian now, except that he is supportive of the smoking bans (we live in CA) because he so dislikes the smell of cigarette smoke. Sorry, but “libertarian except for where it inconveniences me” is not libertarian. Likewise, “libertarian, except I don’t mind the police state because I’ve got nothing to hide” is not libertarian.

  32. Wellfellow I don’t know what your talking about.

    No one wants to chat? That’s ME in the picture!

    Oh, I see. I knew it. That picture makes me look fat. And my tits are too little. Their not really that little. And my head’s not that big!

    That’s the last time I let Matt Welch take my picture!

  33. Like I said before, you’re just getting exactly what you deserve. Choke on it, Clyde. Thanks for screwing the rest of the country.

  34. George W. drove me away from the GOP; his departure from the scene will not necessarily be enough to bring me back.

  35. anon,

    Sorry, but “libertarian except for where it inconveniences me” is not libertarian.

    i understand your point. however, this becomes a problem for people like me who is considered libertarian by many D’s & R’s, but would probably be considered, at the most generous, a moderate liberal around here. (i support public schools, some environmental regs, etc.)

    now i don’t particularly mind that label, but it makes me wonder just how libertarian i’d need to be to be considered a REAL libertarian.

    in short, i’m not a libertarian not because i don’t want to associate with the label, but because i’m told that i have not met a certain standard.

    thankfully i’m satisfied with being a political mutt.

  36. Poor Nick grumbles that “at NR’s 50th anniversary bash, a couple of folks from the Log Cabin Republicans managed to snag seats at table 52 while the crew from Reason were banished to a kids’ table in the mid-80s. But I’m not grumbling: We all got the same food and booze.” Yes, but the Log Cabin boys gave better head. All libertarians want to do is talk. (In fact, they’d rather talk than make money! Why, after all, do libertarians come to DC? I mean, if you want to make money you go to New York or LA. This town isn’t built on money! It’s built on talk!)

  37. downstater,

    I think most self-styled libertarians are minarchists. My personal definition of that is in two parts: 1)You should be able to do whatever you want to do so long as you don’t infringe on someone else’s right to do what they want. 2) The government should only confine itself to handling “commons problems”, trying to impose itself as little as possible. One such commons problem is enforcing part 1, i.e. law enforcement.

    The environment is a commons problem. How this commons problem is handled is a technical problem, with the vast majority wanting a method that at least takes into account supply and demand, i.e. markets. The problem with deciding how big of a problem any given commons problem actually is will always be a source of contention, and how to deal with said problem will also be a source of contention too.

    As far as public schools are concerned, most libertarians these days are in favor of parents choice for schooling, aka school choice. Public schools will no longer be funded directly by the government, but by the choice of parents to use their vouchers to send their kids to public schools, or their choice to send them to private schools.

    Many people who like what they hear about libertarianism get hugely turned off when it comes to drugs. They have had the notion drilled into them that if you are opposed to drug use then you must believe they should be illegal. I personally happen to be very much opposed to the vast majority of drugs currently illegal, but I also happen to think that 1) making them legal and regulated (gasp, I used the R word) will reduce harm much, much more than drug prohibition. and 2) that adults have the right to make their own risk/reward decisions. The most obvious such risk/reward choice palatable to the average drugs-are-evil believer is drug use for terminally ill patients. 3) That the rules should be different for minors, and the penalties for adults who aid and abet minor’s drug use should be draconian.

    Even school vouchers is not a “pure” libertarian position, but most libertarians aren’t 100% pure. I for one will settle for 99 44/100 pure, or even a bit less.

  38. First of all, libertarians (if the claim is true) need to stop thinking of the GOP as “our party.”

  39. You know, going by the comments I read here, I don’t see many Libertarian-Republicans abandoning the GOP. -Sigourney Beaver

    I voted for Bush the first time but changed my party affiliation to Libertarian two or three years ago and I did not support him this time around. I mostly made this decision based on the whole Medicare perscription drug benifit issue but there were plenty of other reasons…The steel tariffs and Bush’s statement that he would sign the new assault weapons ban if congress passed it are a couple of other issues that come to mind. I’m kind of “on-the-fence” on the Iraq War issue so that didn’t enter into the equation.

    I don’t feel fully comfortable with being a “Libertarian” and I’m still hoping that the GOP will move back to being the party of Reagan and Goldwater. But based on the response of most of the GOP to the whole NSA wire-tap thing I think that my separation from the GOP will continue for quite some time.

    I don’t want to associate with a group that will easily sacrifice my civil rights and privacy for the “greater security of the nation”…Just as I don’t want to associate with a group that will easily sacrifice my property and economic rights for the “greater good of the people”.

  40. Is 20% of the population libertarian? Yes, by the definition they’re using- socially “liberal”, economically “conservative”. Just as most conservatives aren’t Bill Buckley and most populists aren’t Pat Buchanan, most libertarians aren’t going to be as ideologically “pure” as Harry Browne, Ayn Rand, or David Friedman. Most are going to be moderates, with politics more like those of the Minnesota Independence party, the congressional “Blue Dog” democrat caucus, or socially-liberal northeast establishment republicans.

    Has the GOP abandoned libertarians? Yes… they’ve basically stolen the populist vote from the Democrats, who held it back in the 50’s and 60’s, and the Democrats are too busy trying to “me too” to get their populist wing back that they’re missing a ready, disaffected voter base in the libertarian segment of the population. If Democrats would go after the disaffected libertarians, maybe they could win a few more elections- it worked last year when they took the state government of Montana by coalitioning libertarian ranchers, small businessmen and sportsmen with mountain liberals… it worked for Stephanie Herseth in South Dakota… could it work nationwide?

    Unfortunately, we probably won’t see in 2008- Hillary has turned into a statist-populist of the worst stripe (if she wasn’t one already, which is debatable), and is probably a shoo-in for the nomination, sadly enough. But perhaps the Democratic party will “realign” sometime in the next decade. In any event, they can start building the coalition now…

  41. I have a proposal. Let’s forget about the notion of libertarians being associated with any political party at all. What we need to be is a well-funded interest group. We can “score” the politicians based upon their voting record, and inform our members about whom they should consider casting their vote for each election. It seems clear to me that there is room for a “leave us alone” interest group other than the NRA and NARAL (there are plenty of other issues we could harp on). I’m not talking about another CATO, but a real PAC with a political agenda.

  42. Ron, I agree. An organization that just generally promotes libertarian values and candidates could be useful. Some sort of Liberty Clearinghouse. Of course, it’s difficult to keep something like that mainstream enough to work. Look at the ACLU, which does some good work, then loses focus and goes into promoting leftwing politics. Screw the issues, I just want limited government. We’ll quibble later.

  43. For me, it really is a matter of the lesser evil. Since I agree with Republicans 40% of the time and Democrats only 10%, my poisons are both pretty bitter.

    In the end, I feel that Democrats attempt to restrict my freedom more – high taxes, outrageous lawsuits, nanny-state rules and regulations, and state-sponsored bigotry being a few examples. Compare all that to some computer snooping my phone calls to Pakistan for the Arabic words for “nuclear” and “bomb”, and I will have to choose the latter.

  44. First of all, libertarians (if the claim is true) need to stop thinking of the GOP as “our party.”

    OK, I will…if Falwell, Dobson, et al promise to do the same…

  45. Off topic — I’ve been a home owner and registered libertarian for many years, but never been called for jury duty. I’ve wondered if being registered libertarian has anything to do with it. Anybody got an insight?

  46. How often you get called for jury duty is a function of how often they need juries in your court district. I remember about a decade ago my uncle in Brooklyn complained that it seemed like he was constantly on jury duty.

    I’ve managed to never serve on jury duty, and I’ve also managed to be “called” only once. I’ve simply moved too much, and lived in too many places with a high supply/low demand for jurors.

    Or at least that is what I thought. Hmmmmmmm. Perhaps there is a conspiracy to not call Libertarians for jury duty. Afraid of jury nullification perhaps? I’ve been a registered Libertarian for 15 years or so now. I haven’t always voted Libertarian, but I feel like it is helpful in a tiny way to be registered Libertarian regardless of how I vote, it gets me counted as a libertarian with a little l.

    Imagine not getting called for jury duty because you are a Libertarian. If that is happening, it makes a great reason to register Libertarian. 🙂 Unless of course it is your hope to get called for jury duty for a drug case for example where you simply refuse to convict because you think prohibition is unconscionable.

  47. Hmm. I wonder, because my wife has been called for jury duty several times. She hasn’t made the final cut yet, and I definitly think it’s because she (like me) is an engineer.

    I know a lot of lawyers don’t like letting engineers on their juries. All the engineers I work with have had my wife’s experience, getting called but then getting rejected.

  48. Many people are never called for jury duty.
    Most people called up for jury duty don’t sit on a jury.

    Paranoid much?

  49. “As far as public schools are concerned, most libertarians these days are in favor of parents choice for schooling, aka school choice. Public schools will no longer be funded directly by the government, but by the choice of parents to use their vouchers to send their kids to public schools, or their choice to send them to private schools.”

    This mischaracterizes vouchers. Vouchers are a way to have education directly funded by the government. It takes my money and puts it in your hands to control to provide a service to me. Public education is not a service provided to parents. It is a service provided to the community at large. If you think your share of taxes pays for your child’s education you need to look into educational finance more carefully. Parent’s taxes only pay a small portion of their child’s educational costs. The rest is picked up by others, including those without children. Vouchers just add a layer of or two of administration costs between the money and the service and are unlikely to have a large impact on quality of service to children if implemented widely.

    Not only is it the opposite of a libertarian solution to the problem, it is an inefficient version of a statist solution. The most powerful form of school choice comes through direct involvement by parents in their children’t education. If you leave the education up to someone else, it doesn’t matter if the service is provided by a government employee or a government contractor.

  50. Another party’s platform.
    Seems like a lot of shared values between these and the libertarianism described here.

    1. GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY

    Every human being deserves a say in the decisions that affect his or her life and should not be subject to the will of another. Therefore, we will work to increase public participation at every level of government and to ensure that our public representatives are fully accountable to the people who elect them. We will also work to create new types of political organizations which expand the process of participatory democracy by directly including citizens in the decision-making process.

    2. SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY

    All persons should have the rights and opportunity to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment. We must consciously confront in ourselves, our organizations, and society at large, barriers such as racism and class oppression, sexism and homophobia, ageism and disability, which act to deny fair treatment and equal justice under the law.

    3. ECOLOGICAL WISDOM

    Human societies must operate with the understanding that we are part of nature, not separate from nature.
    We must maintain an ecological balance and live within the ecological and resource limits of our communities and our planet. We support a sustainable society which utilizes resources in such a way that future generations will benefit and not suffer from the practices of our generation. To this end we must practice agriculture which replenishes the soil; move to an energy efficient economy; and live in ways that respect the integrity of natural systems.

    4. NON-VIOLENCE

    It is essential that we develop effective alternatives to society’s current patterns of violence. We will work to demilitarize, and eliminate weapons of mass destruction, without being naive about the intentions of other governments.
    We recognize the need for self-defense and the defense of others who are in helpless situations. We promote non-violent methods to oppose practices and policies with which we disagree, and will guide our actions toward lasting personal, community and global peace.

    5. DECENTRALIZATION

    Centralization of wealth and power contributes to social and economic injustice, environmental destruction, and militarization. Therefore, we support a restructuring of social, political and economic institutions away from a system which is controlled by and mostly benefits the powerful few, to a democratic, less bureaucratic system. Decision-making should, as much as possible, remain at the individual and local level, while assuring that civil rights are protected for all citizens.

    6. COMMUNITY BASED ECONOMICS

    Redesign our work structures to encourage employee ownership and workplace democracy. Develop new economic activities and institutions that will allow us to use our new technologies in ways that are humane, freeing, ecological and accountable, and responsive to communities.
    Establish some form of basic economic security, open to all.
    Move beyond the narrow “job ethic” to new definitions of “work,” jobs” and “income” that reflect the changing economy.
    Restructure our patterns of income distribution to reflect the wealth created by those outside the formal monetary economy: those who take responsibility for parenting, housekeeping, home gardens, community volunteer work, etc.
    Restrict the size and concentrated power of corporations without discouraging superior efficiency or technological innovation.

    7. FEMINISM AND GENDER EQUITY

    We have inherited a social system based on male domination of politics and economics. We call for the replacement of the cultural ethics of domination and control with more cooperative ways of interacting that respect differences of opinion and gender. Human values such as equity between the sexes, interpersonal responsibility, and honesty must be developed with moral conscience. We should remember that the process that determines our decisions and actions is just as important as achieving the outcome we want.

    8. RESPECT FOR DIVERSITY

    We believe it is important to value cultural, ethnic, racial, sexual, religious and spiritual diversity, and to promote the development of respectful relationships across these lines.
    We believe that the many diverse elements of society should be reflected in our organizations and decision-making bodies, and we support the leadership of people who have been traditionally closed out of leadership roles. We acknowledge and encourage respect for other life forms than our own and the preservation of biodiversity.

    9. PERSONAL AND GLOBAL RESPONSIBILITY

    We encourage individuals to act to improve their personal well-being and, at the same time, to enhance ecological balance and social harmony. We seek to join with people and organizations around the world to foster peace, economic justice, and the health of the planet.

    10. FUTURE FOCUS AND SUSTAINABILITY

    Our actions and policies should be motivated by long-term goals. We seek to protect valuable natural resources, safely disposing of or “unmaking” all waste we create, while developing a sustainable economics that does not depend on continual expansion for survival. We must counterbalance the drive for short-term profits by assuring that economic development, new technologies, and fiscal policies are responsible to future generations who will inherit the results of our actions.
    Make the quality of life, rather than open-ended economic growth, the focus of future thinking.

    This is the Green party platform, if you didn’t figure that out. If Libertarians are 20%, and 67% of Americans consider the environment an important issue, I see a coalition that makes a lot more sense than Lib/Dem, Lib/Repub.

    Comments?

  51. You think this is libertarian????

    We support a sustainable society which utilizes resources in such a way that future generations will benefit and not suffer from the practices of our generation.

    Support it if you like. Nobody has, nor can anyone, define “sustainable”.

    And you call yourself “science”…..

    Just to pick out a couple of more gems from your little list,

    we support a restructuring of social, political and economic institutions away from a system which is controlled by and mostly benefits the powerful few

    And which “powerful few” will run around making sure that this is the case? You really should go read some history. China under Chairman Mao would be a really good place to start.

    Redesign our work structures to encourage employee ownership and workplace democracy.

    Did you ever read that story about The Twentieth Century Motor Company?

    Paranoid much?

    Only because I know there are idiots out there who can’t think.

  52. Science,

    I have no desire to debate you once again on vouchers. Neither one of us is going to persuade the other, we’ve established that in other threads. So I won’t bother going into the efficacy or practical desirability of vouchers once again.

    That said, I have to respond to a couple of your comments. I never claimed that parents funded their kids education. read again what I posted, all I said is that parents under a voucher program will direct where those education resources go.

    Vouchers are indeed coercive redistribution, neither more nor less than when the goverment mandates that if you use tax dollars to go to school you must go where the government tells you to go. The only difference is that parents choose, not the school district, and private schools become an option where before that would simply never happen. Choice is libertarian in case you hadn’t noticed. Therefore vouchers are indeed a more libertarian position than the current government monopoly on taxpayer funded education.

    A more libertarian option is to not have the government funding K-12 education at all. Hong Kong works that way, and they have done quite well in educating their kids this way. The problem is that the Hong Kong Chinese attach a huge cultural importance on the family, so the family takes care of the kids, including education, and the family takes care of the elderly. The nanny state in the US has decimated the family in the very portions of our country that are located in the worst education districts. For us to go from where we are now to a pure libertarian education system where the government does not fund any K-12 education is essentially impossible. Impossible because the average American can easily see that we have destroyed the black family for example, and we need to stop destroying it before we can even contemplate such a libetarian scenario actually getting approved by voters. Maybe after 30 years or so of voucher funded school choice has produced a great education market and of not having welfare and poor families have pulled themselves out of pverty can we actually breach the subject without getting laughed away. Hence my opaque statement that Even school vouchers is not a “pure” libertarian position on Feb. 10 at 3:33pm.

  53. I’m a registered Libertarian and I’ve been called for jury duty three times in ten years.

  54. That’s only cause you are called crimethink. The system thinks you are a good fit. 😮

  55. I’m a registered Libertarian and I’ve been called for jury duty three times in ten years.

    Okay, so that’s not it. I was just curious.

    But your name is really suspicious sounding.

  56. Kahn,

    I never suggested that Green’s were libertarians. I just notice some points of overlap.

    A few you missed, maybe.

    Decision-making should, as much as possible, remain at the individual and local level, while assuring that civil rights are protected for all citizens.

    Therefore, we will work to increase public participation at every level of government and to ensure that our public representatives are fully accountable to the people who elect them

    Restrict the size and concentrated power of corporations without discouraging superior efficiency or technological innovation. (read corporate welfare here in Libertarian speak).

    If “third” parties don’t form coalitions on points they can agree on, they will never rest power from the Dem/Rep power base.

    Again, I was just interested in people’s thoughts. I am not trying to convert anyone.

    Happyjug.
    I didn’t want a debate. I just can’t help pointing out the inconsistency in the voucher position for libertarians. Once you accept public schools in some form, I think the better strategies involve the most efficient use of funds to meet the mission. I read far too many posts on vouchers claiming that the current system forces families who want to send their kids to private school to “pay twice.” You didn’t raise that issue. Again, giving parents choice takes my money and gives them a choice for how to use it. I would rather maintain my say in the matter via my local school board. This doesn’t take away their option of sending their kids anywhere they want, and it doesn’t prevent a smart business model to provide them with that service. I mean geez, if you can’t compete with the public schools who can you compete with?

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