Meanwhile Over at Cato Unbound

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The Cato Unbound "Should Libertarians Vote for Democrats" debate among The Daily Kos' Markos Moulitsas, The American Prospect's Harold Meyerson, the Democratic Leadership Council's Bruce Reed, and your humble narrator is coming to a close. There's been a flurry of follow-up blog posts, backs-and-forth, and links to related sites and discussions, so if you haven't checked out Cato Unbound recently, there's plenty new to read.

To check it out, go here.

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  1. No, they should not. But like everything else, at least 90% of “Libertarians” are full of shit. So many may indeed do so. Damned if you do, Dammed if you don’t.

  2. Eric,

    Why should they not?

    Would you consider someone who votes for gridlock, rather than voting for some unknown libertarian who has no chance of winning, to be “full of shit”? Then, well, call me full of shit, because I sure as hell am casting my vote for “GRIDLOCK”. And to send the message to the GOP that spendaholic/interventionist policies are NOT good. I don’t think we can get that point across by voting LP again…do you?

  3. If an “Libertarian” is voting for gridlock, well, more power to them. But voting for Donks is pertty much the same as shooting your self in the foot. I find it hard to believe that people think the Dems would want to protect their Constitutional rights. Yeah the repubs aren’t great either but whatever.

  4. Question: which is likelier, if either; that Democrats will allow themselves to be persuaded by libertarian arguments on fiscal matters, or that culturally conservative Republicans will allow themselves to be persuaded on civil liberties matters?

    (I’m talking about the grass roots, not the leaders, as Mr. Gillespie correctly points out that Democratic politicians don’t really reflect their liberal constituents’ views on such things as gay marriage and the war on drugs. Except for Barney Frank, of course.)

  5. The alternative to a more libertarian Democratic Party is to simply wait for the Democrats to complete their self-destruction and then have it out between the conservatives and the libertarians.

    best quote ever!!!

  6. Since the vast majority of “libertarians” vote either Libertarian or Republican, I don’t see the need for actually pulling the lever for a Democrat. Just voting for the Libertarian rather than the Republican hurts the Republican party, because traditionally, they’ve had a shot at the Libertarian vote.

  7. “Question: which is likelier, if either; that Democrats will allow themselves to be persuaded by libertarian arguments on fiscal matters, or that culturally conservative Republicans will allow themselves to be persuaded on civil liberties matters?”

    this question assumes that dems are better on civil liberties matters. the idea is laughable. just look at how they run college campuses (a place where the dems/left are firmly in control)

    dems are not better for civil liberties. they oppose school choice, they oppose gun rights, they oppose property rights (both use and compensation), they oppose racial equality (see: racial preferences.)

    i am not a big fan of the repubs, but the repubs are clearly better on civil liberties imo

  8. Voting for “gridlock” sounds good, until you consider that it won’t be gridlock all the time. Occasionally, the Demos you vote in to ensure “gridlock” will get one of their own pet measures through the hoop. Bit by bit, tiny mosaic pieces of first the GOP vision, than the Demo vision, will be but into place. Personally, I would rather have at least some people in office who were actively working to add libertarian pieces to that tile pattern. Also, having libertarians in office would contribute to a different flavor of gridlock (and, in my opinion, a healthier one).

    If what you want is a libertarian approach, you aren’t doing yourself a favor to vote for non-libertarians. IF true libertarians have managed to gain major party endorsements, then I could see voting for them, regardless of party label. If you really LIKE the Demo or GOP agenda and want to promote it, there’s another reason to vote for candidates of those parties. But I have always thought that the wisest vote is to vote for what you want, not against what you don’t want.

    If you were in a jury box, would you vote to convinct in a capital crime, just because most of the other jurors were voting that way? The important thing in this situation and in elections is to speak your own mind, and to vote your conscience. If you are persuaded to change your mind and go another way, take careful note about how successful your change of course ultimately turns out to be. If not so much (as is so often the case for compromise voters who end up not getting what they want), then get your guns back on next time, and stick to them, or at least seek a DIFFERENT compromise, and keep doing so until you find something that works.

  9. Nick, I’ve been following the “Unbound” forum very closely since the beginning. You won. And no, I’m not just sucking up. I’m sucking up in the most earnest way.

  10. I’d say committing to either party is an exercise in futility. There are plenty of abominable people in both parties, and some good ones as well.

    Unfortunately, your best option is taking the time and effort to do your homework, and vote for the candidate who best represents your views.

    Vote the candidate – not the party!

  11. Since the vast majority of “libertarians” vote either Libertarian or Republican

    Is this statement backed up by statistics, or is it your estimation?

  12. I think the dems are a bit better on civil liberties, but they are still worse on economic freedoms and I can’t stomach their desire to socialize healthcare. I won’t vote for them until they either lay off healthcare or, in trade, come out against the war on drugs by at least taking the position to legalize recreational marijuana. Until then, I’ll continue to vote republican and take my chances that my phone is getting tapped.

    MLaursen, perhaps DrunkandStupid is referring to this from CATO:

    Libertarians preferred George W. Bush over Al Gore by 72 to 20 percent, but Bush’s margin dropped in 2004 to 59-38 over John Kerry.

    http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=6715

  13. Wow. I’ve observed that a lot of libertarians don’t vote Libertarian, but, if the Cato statistics are accurate, even fewer vote Libertarian than I thought.

  14. “I think the dems are a bit better on civil liberties,”

    and again, I disagree. the repubs are better. but we can agree to disagree.

    fwiw, as to your legalized/decrim mj thing, it has (historically) been conservatives (and to a lesser extent repubs) who have been better on this.

    National Review, the “conservative flagship” was pimping this idea DECADES ago.

  15. as for the voting records, it also depends how you define “Libertarian” (is this a capital l libertarian?)

    iow, is it based on how they are registered as voters, or how they self-identify

    i self-identify as a right-moderate with strong libertarian tendencies. does that make me “libertarian”

    i couldn’t imagine ever voting for any national Libertarian candidate, simply because i am 100% against open borders, assuming thye support that

    on the local level, i would because the border is a nonissue

  16. Nick, I’ve been following the “Unbound” forum very closely since the beginning. You won. And no, I’m not just sucking up. I’m sucking up in the most earnest way.

    I would have agreed until i read “Why Democrats Should Become More Libertarian
    by Michael Strong” now nick is a close second.

  17. …the repubs are better…

    Not unless your a white, male, native-born (with the exception of Ah-nold), Christian, hetrosexual. Otherwise, they’ll screw you… and not in the fun way.

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