Campaigns/Elections

How Ya Votin', Libertarian?

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Esteemed Reason Foundation trustee Manuel S. Klausner says Barr in uncontested states (such as his native California), but McCain in battleground states as "the lesser of two evils." The kicker: "No doubt we all agree that these are horrendous times for libertarians." Actually, I feel a Righteous Wind behind the intellectual argument for free minds and free markets, being a firm believer in both the Plexiglass Principle and the anecdotal/polling data that Americans detest the bailout that their two major parties foisted upon them. Whole Klausner argument here.

Want to see who Canadian libertarians and conservatives would vote for, if they had the chance? Check out the Western Standard, here and here. Last week we polled our staff and the broader reason universe; results here (and a Reader's Digest condensed version of regular reason contributors here).


NEXT: Predictions '08

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  1. The Canadian who pleaded the fifth made me laugh. I assume this is some sort of libertarian/conservative publication seeing as how Obama almost got a complete shut out. Interesting to read though, some of the commenters were also intresting. I am not sure where they get that John McCain is a racist…

  2. Plexiglass Principle

    A.K.A. “reversion to the mean.” Is that so difficult to say?

    Noobs . . .

  3. [non-partisan, dispassionate, Keith Oberman voice]

    In an amazing story from California, the Reason Foundation Trustee, Manuel S. Klausner was accidentally dragged behind a hybrid SUV adorned with Obama stickers after voicing his non-Obama sentiments to the world.

    He is expected to be the first full recovery under the Obama universal healthcare plan, to be impliminted after the coronation is administered at noon, Eastern time today.

    It is unclear if Mr. Klausner had voted yet, but he was in a long line near a voting center when the freak accident happened.

    In other news, exit polling shows 99.99999% Obama with the balance split between McKinney and Nader.

    [/non-partisan, dispassionate, Keith Oberman voice]

  4. Tip for pretending to be educated #294:

    Refer to the Plexiglass Principle as “regression to the mean”.

    Statistical outliers tend to followed by more probable outcomes. To a causal onlooker, this can appear as a relapse even when there is a genuine trend developing.

    Yes, I’ve taken a sports metaphor and completely geeked it.

  5. Damn, outdrawn by smappy….

  6. That’s a nice spin that Reason puts on their Co-Founder urging a vote for McCain/Palin. Notice how they put that second in less higlighted print?

    The real story is PROMINENT LIBERTARIAN – CO-FOUNDER OF REASON MAGAZINE AND LIFETIME LIBERTARIAN PARTY BENEFACTOR URGES LIBERTARIANS TO VOTE MCCAIN/PALIN.

    Notice also Reason didn’t mention Vin Suproniwicz, the Nation’s #2 Libertarian Columnist (next to Alan Boch, OCR), as backing McCain/Palin the other day, in a shocker!

    And y’all think just the liberal media is biased?

    Reason has become the Hate Republicans 24/7, 365 days a year website. If it’s got an ‘R’ by its name, Reason will find some reason to bash it, or ignore it.

  7. BTW, I fully agree with Manny:

    Best course for all Libertarians is to vote McCain/Palin in critical swing states, and for Barr/Root in safe GOP states like Wyoming, Texas, Utah, ect…

    Though, I’m a Texan and I voted McCain/Palin out of loyalty and adoration for Sarah.

  8. DONDERROOOOOOOOO

    Reason has become the Hate Republicans 24/7, 365 days a year website. If it’s got an ‘R’ by its name, Reason will find some reason to bash it, or ignore it.

    Maybe that’s because they deserve it, Eric.

    Though, I’m a Texan and I voted McCain/Palin out of loyalty and adoration for Sarah.

    This is just pathetic.

  9. Did you remember to laminate that photo of Palin so you can wipe it off more easily, Eric?

  10. I’m done with this shit. Five (L)s on the ballot got my mark, yes on medical reefer and yes on ending the embryonic stem cell research ban.

    Now to sit back and watch the prognosticators and analysts pretend to be revelant by blowing smoke up America’s ass.

  11. This is going to be a looooooong fucking day.

  12. revelant – relevant.

    Fortunately for me, Obama’s going to cure dyxlesia.

  13. I voted for Barr in swing state.

    Episiarch,

    The next few weeks will be rather longish I think.

  14. The next few weeks four years will be rather longish I think.

    FTFY

  15. I’m just trying to think in the short term, Seward. And that means today.

  16. “reversion to the mean.” Is that so difficult to say?

    Not at all. But the Plexiglass Principle implies another factor besides mere statistical outliers coming back home to mama. That is, that success breeds complacency, and failure breeds scrambling innovation. See, for example, the 2003 Angels. Or the 2008 Rays!

    Or, to bring it back home to politics, the way that 1971 was in many ways the darkest night of the American libertarian soul, yet by the end of the decade we’d abolished the draft, deregulated airlines & trucking, and started on the process of whipping inflation. I sense something similar possible right now, only with *much* more popular support for latent libertarianism. It’s just that major-party politics is the last place to look for it.

  17. Matt,

    yet by the end of the decade we’d abolished the draft, deregulated airlines & trucking, and started on the process of whipping inflation.

    So you are saying that Nixon, Carter and Reagan got bit with the L?

  18. McCain may be the lesser of two evils, but aren’t we worse off if the GOP wins and thinks all the anti-intellectual, bible thumping, anti-foreign-sounding, invade-the-world rhetoric are worthy of further pursuit?

  19. McCain may be the lesser of two evils, but aren’t we worse off if the GOP wins and thinks all the anti-intellectual, bible thumping, anti-foreign-sounding, invade-the-world rhetoric are worthy of further pursuit?

    In short no. If republicans had the congress maybe, but with the dem super majority in congress we really need a GOP in the white house. If you must vote for one of the two main parties, that imho, is the number one reason to vote McCain. Personally I voted Barr and then voted against every incumbent with either 3rd party or right-ins.

  20. Vin Suproniwicz, the Nation’s #2 Libertarian Columnist (next to Alan Boch, OCR)

    Who? Who?

  21. Why should any libertarian vote for any democrat or republican? Does masochism come to mind?

    I am proud to announce that I did not vote for a single democrat or republican! As for the Masachusetts ballot questions, I voted yes (phassed income tax elimination), yes (decriminalization of maryjane) and no (banning of greyhound racing).

  22. Manny, please kick back tonite with a bottle of Screaming Eagle and give some thought to what Reason Foundation and the Libertarian Movement has got to do in the coming years to educate the voters about the value of individual liberty. Something can and should be done. And the LP has to decide if it wants to play at politics or be relevant. Here in Penna. two of the three statewide candidates didn’t even bother to answer the League of Women Voters questionaire that ended up being published in all the papers. Newbies who didn’t know any better? Nah, both have been luminaries in the LPP for more than twenty years.

  23. I’m voting yes yes yes, personally, but that’s because I come from a slightly different school of libertarian thought.

    Also going third party for everything but rep. The other two candidates besides Dem seem really sketchy. I might right in Paul, but otherwise voting Dem on it.

  24. *write

  25. I voted straight 3rd party in VA. Barr, Libertarian for US Senate and Independent Green for US House.

  26. “Actually, I feel a Righteous Wind behind the intellectual argument for free minds and free markets free mortgages and free gas.”

    Fixed.

  27. Why should any libertarian vote for any democrat or republican?

    It does feel like choosing between Kang and Kodos.

    I voted Barr.

  28. McCain maybe be the lesser of two evils on some fronts, but if he wars my money and international regard into oblivion, what’s the goddamn point.

    No, I didn’t vote for Obama, because I think he’s wrong, but I get really fucking pissed off when McCainiacs try and convince me the world is going to end if the Democrats end up with a supermajority for the next two years. Fuck off and give me a real reason to vote for you, you knuckle dragging theocrats. I vote my conscience and my conscience is fucking libertarian.

  29. President–Barr

    Senate–Mark Warner (I vote for anyone with a private sector background over a lawyer/government background)

    Congress–Rowland, my dog

    Local races–Not the Incumbents

  30. So if McCain croaks and Sarah Palin becomes president, will she…

    …end the War on Drugs?…No

    …legalize prostitution?…No(I know not a federal issue, but what’s she done at the state level?

    …legalize gay marriage?

    Holy Christ, Eric, she doesn’t even meet your definition of libertarian!

  31. “Want to see who Canadian libertarians and conservatives would vote for, if they had the chance?”

    Okay, you’ve hit absolute irrlevance. There is no more utterly “who give a flying fuck?” than that.

  32. But Issac, when I see her hold a gun I get such a stiffy!

  33. Since libertarians will prpobably never get the votes the socialists got in their hey day, why not start running libertarian candidates whose faces don’t make people want to puke? A protest vote should be fun, not nauseating.

  34. I voted for Barr in a safe state. I would have voted for him in a swing state even if the vote was perfectly tied between those two jackasses and my vote determined the winner.

  35. Matt’s right that in baseball, anyway, the plexiglass principle encompasses lots of things, regression to the mean being only of them. I’m not the biggest fan of the point in baseball, I think there’s better ways of getting at that point.

    For an example not nearly as rosy on a libertarian outlook, there would be the 1932 Phildelphia A’s. After winning three straight pennants with two World Series championships mixed in, the team dropped to 2nd place in 1932. It’s record decreased again in 1933 and then the team embarked on a record of losing that wouldn’t stop for forty years until the team had moved cities twice. There were real and tangible reasons for what was happening to the A’s in the mid 30s (Connie Mack not spending money) and so expecting a return to glory was not realistic.

    Sometimes when a team’s results decline it can be a portent of even further decline.

  36. …the Plexiglass Principle…

    Warning, the linked web page has a green background with black text. You may want to pop a couple of aspirin before clicking.

  37. I am not sure where they get that John McCain is a racist…

    “I hated the gooks. I will hate them as long as I live.”
    — John McCain

  38. I live in a swing state and voted for Barr.

    Speaking as someone who comes by his libertarian leanings via gun rights, belief in small government, and free markets, fuck the Republicans.

    If they have to wander in the woods for two, four, eight or twelve years before pulling their heads out of their asses, so be it.

  39. Too be fair to McCain, he has been clear that he uses that term to refer to his NVA captors that tortured him, not Asians in general as it is sometimes understood.

  40. Ew, now my Obama poster is all sticky.

  41. I can’t wait 2, 4, 8 or 12 years. Time is passing me by but it’s also the same time as yours.

  42. Too be fair to McCain, he has been clear that he uses that term to refer to his NVA captors that tortured him, not Asians in general as it is sometimes understood.

    I am aware of that. It’s still a disgusting thing to say. A normal person would have probably learned over the years to edit out any highly-offensive racist words used in the retelling of such tales. A bitter, twisted old man wouldn’t.

  43. If I lived in a swing state, I’d suck up my skepticism and vote for Obama. As it is, Texas is a solid McCain lock, and I can’t stomach Barr, so screw it.

    It’s a sign of disgust for me that this will be the first election I’ve willingly skipped since I could vote.

  44. I cast my absentee ballot for Obama, basing my decision on McCain’s background. While some of his life story is downright heroic, his voting record isn’t. That’s how I found myself thinking that I should give the new guy a chance rather than vote for the guy who has been in DC for 40 years.

    I’m sure I’ll regret it, as I’ve regretted voting for every presidential candidate since I was first able to cast a vote in a presidential election – which was for Bill Clinton. (Who I voted for twice and learned to regret those votes as I’m sure I’ll learn to regret this vote.)

    Since I also voted for Bush twice, I’m a pretty good indicator of who will win – everyone I’ve ever voted for in a presidential election has won that election. (And yes, I’ve had plenty of reasons to regret those votes as well.)

    The real beauty of democracy? If you don’t regret it now, if the candidate you vote for wins, you will soon find yourself regretting that you voted for that SOB…

    I’m predicting a victory for Obama, similar to Clinton vs. Dole and for similar reasons: it’s really hard to vote for a guy who comes across as the cantankerous, jumpy Grandpa who chases kids off his yard with a shotgun after taking a whole day’s worth of nips from his fifth of Ol’ Grandad!

  45. “A normal person would have probably learned over the years to edit out…”

    Kinda hard to be normal after what he went through.

  46. i’m in virginia and i voted libertarian on any election where one was running (bob barr, bill redpath)

  47. Not to side with Dondero or anything, but I wonder if libertarians will be showing as much hate for Democrats after eight years of Change&tm; as they do now for Republicans? I seriously doubt it. I’m beginning to think that most libertarians are really liberals with weird affectations.

  48. I’m beginning to think that most libertarians are really liberals with weird affectations.

    Libertarians and liberals are different branches of the same family tree. It’s always struck me odd that so many libertarians claim that we have some kind of natural alliance with Republicans.

  49. I’ll leave the voting to voting machine computer hackers. It’s a matter of which party has the best-equipped people to hack the machines. Fortunately, corrupt code geeks are more closely aligned with my views than any of the candidates.

  50. Libertarians and liberals are different branches of the same family tree. It’s always struck me odd that so many libertarians claim that we have some kind of natural alliance with Republicans.

    I disagree. Some would say that libertarians are republican economically and democrat when it comes to liberties. However this is not very true. Democrats are no saints when it comes to civil liberties. They are anti-gun, smoking, food like trans fats, foie gras etc. Some say they are for gay marriage but that’s not really true, liberal people are I’m sure but the government officials including the messiah and biden aren’t. Abortion, yeah they support that. Drugs? No, they same as the gay marriage thing here. They talk to the talk but they are far from walking the walk. I believe when pressed libertarians identify more with republicans because historically they have been for small government, lower taxes, and over all more freedom. This obviously hasn’t been true over the past eight years but none the less.

  51. I’m not very optimistic that time out of power is going to do anything positive for the Republican Party. How exactly have Democrats improved over the last eight years?

  52. I’m not very optimistic that time out of power is going to do anything positive for the Republican Party. How exactly have Democrats improved over the last eight years?

    Well, it’s not like either party gets better in power. Not many other alternatives, you know?

  53. Libertarians and liberals are different branches of the same family tree.

    Classic liberals sure, but related to this new breed of quasi-socialist progressive liberals? No way. There’s not one libertarian bone in Obama’s, Biden’s or Pelosi’s bodies. They want to guide, direct and manage our lives. The more liberal they are the more guiding, directing and managing they want to do. They treat us as children needing constant parental supervision. The foundation of their philosophy is enlightened paternalism. The only reason they’re so gungho on (certain approved) alternate lifestyles is because it pisses off the conservatives so much. Any libertarian leanings they might exhibit when decriminalizing medical marijuana is countered by their gleeful nticipation of regulating, zoning and taxing pot clinics. In terms of civil rights, the left does not see the supremacy of the individual, but the grand march of the state imposing social justice.

    On the other hand, modern conservatism does have a real libertarian component. It may be hard to find under all the shit that Bush shoveled over it, but it’s still there. There is a significant part of conservatism that sincerely believes that government is best when it is small and weak. Shove aside the foreign interventionism and domestic moralism and you can still find it.

    That doesn’t mean that conservatiaves are libertarians in disguise. Of course not! They still want big strong militaries and shining veneers of public morality. But there is enough libertarianism there that common cause can be made. On the liberal side there’s far less in common.

  54. I’m in a swing state and I voted for Barr. I also voted for my rep who voted against the bailout.

    I couldn’t vote for Obama because of voters like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P36x8rTb3jI

  55. Brandybuck, I absolutely agree with you. I don’t know why this point is so difficult for many libertarians to understand. Modern “progressives” may have some libertarian impulses on lifestyle issues, but the core of their belief system is fundamentally illiberal. Modern “conservatives” still at least give lip service to the classical liberal notions upon which this country was founded. So who do you think is more open to libertarian influence?

  56. In terms of civil rights, the left does not see the supremacy of the individual, but the grand march of the state imposing social justice.

    Ask a typical modern liberal how he views himself, and he’ll say that he is a strong supporter of individualism and freedom — with the exception of a few vital areas here and there where the government needs to step in and ensure fairness, etc. They have a blind spot about how many of these few vital areas they allow for. They have a lot of blind spots about the true nature of power and government, but that’s what happens when one is exposed to the opinions of nobody but other liberals and one has the evil Republicans to blame for all abuses of power.

    There is a significant part of conservatism that sincerely believes that government is best when it is small and weak. Shove aside the foreign interventionism and domestic moralism and you can still find it.

    And there’s a part of liberalism that sincerely believes in civil liberties. But you have to shove aside all the progressivism.

  57. Modern “conservatives” still at least give lip service to the classical liberal notions upon which this country was founded.

    Perhaps some do. Far too many have bought into the whole Biblical roots of our nation meme.

  58. The good news: The American people by and large are opposed to adding to the national debt to allow the federal government to invest directly in the banks that led us into this mess.

    The bad news: Their elected representatives ignored the overwhelming written and verbal pleas of their constituents, and did it anyway.

    The really bad news: 90+% of Congress will be reelected anyway, showing that voter anger over the big government bailout is a toothless paper tiger.

  59. One says, “Jewelie has no freaking clue what twitter is and needs to know how people have time for this?” In another, the person says she is “order clothes from china.” As with the Facebook and MySpace profiles, it is not clear whether the Twitter page belongs to the woman alleged to have had an affair with Woods.

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