Election 2012

Post Election Recap: Expanding Liberty, Not Govt Mandates, is the Actual Way Forward!


The 2012 presidential election was long, but thankfully it's over. Promoting liberty is a long-run strategy, and perfect policies are not adopted over night. Thus we should celebrate when society makes incremental progress in the right direction, and help course-correct when society gives in to the tempting calls of coercion and mandates to get its way. Ultimately it's freedom, not government mandates and laws, that truly move us forward.

At the state level, there were several wins for property rights and contract law. Contract law moved forward as Maine, Maryland, and Washington state expanded contract rights to include same-sex marriage. This is significant because it is the first time that voters rather than lawmakers or courts extended these rights. Minnesota voters also rejected a proposed state constitutional amendment, which would have defined marriage as a heterosexual union. (Previously, voters in more than 30 states have approved constitutional bans on gay marriage). Perhaps President Obama's "evolution" on this issue helped move it forward.

Colorado and Washington enhanced property rights as they became the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use. This will help put pressure on highly ineffective and destructive federal law that currently classifies cannabis as an illegal narcotic. This demonstrates the power and importance of federalism—allowing states to have different laws than the federal government—to help move other states and the federal government forward. If it weren't for federalism, we'd probably have to wait until the central government in Washington woke up to the realization that the Drug War has been a failure.

Democratic Senate candidates who ran on the rhetoric of fiscal conservatism beat out conservatives who delved into divisive, and at times asinine, social issues. Take for example, Indiana Democrat Joe Donnelly, Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill, and Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin who beat out Republicans Richard Mourdock, Todd Akin, and Tommy Thompson.

Although the pundits will continue to debate for weeks the primary reasons for Obama's win, one important reason he won was by preaching the politics of inclusivity:

"It doesn't matter whether you're black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you're willing to try."

Inclusivity is a winning strategy. Unfortunately, and ironically, exit polls reveal this was one of the most polarized electorates. Rather than President Obama winning modest margins across all different demographic and political groups, he won big among some and Romney won big among others. 

Obama's good intentions notwithstanding, unfortunately his politics of Forward! are unlikely to deliver on their promises of upward economic mobility or inclusivity. However, the principles of freedom can and do bring people together because it does not require the force to take from one to give to another: it offers all individuals the equal opportunity to be free. And as it turn out, this equal opportunity to be free unleashes the ingenuity of human potential as individuals strive to pursue their happiness driving real progress of economic growth, technological advancement, and social tolerance

It has been left to libertarians to explain concretely and specifically how expanding individual freedom, not government mandates and rules, helps each and everyone one of us personally and thus as a society as a whole. Freedom is what moves all of us Forward.

NEXT: PhD Student Develops Algorithm to Track Cartels

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  1. What was the split between those with alt-text and those without?

    1. Or those kicking the can and those kicking the bucket?

  2. To me the thing about that table that stands out the most is that the large majority of black voters are blatantly racist.

    Also, Emily is pretty. And smart. And libertarian. Basically, she’s the perfect woman.

    1. False. The perfect woman would give us alt-text. Like Lucy.

      Also it’s sort of hard to call too many blacks racist, since the majority of all non-white ethnic groups went with Barack. So it’s possible that the racists were the ones voting for Romney, and it was just the idiots voting for Obama.

      1. The other minorities voted by a little over 2:1 for Obama. Blacks voted more than 9:1 for Obama. Whites only voted 3:2 for Romney.

        1. 93% of any ethnic group voting for the candidate of their ethnic group is strong if not overwhelming evidence that some of those 93% are racist, unless the other candidate said or did racist things that would understandably piss off the ethnic group in question (like “self-deportation”).

    2. There’s just something about a woman that doesn’t provide the alt-text that turns me off.

    3. Blacks usually vote in huge margins for the Democratic candidate, white or black. Gore won the black vote 90-9 and Kerry won it 88-11.

  3. You left out that voters approving propety-rights protections in Virginia, defeating GMO labeling in California, and defeating constitutionally enshrined public sector unions in Michigan.

    Which makes me think that libertarians can make a lot more progress via ballot initiatives than presidential elections.

    Idea: Why not a ballot initiative to dismantle the DC taxi monopoly and the NY medallion system?

    There’s lots of low-hanging fruit. Cable monopolies. Occupational licensing. We ought to be able to target lotso f local laws that restrict markets with ballot initiatives.

    1. Ballot initiatives can change little things in certain areas. But unless things change at the federal level its a moot point. Sure you’re free to buy weed in Colorado, but if your not free to do anything else why does it matter?

      1. How about putting in place a federal level ballot initiative process?

        Wouldn’t it be nice if ObamaCare was up for a vote in a national referendum?

        1. God help us all if the federal government starts to look like California.

  4. That jsut looks like its gonna make all kinds of sense dude.

  5. Obama got 93% of the black vote, yet it’s racist to say or imply that they voted for him because of the color of his skin.

    1. Gore and Kerry got a similar percentage. Were those mindless herding zombies, black people, voting for them on skin color too?

      Maybe the GOP’s overtly racist campaign strategy for 40 some years has something to do with it.

      1. Maybe the GOP’s overtly racist campaign strategy for 40 some years has something to do with it.

        Seriously? I’m glad that you’re not real but sad that there really are people who think like this.

      2. I hate to agree with Tony on anything, but he’s got a point.

        African-American turnout is consistently Democratic regardless of the race of the person running.

        It’s similar to the Stockholm syndrome evangelicals had with Romney (where they voted for someone they consider a cult leader, and who isn’t really ideologically affiliated with them at all on stuff like banning abortion (despite the Obama campaign claiming otherwise), or socialised medicine.)

        1. Let’s assume that 88% to 90% of blacks will consistently vote for Democrats if both candidates are white, but no higher. What does 93% of blacks voting for a black candidate who is a Democrat imply? Hint: 93% – (88 to 90%) = between 3% and 5%.

          It is NOT evidence of “no blacks are racist”.

          For further proof, try and find a race pitting a black Republican against a white Democrat. I’m guessing those numbers would be lower than 90% of blacks voting for the Democrat.

          A lot of people are racists, in denial.

      3. o.k. here’s the question though. Everyone knows that the Republicans are racist. What are the polices of the Republican party that are racist?

        1. They’re against welfare. That’s racist.

          1. Most people on welfare are white. Granted a greater % of the black population is on welfare. This is the kind of thing I’m talking about. Welfare shouldn’t be a black/white issue but apparently it is.

        2. That’s like asking what specific regulations were repealed in the massive wave of deregulation.

          They’re racist because they’re racist. No examples are necessary.

        3. What are the polices of the Republican party that are racist?

          Arizonians could answer that question mighty fast, especially Latinos living in Arizona.

  6. It appears the electorate wants free stuff.

    Perhaps it’s time to trot out Friedman’s idea of the guaranteed minimum income.

  7. What strike me is that the divide in this country is between rual and the cities with the suburbs being about 50/50. With more people living in cities this benefits the Democrats.

    1. The Republicans are better at doling out welfare that appeals to rural voters.

  8. Clearly it was the LGBT vote that won it for Obama. I think the GOP needs to focus more on LGBT concerns in the coming elections.


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