Libertarian Party

Conservatives Could Learn from Robert Sarvis and Libertarians

"Open-Minded and Open for Business" wins votes where retrograde social views don't.

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Robert Sarvis
Robert Sarvis

Here's the party line in the conservative movement's blogosphere/talk radio echo chamber:

Despite being possibly the most strident and unregenerate social conservative on the GOP's national stage, Ken Cuccinelli really, really was—way down deep—a small government, libertarian, free marketeer.  Virginia's activist conservative Attorney General was America's last, best chance to install a "liberty-minded" man in a governor's mansion, a redoubt from which he could take his states' rights stand against the impending ObamaCare/Hillary socialist takeover.

And he could have won, too, if it weren't for those self-absorbed, narcissistic Libertarians and their "spoiler" of a candidate, Robert Sarvis.  But libertarians, you see, are so self-indulgent they just can't pipe down about all that embarrassing, irrelevant social "libertinism," from which the mass of socially sober Middle Americans rightfully recoil.

So, with so much supposedly at stake, why did Sarvis run?

First, with national media focused on this first post-2012 "off-off year" contest, a candidate as substantive as Sarvis waging a mainstream, professionally run Libertarian campaign could chart a course for more serious LP races to follow in elections to come.

For another reason, look to Sarvis' campaign motto. In the Old Dominion of 2013, Sarvis' Libertarian vision of a Virginia that's both "Open-minded and Open for Business," is one shared by voters in the groups that are at once "purpling" the state and driving its economic growth.  Sarvis himself, with a tech background and the son of a Chinese-American immigrant mom, is a product of those trends.

But conservatives insisted—often histrionically—that libertarians who failed to back Cuccinelli were voting against their true interests.

One of the more responsible voices advancing that argument was Washington Examiner columnist Tim Carney who decided that any votes for Sarvis, based on qualms with Cuccinelli's outrageously unlibertarian social positions, were acting "tribally," refusing to back a candidate outside their own parochial zone of ideological purity. End result? Sarvis' Libertarian voters threw away the chance to elect "probably the most libertarian statewide official in Virginia in recent history."

Carney, it's crucial to keep in mind, is sometimes libertarian-leaning, but also decidedly a social conservative. And he's one of those arguing that social issues shouldn't matter, at least when they concern libertarians. (Here at Reason, Scott Shackford cogently put forth why many libertarians simply aren't swayed by that argument.)

This argument was dumbed down in the right wing twitterverse and on talk radio. Sarvis in the race could only "spoil" it for one of "us" (read: Tea Party/conservative Republican "good guy" Ken Cuccinelli) and throw it to one of "them" (Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate who brags of his years raising dough for the Clintons).

Those cues were taken from the conservative movement activists who continue to insist that it's still "morning again, in America."

If Libertarians could just drop that "wacko" social stuff, and join with social conservatives, "we" could win election after election in landslides, just like Ronald Reagan did…in 1984.

But's not 1984 any more; it's 2013.  It's been almost three long decades since Ronald Reagan's reelection coalition was cobbled together, and its crown jewel demographic—the fabled Reagan Democrat—is no longer an electoral kingmaker.  

Reagan Democrats—socially reactionary, economically populist—have died off, and they no longer dwarf their demographic inverse: libertarians are who socially tolerant and pro-market.

Social libertarianism is ascendent. The notion is de rigueur among "ideas industry" workers who are driving economic growth. Among young voters, gay marriage, for instance—which libertarians supported when it was only backed only by a tiny sliver of opinion-setters—is now supported in huge numbers by younger, affluent and educated Americans.

Sarvis strongholds reflects this. The Libertarian won as high as 17% of the vote in affluent, socially moderate precincts in suburban Henrico County (the home base of the U.S. House GOP's second-in-command, Rep. Eric Cantor.)

On the same day, in an area nearby with a sharply contrasting electoral history, Sarvis pulled in percentages that high in part of Richmond City, pushing Cuccinelli down to third place in some artsy, student-centric, "boho" precincts.

Exit polls demonstrate that Cuccinelli's morality meddling so appalled most of those voters that they would back the Dem, or not vote at all, if Sarvis weren't an option. A Libertarian on the ballot let them cast a vote for markets and small government, to complement their social tolerance, that they wouldn't have cast otherwise.

Glenn Beck, and his muckracking bloggers had Tea Party types ablaze on Twitter with a supposed "scoop" of an "Obama bundler" who "secretly financed" Sarvis, and "pushed" the Libertarian into the race to "throw" the election to a Clinton crony.

Flooded with emails attacking us, we on the Sarvis campaign couldn't help but muse: what if Cuccinelli was the real "leftist plant," "pushed" into the most-followed, post-2012 statewide election, to stain free markets with unsalable extreme social conservativism for a generation? Wouldn't a committed lefty blogger salivate at that prospect?

Because many of those true believers are getting desperate. Here's WaPo's wizened socialist columnist Harold Meyerson excoriating voters who back Dems, but don't bash markets. This sort of voter, he complains, "believes in such socially liberal causes as gay marriage but is skeptical of unions and appalled at economic populism."

It's a Libertarian like Robert Sarvis, crafting a message that reminds us we need to be "open-minded" if we want to be "open for business," who can win those voters when the Democrats "Tea Party" themselves in primaries, letting inflexible teachers unions, professorial populists like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Occupier fellow travelers scare them off.

Free markets are too important for us to permit them to remain shackled to one "tribe" that refuses to jettison a retrograde and demographically losing social agenda. Markets are more important than the future of the Republican Party or the health of the conservative movement.  

If conservatives and Republicans truly care about free markets and limited government, they should give up their "tribal" habits and consider backing a forwarding-looking socially tolerant, market-oriented Libertarian (and libertarian) like Robert Sarvis instead.

NEXT: Hawaii State Rep. Smashes Homeless People's Possessions With Sledgehammer

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  1. A vote for liberty is never a bad thing, even if it is futile.

  2. I think a lot of libertarians could learn from Sarvis. As in, Libertarian is a category, not a degree. You don’t always have to be a radical.

    1. I’m a radical for individual liberty. I’m not sure that makes me a libertarian, but Sarvis was by far the best candidate. I’m proud to have had the opportunity to cast a vote for him, even if all that vote did was to tell the DNC and the RNC I want better candidates. Without him, I would not have bothered to vote for anyone for governor.

    2. I respectfully disagree. To change the cultural death spiral we are in, we and eventually the candidates we support must be radicals for capitalism. It is a intellectual war.

      Not mentioned in this article is the intellectual education that can come out of a campaign, even a losing campaign like the one described in this article. But the ideas must not be cloaked behind some phone altruist veil. The moral argument for capitalism must be unveiled and proudly presented. It is the moral certainty in the voice and the message that draws voters, influences them, and challenges them to think about their basic premises. The candidates may lose for a while, but eventually the ideas will start to take hold because they are right, moral and life enhancing.

  3. Despite being possibly the most strident and unregenerate social conservative on the GOP’s national stage, Ken Cuccinelli really, really was?way down deep?a small government, libertarian, free marketeer.

    Both can be true.

    So, with so much supposedly at stake, why did Sarvis run?

    Judging by his campaign ads, gay marriage mostly.

    Sarvis’ Libertarian vision of a Virginia that’s both “Open-minded and Open for Business,” is one shared by voters in the groups that are at once “purpling” the state and driving its economic growth.

    Are you fucking with us? The voters “purpling” Virginia are employees of DC who have as much to do with the free market and business as a USSR party apparatchik.

    Reagan Democrats?socially reactionary, economically populist?have died off, and they no longer dwarf their demographic inverse: libertarians are who socially tolerant and pro-market.

    Citation fucking needed.

    Get real, Reason. Vote for and support Sarvis if you think he’s the best guy for the job, but there is nothing in here besides futile wish-casting.

    1. Oh boo hoo the Team Red tears come early.

      Citation fucking needed.

      How about the observation that no one has whooed these people in decades? If you think they’re around go find them.

      there is nothing in here besides futile wish-casting.

      Your party will knuckle under and learn to pander to us. No choice.

      1. Sarvis didn’t cost cuccinilli the election. Most of sarvis voters were wend lrotesting the fact that Mcaulliffe was a crook. If anythimg sarvis cost Mcauliffe a big victory.

        Sarvis voters were just big government loving dems who want to smoke dope. They are not voting repiblican any time soon. And chances are they will go back to voting dem when the dem candidate is less loathesome.

        The truth is it is the dems who should be going after libertarian votes. The democratic party is the natural home of a good number of libertarians especially in virginia.

      2. no one has whooed these people in decades

        Cyto, I don’t understand what you mean by “whooed”. Do a fellow commenter a favor and clarify.

        1. He clearly meant “woo,” meaning to try to gain someone’s love.
          “Language was invented for one reason, boys – to woo women – and, in that endeavor, laziness will not do.” ? N.H. Kleinbaum, Dead Poets Society

        2. Thanks LFoD. I wasn’t being snarky. I knew there was a word that was escaping me, I just couldn’t call it forth.

    2. R’s are nothing but D’s with bibles. They’re the same centralized, big government, big spending social/economic engineers the D’s are.

  4. So Republican should abandon the 45 percent who voted for them in order to capture the 6 percent who voted for Sarvis?

    1. False choice.

      1. No its not. Why should the 45% embrace what you like?

        1. Because they realize they were being retarded.

      2. How many vote did the libertarian candidate get in NJ? If all of them voted for the Democrat, Christie would have just escaped with the win?

        Sarvis outperformed all expectation, but let’s get real. The libertarian vote MIGHT matter in a non presidential election in purplish state, but that’s about it. Their vote comes from the same old group – probably mostly white, elderly, center right, RP college kids. That’s not gonna be enough for the GOP, and Romney already lost despite winning the independents.

        Reason is making a lot of noise from the VA election while ignoring what happened in NJ. Christie is soft, but he won big among people who we need to support limited government. The real question isn’t whether the GOP can capture libertarian votes, but whether minorities and women like limited government. IF they don’t, then the nation won’t be the same in 30 years.

        1. Christie is not as socially conservative as Cucinelli, so it’s not quite the same. He’s probably not as fiscally conservative either. But the point is not that the GOP should have voted for Sarver but more that the GOP should be less socially conservative. Social conservatism
          is a losing bag going forward, except in TX and a few other places.

    2. Exactly right. If libertarians would rather have McAuliffe than Cuccinelli then I hope they are happy, because that is what they wound up with.

      When 90 percent of a coalition want one thing, and 10 percent want another, you …… move 10 percent toward the minority. Libertarians consistently fail to get this. So they get Obama, and nationalization of health care. And Virginia gets state exchanges for it now, and I hope they are happy with them.

      Real smart there.

      1. you …… move 10 percent toward the minority

        Fuck off. We’re not ‘moving’ for you. You lost? That’s your fault and you’re problem.

        1. Some of these party hacks act like there’s a difference between Team Red and Team Blue. Sorry, neither one is “my enemy’s enemy”, but both of them are my enemy.

      2. Good luck stealing those McAuliffe voters, then buddy.

      3. The biggest mystery to me regarding libertarians is how while they are usually excellent at seeing the unintended consequenes of well-intentioned actions (the drug war, the minimum wage, welfare), they don’t seem to apply that same logic to their voting. Conservatives and libertarians are generally on the same side. We differ on a few issues, but those lesser differences are what the primaries are for. If a libertarian were to win the primary, I’d almost always vote for him or her over a Democrat. Why don’t conservatives get that same solidarity from libertarians? I don’t get it.

        1. You have this idea that we should vote for a guy who isn’t even particularly good on government size or legal issues important to libertarians. Why would we possibly want to vote for a guy who only disagrees with 88% of our platform instead of 90%?

          Quit trying to convince us conservatives are our natural allies. They aren’t. They want a bigger government and fuller prisons, too.

          1. I am a conservative, and I know that the US, a supposedly free country, incarcerates at a rate higher than any other country, much of which is unnecessarily because of drug laws. It took libertarians to educate me about these things. Also, it took libertarians to tell me about big government, which I now want less of. Therefore, I argue that instead of seeing conservatives as your opponents, see them as people who can learn from you (and maybe you from them). Just like drug addicts need education, not punishment, educate conservatives. Don’t punish us (and yourselves and the country). See the unintended consequences of your well-intentioned actions.

            1. How can you claim to be a conservative but then needed education from Libertarians to know that big government is not good ?

              Are you saying that you were a big government conservative ? Isn’t that a contradiction in terms ?

              Maybe you were just a Republican which is different than a conservative.

              1. Well, I thought I was for small government, but there were just so many levels of government intervention in our lives that I took for granted like all federal agencies with their superfluous regulations. I had never really thought much about them before until someone (namely John Stossel) pointed them out to me through his books and programs, and Stossel said that his thinking began to change when he started reading Reason Magazine, a publication I’d never heard of until I read about it from him.

                1. JonJones, I’m curious why you call yourself a conservative when it sounds like you fall more or less in line with libertarians on the issues cited above. Are you conservative on social issues?

                  1. Yes, I’m still conservative on abortion, immigration, the military, and same-sex marriage. However, since my eyes have been opened on some others things, I’m at least willing to consider the possibility that I could be wrong on these. In any case, I think a decent compromise concerning abortion, immigration, and same-sex marriage would be to simply let each state decide these issues for itself. However, our federal government doesn’t fully allow that on abortion or immigration, and eventually may not on same-sex marriage. I’m not really sure what the libertarian view is on letting states decide for themselves on social issues. Maybe someone could educate me on that.

            2. The “conservatives” are dying off fast. Where to turn, Team Red?

            3. Very insightful comment, Mr. Jones. I would only add that the right kind of Libertarian can educate–the one that understands the moral issues at stake. Basically honest people with mistaken premises exist in populations of both Conservatives and Liberals. These are the people who are in the market for better ideas. These are the people who Libertarian intellectuals should try to persuade–but persuade with well reasoned MORAL arguments. It is winning the moral war that will eventually win the political wars.

        2. Put another way, if you guys hate McAuliffe so much, why didn’t all the Republicans hold your nose and vote for Sarvis?

        3. Because the “intended” consequence is to use the minority power to move people like Cucinelli and the GOP more towards liberty. If we just buckled and voted with the GOP, there would be no possibility for change.

          And while I currently tend to agree more with conservatives, I’m sure that will quickly change when they get in power and start fucking everything up again.

          1. I’m sure that’s true, but at what point does the unintended consequence, which is happening now, outweigh the intended consequence, which is a hypothetical? The war on drugs is supposed to stop drug use. That’s the intended consequence. It doesn’t work. Drug use remains constant, and crime increases because drugs are illegal. Libertarians recognize this problem.

      4. I’m glad things are getting more fucked up. If democracy is what people want, then democracy is what they will get.

        1. “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” H. L. Mencken

    3. Depends on why they voted Republican. How many were voting against the Democrat?

  5. Meh. Cuccinelli got more votes than Sarvis, so the former was clearly a better pick, if the goal was to elect someone “libertarian-ish.”

    “Markets are more important than the future of the Republican Party or the health of the conservative movement.”
    But they’re not more important than “same-sex marriage”.

    1. “Meh. Cuccinelli got more votes than Sarvis, so the former was clearly a better pick, if the goal was to elect someone “libertarian-ish.””

      Um, that’s not actually conclusive evidenvce.

      The only way to prove that would have been to run a race with ONLY Cuccinelli and Savaris in it.

      Tell me, how many McAuliffe voters would have voted Cuccinelli over Savaris, 2 – 3% That would still have made Savaris the govenor.

      Cuccinelli got more votes because he was the Republican candidate, not because he was the better candidate

      1. The GOP’s election strategy would have changed if it was Sarvis vs. KC. Plus, the more socially conservative dem blacks or immigrants might have sit out the election, because they’re not interested in choosing between two flavors of the “right wing”.

        Sarvis would have gotten a lot more NEGATIVE attention if he was the de facto opponent of the Republican candidate. His stance on gun control, deregulation, opposition to single payer, legalizing prostitution, not forcing companies to pay for contraception, etc, would somewhat offset his other socially moderate position.

        Sarvis vs. KM is a win win for most Republicans, who wouldn’t mind a libertarian governor. The left will treat Sarvis as another Republican, they typically don’t make a meaningful distinction between libertarians and GOP. They didn’t rescue RP during open primaries.

  6. “the groups that are at once “purpling” the state and driving its economic growth.”

    BWAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. The “purpling” of Virginia is almost entirely a function of the massive growth of Northern Virginia. Why is Northern Virginia exploding in population, hmmmmm? I’ll give you two guesses.

    As a resident of suburban Henrico County, virtually all of the Sarvis voters I knew were disaffected lefties who just couldn’t stomach voting for Terry McAuliffe. Since they figured McAuliffe was winning anyway, they thought an LP protest vote would be fun.

    1. And obviously vague anecdotes count as real evidence.

      1. Better than whatever bullshit you have.

  7. But should the GOP decide to kill the Libertarian Party through unobtainable ballot access rules, then be prepared to welcome libertarians into your primary process – colorful folks such as
    Starchild, Blue Silver man and others.

    1. FAR worse than Starchild and Blue Silver man are the like of Carl DeMaio. Just snagged the GOP endorsement for CA-52.

  8. My research indicates that Robert Sarvis has much history and holds many views that are NOT Libertarian. If he were a true Libertarian, I would support your article without reservation. However…

    Please explain all of the following, which totally undermine your thesis:
    *Ron Paul called Sarvis voters “insane” (that was a huge red flag as to Sarvis being a faux Libertarian)
    *Sarvis had no plan or even clear idea of how he would reduce taxes and spending
    *Sarvis indicated that he was willing to expand Virginia Medicare under Obamacare

    I LOVE Reason and have unwavering Libertarian underpinnings, so your writing confuses me. It’s as though you didn’t vet Mr. Sarvis at all.

    1. Your research on Sarvis seems to run as thin as your professed love for Reason, given that Reason ran an article last week deconstructing your points against Sarvis’ libertarian bonafides:

      https://reason.com/archives/201…..n-politics

      1. Quite frankly, there is a plethora of competing information regarding Robert Sarvis.

        My point was this: if Robert Sarvis was indeed a worthy, vetted Libertarian candidate, then Conservatives may have a lesson from which to learn.

        There are so many revelations about sleazy government (jury rigging the unemployment numbers, IRS corruption, and so forth), that I no longer dismiss “kooky” theories out of hand when it comes to political power at stake.

    2. Not having a plan is not the same thing as not being libertarian. I don’t care how taxes and spending should be reduced, just fucking do it.

      Expanding medicare is not libertarian, but at least it is a challenge to Obamacare.

    3. I think Ron Paul is insane on a certain issues. Ron Paul has done great things for liberty, but libertarianism does not begin and end with him.

  9. Republicans could learn an awful lot about libertarians if Robert Sarvis actually was one.

  10. “Those cues were taken from the conservative movement activists who continue to insist that it’s still “morning again, in America.””

    Oh good, it’s not too late to take a Plan B pill 🙂

  11. Those cues were taken from the conservative movement activists who continue to insist that it’s still “morning again, in America.

    A bit rich considering those movementarians claiming that this is the Libertarian Moment and in fact the Libertarian Era!

    socially tolerant

    Does this buzzword have any meaning beyond abortion and gay marriage?

    And it’s cute when libertarians are desperate to not be seen as “reactionary” when they advocate repealing about 150 years of government programs!

    1. Back here on earth, it’s pathetic to watch leftoids pose as the idols of progress while frantically fighting to defend a stale, corrupt giant government that is bankrupted by 100 years of profligate statism.

      And it’s even funnier to watch these so-called “progressives” froth at the mouth in response to any suggestion that this giant government should be cut down to size.

      Don’t you see who the new reactionaries are? It’s the left!

      1. It’s not fun, but is pathetic, to watch both both Republicans and Democrats spend future generations into debt slavery and establish a police state.

      2. Libertarius –
        Best comment I’ve seen in a long time. Eloquent and rapier sharp!

      3. Don’t you see who the new reactionaries are? It’s the left!

        Yeah I know. Desire for some pre-industrial pastoral existence. A desire for some feudal past except with credentialed experts running things. Appeal to some mythical nonexistent 1933-1981 period where there was consensus and government and society were perfect that is until Reagan and now the Tea Party came along.

  12. retrograde and demographically losing social agenda

    A bit rich since the progs say this about libertarians all the time!

  13. Does anybody notice how Sarvis looks like Merlin from the BBC show?

  14. Does anyone notice how you look like a backwards-walking dog with a shaved ass?

    1. I didn’t say it was a bad thing.

  15. They should figure out how to get Democratic donors to pay for their campaign?

  16. Sorry, but this argument seems to draw too strict a distinction between libertarianism and social conservatism. Yes, I know the two groups just love going at each others’ throats, but the two ideologies’ inherent enmity is vastly overstated. By any rational assessment of the term, Ron Paul would be designated a social conservative. So, not incidentally, would Rothbard. In fact, the success Reagan enjoyed in 1980 that movement conservatives keep trying to relive, was rooted in fusionism.

    So, where did things go wrong? Well, that fusionism was rooted in a recognition on both sides that a libertarian society would almost inevitably wind up pretty socially conservative in practice. Without the efforts of the state to protect bad choices, many of the behaviors social conservatives denote as deviant would be significantly curtailed. In some cases, people would learn from the mistakes of others. In others, the dramatic resurgence of civil society that a libertarian society would wind up generating would reintroduce social pressures to avoid bad behavior.

  17. (continued)
    When social conservatives forgot this, they wound up flocking to guys like Cuccinelli, who were eager to use the power of the government to enforce morality. In doing so, they set themselves up to play the role of the creepy hypocrites who want to run your life. Guess what? It’s not just libertarians who demur on that one. Meanwhile, when libertarians forgot this, they detatched themselves from the electoral process. Consequently they wind up attacking potentially receptive audiences and cozying up to the very progressives most hostile to the libertarian perspective.

    There is a lesson in the Sarvis candidacy. Just not the one the author implies. There’s nothing wrong with people wanting to embrace traditional values. Most people, absent intervention, would inevitably wind up doing just that. They’ve become traditional values becuase, generally, they work pretty damned well. And libertarianism would do well to consider that the progressives hostile to those values understand full well that their own hostility to those values is part and parcel of their attempts to impose their will on society. But the conservative movement needs to relearn that enforcing those values by government diktat is not a winning strategy, either for those values or for electoral success.

    1. Very well stated. However, the real split between libertarians and the Republican Party happened because of Bush’s “compassionate conservatism”. He very consciously rejected libertarianism on economic and fiscal issues. Expanded Medicare, expanded the federal role in education, etc. That was the real deal-breaker.

      1. That’s true. But, I’d suggest that the problem goes back farther. That is, if the rift between libertarians and social conservatives hadn’t emerged far earlier, “compassionate conservatism” would have been relegated to Karl Rove’s fevered dreams of a “permanent electoral majority”.

  18. There are two massive flaws with this article:

    1. Overwhelmingly, most voters do not decide who to vote for based on social issues. We’re talking a tiny fraction of the electorate. The question is among those who do, which group is larger – those on the right or on the left? The answer is those on the right. The vocal supporters of social liberalism are big money donors, not voters.

    2. Support for government sanctioned, subsidized and regulated same sex marriage is not – not even slightly, not remotely, not in any way, shape or form – a principled libertarian position. It is a radical egalitarian position championed by the far left, and has absolutely nothing to do with individual liberty. ZERO. Be a left-winger on that issue if you want. But DO NOT call it libertarianism.

    As for abortion, it depends entirely upon whether or not an unborn child is a human being with rights. If it is, the libertarian position is to be pro life. As for marijuana, go out and show us how many people are going to peel themselves off the couch, wash the Cheeto dust off their hands and vote for you based on that issue. The answer is: less than the number who vote based on other social issues.

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  20. Conservatives should indeed learn what not to do from this loser candidate who got beat by two others.

    Heckuva job!

  21. Gillespie and other Reason writers have consistently written that Sarvis voters were not naturally GOP supporters. Sarvis’ supporters are not nearly large enough to gain a plurality much less a majority, and not ideologically coherent enough that a small tweak to the GOP platform is going to move a significant number of them into the GOP column (or the Democrat column, for that matter). The Sarvis vote is interesting factoid but irrelevant to the election’s outcome.

    How is the Libertarian Party going to adjust its message to attract enough of the 94% of the electorate that did not vote for Sarvis to make 50% plus one?

    1. In a 3 candidate race, why would you need 50+ percent of the electorate’s support?

  22. “Social libertarianism is ascendant.”

    Only when it allies itself with social liberalism, which supports expanding the notion of “protected classes” making thought criminals of those who will not accommodate them. Social libertarians are outliers in the debates on social issues, not the driving force.

  23. I learned that people voting for Sarvis gets you a governor that is worse for liberty than Cuccinelli was. Pro entitlement, pro planned economy, pro government health care. Personal liberty is far more effected by these things that the Cucinelli issues that would have never passed the legislature anyway. The only way libertarians will have a chance to effect things is to take over the Republican Party. It can be done. Efforts like Sarvis detract, they do not add.

  24. So far as I can tell, the lesson here is that 45% of voters should have given the 5% who were rolling around on the floor holding their breath exactly what they want.

  25. Conservatives…

    We need to leave libertarians behind. They are every bit as priggish as they accuse us of being. None need apply if they don’t bow to their gay- pot- abortion-centric ideology. Social issues hold more sway than small government ones.

    We need to win and reshape the Republican party by making it truly conservative. Libertarians need to feel relevant for the first time in their history and that means tearing us conservatives down at any cost.

    Let them go. We can win without them.

    1. I think it’s a great strategy to pick the most unpopular sides of issues according to polls and run on it because people just need the message delivered more elegantly.

  26. I won’t vote for a social conservative, no matter what. Social conservatism leads to the worst kind of nanny state, even worse than all costly and ineffective regulations progressives try to impose.

    If Republicans want to come back to power, they need to become consistently small government, on both fiscal and social issues.

    1. +1

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