Election 2014

Seven Reasons to Vote for the Libertarian Party

When you vote Libertarian, the other parties have to become more libertarian.

|

This article is part of a series on the libertarian vote in the 2014 midterm election. Here's the first set of arguments from DemocratsLibertariansRepublicans. Read today's alternative perspectives from the other parties here and here.

Why should libertarians vote for the Libertarian Party? The short answer is that "libertarian" is right there in the name. If that's good enough for you, thank you for your vote for our candidates, you can stop reading now. But if you're one of those "small l" libertarians who want to know why you should vote for the Libertarian Party candidate instead of the candidate with the D or R by their name who is closest to your views, read on.

1. The Libertarian Party supports all of your freedoms, all of the time

Only the Libertarian Party puts up candidates who are working to dramatically reduce big government spending, taxes, debt, regulations, bureaucracies, foreign meddling, and invasions of our personal freedoms. All we is do fight to get the government out of your wallet, your bedroom, and your life in general.

Our candidates aren't running to "reform" big government programs. Not to "replace" them. Definitely not to add to them. If you want to tinker around the edges of big government, the old parties have you
covered. Only the Libertarian Party and its candidates are working to repeal laws and shrink government. What will this leave? Individual liberty and a small, constitutional government that is limited to defending our lives, liberty and property.

2. The Libertarian Party is consistent and principled

Libertarians work for everyday taxpayers, workers and voters. Not for special interests. Not to be part of the machinery of government. Not to land government jobs. Not to grab "our share" of the goodies.

Libertarian candidates aren't career politicians. They're veterans like Jess Loban in Colorado's 4th Congressional District. They're professional divers like Lucas Overby in Florida's 13th Congressional
District. They're pizza deliverymen like Sean Haugh running for Senate in North Carolina.

Our candidates are ordinary citizens fed up with old party politicians and willing to take time out of their lives to fight for human freedom. All they want is to make government small, allow free markets to thrive, uphold and expand personal liberties and keep our nation at peace.

3. Voting for old party politicians tells them that you want to keep government big

Voting for a candidate with a D or an R by their name sends a message. It says, "keep doing what you're doing," i.e., "raise taxes, spend more, add to the nation's debt, invent more doomed-to-failure
government programs, and start more wars." It gives them permission – or license – to keep government big. Voting for the "lesser evil" is indistinguishable from voting for team R or D because you think everything they do is awesome. It will be taken as approval for more big government, which leads to higher taxes, higher spending and debt, more government and more war.

4. Voting Libertarian is the only clear message you can send

Spear Lancaster, a former Libertarian candidate for governor in Maryland used to tell me, "Not all politicians are smart, but every one of them can count." They can count how many votes they got and how many votes their opponents got. Only a vote for a Libertarian sends a crystal clear message about what you want, more freedom, and when you want it: right now. Voting Libertarian says: "You do not have my permission nor approval to sustain or grow big government. Shrink it immediately."

With all due respect to those people who argue against voting at all, there's no way that a politician can tell the difference between the principled anarchist non-voter and the dude who was too lazy to fill out his ballot. If you want to send a message to the old party politicians, a Libertarian vote is the clearest message you can send.

5. Voting Libertarian forces the old parties to take the libertarian positions

Old party politicians are spineless cowards. They'll get behind the change the majority of the citizens want only a decade or so after that majority wants it. Libertarians have been advocating for marriage equality and ending the drug war for decades. These efforts are finally coming to fruition, even though no Libertarian has been elected to a federal office.

Every Libertarian vote helps to move policy in a small government, libertarian direction. Every Libertarian vote scares a weak-kneed old party politician to come around to the freedom the citizens have already wanted for years.

6. Because the old parties don't want you to

The old parties will spend millions of dollars on advertising this election cycle to scare you out of voting Libertarian. They will collude with their cronies in government and the media to keep Libertarian candidates off the ballot and out of debates. They are deathly afraid that having a Libertarian candidate on the stage and on the ballot will show them as the intellectually bankrupt government hacks that they really are.

If big corporations, big media, and big government politicians are all going to cheat with both hands to keep you from having a Libertarian candidate on your ballot or in your debates, that's a pretty clear signal that the Libertarian candidate is far and away better and they're afraid you'll realize it.

Like the failed anti-drug campaigns of the '80s, if someone spends that much time and money telling you how awful something is, it makes you want to try it. And like smoking weed, voting Libertarian won't hurt you and will probably make you a little happier to boot.

7. Voting Libertarian helps your favorite "libertarian-leaning" old party politician

Justin Amash. Ron Wyden. Thomas Massie. Rand Paul. These are some of the old party politicians that people like to tell me are "libertarian-leaning" and should be supported instead of actual Libertarian candidates. Let's assume for a minute that these are good politicians that a libertarian would want to support.

Unless you live in Michigan's 3rd Congressional District or Kentucky's 4th, there's not a single person in that list that you can vote for this year, since neither Wyden or Paul are up for election in 2014. But what you can do is vote for every Libertarian Party candidate on your ballot and it'll help all four of those gentlemen.

When a "libertarian-leaning" candidate gets elected in one of the old parties, they are under constant pressure from their party leadership to fall in line. They don't get good committee assignments. They don't get leadership support for re-election. They get primary challengers backed by the establishment coalition between big government and big business.

By increasing Libertarian Party vote totals, you send a clear message to the leadership of the old parties that libertarian ideas are popular. Remember, all politicians can count. If the party leaders see that there is a solid block of libertarian votes, they'll stop putting as much pressure on their "libertarian-leaning" party members to vote the big government line.

The Libertarian Party has 786 candidates running across the country this election. Seven-hundred and eighty-six of your fellow Americans who have taken time out of their lives to fight for your freedom. They deserve your thanks and they deserve your vote.

Advertisement

NEXT: Grover Norquist Says Voting GOP Is the Smart Choice for Libertarians

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Unfortunately, third parties will simply not be viable or very useful until the United States pursues radical electoral reforms.

    Good luck getting the Republicans and Democrats to expand competition in the political realm. Hey, I’m for it, but it would be tremendously tough to accomplish.

    1. Say, have you been polled by Rupe-Reason lately?

      1. No, I haven’t been actually. Reason certainly does seem to be enamored with my generation.

        1. I really like to here what you think about pretty much anything. Shoot Reason an email and tell them something.

          1. *hear

          2. Should I suggest that they stop writing about millenials?

            1. Recent polling suggests that 65% of millenials are tired of polling articles about millenials. Reason promised to revisit this poll on a weekly basis to monitor how that percentage trends as millenials get older.

    2. I have made this point before, but it needs to be stressed. If Republicans feel that we are constantly “stealing” elections from them, then they need to start pursuing preference-based electoral reform. IRV has been on the LP’s platform for a long time; if the Rs want to find common cause with libertarians and get their (second-place) votes, they ought to add a similar plank to their own platform.

      1. I appreciate your suggestion for electoral reform, but please, please consider supporting Approval Voting over IRV. IRV is a logistical disaster waiting to happen, especially if any non-major party candidate actually succeeds in getting a large percentage of the vote. It is mathematically unsound, creates nonsensical paradoxes, and is one of the only systems where votes can NOT be totaled at separate locations and then have those totals added together in one location (all votes must be collected before counting can begin).

        Approval voting, on the other hand, is easier for voters to understand (it’s not a massive change to the existing system) and allows you to “approve” or “disapprove” every single candidate available. It’s better in nearly every way to IRV.

    3. “third parties will simply not be viable”

      Nationally, yes but outside candidates stand, I believe, a better chance in local elections. With only 700 odd Libertarian candidates competing, there can’t be too many of these candidates going for local office.

    4. There will always be only two parties with any chance of political success, the Democratic party, and the Whig party.

  2. #8 No buyer’s remorse. It is a good feeling to walk out of the voting booth without feeling sad about voting for the lesser of two evils.

    1. This. Last election, for the first time, I did not vote for an R or D for President. I voted for Johnson, and to this day I’m happy with that decision. It’s especially helpful when arguing with an Obama supporter, who says, “Who did you vote for, Romney? Like he’d be better?”

      1. Furthermore, unless you’re in a battleground state or district (for house elections) then the “lesser evil” argument goes out the window.

        1. It goes out the window in a “battleground” state too. If it’s close enough that your vote actually matters, there’ll be a recount and your vote won’t matter.

      2. I love it when people assume I voted for Romney. Of course, voting for Johnson makes Obama supporters hate you even more.

        Hating the other team is just going through the motions. It’s part of the game. But hating the principled non-participants is serious. Those who refuse to play are the only real threat to the game. And they must be despised acutely.

        1. Look what happened to Nader and his supporters on the Left. Dems will blame him for Gore’s loss even though Bush received tens of millions more votes than Nader. Heck, it may have been more productive to criticize the electoral college since Gore did win the popular vote.

        2. Keating: Mr. Dalton, will you be joining us?

          Charles: Exercising the right not to walk.

    2. #9 The Dems
      #10 The GOP

        1. IMO, they can be useful as a protest vote depending on the candidate or field of candidate(s) available. They certainly go to the extremes of the Left on many issues though. However, they won’t win anything, so it doesn’t really matter.

          1. However, they won’t win anything, so it doesn’t really matter.

            TEAM RED says that about the Libertarian Party too…

            1. And they won’t because the electoral rules we have in place promote the duopoly. You may be able to win a local election or something, but it is almost impossible for the LP or Greens to attain sustained national relevance.

              1. I’d posit that the Greens wouldn’t attain sustained national relevance regardless of electoral rules.

              2. Not with that attitude. Just run better candidates than the D or R brands. It can’t be that hard.

        2. I’ll take a Green over a Democrat any day. I doubt their more radical economic stuff will every come close to passing, and they might actually not go to war for no reason.

          1. That’s my thinking in regards to the Greens too. They also tend to be very supportive of civil liberties and, if I remember correctly, there is a strong contingent of them in favor of localism, so it ain’t all bad.

            1. All of this conjecture is easy to toss around since they have never been in power, but you cannot be radically authoritarian and small government at the same time.

              1. I wouldn’t call Greens “radical authoritarians”. IMO, that label is reserved for people like Stalin or the Kim family, but I suppose it depends on your definition. May just be semantics.

  3. I’m registered as a Libertarian and vote straight LP ticket whenever I can.

    I support them despite the majority of the candidates they run.

    Clean up your house, LP, and you won’t have to convince “l”ibertarians to support you.

    1. I only vote for candidates who’ve turned themselves blue.

    2. This! i am voting for McDermott because i want to help get us on Row “C” not because hes a Libertarian, he was sucking Cuomos cock at the gubernatorial debate for NY. Its liek “JESUS TITTYFUCKING CHRIST ON A POGO STICK! you got the platform to debate the top 2 and you use it to drop to your knees and deepthroat Cuomos cock til you gag!” it was a fucking disgrace to Libertarians everywhere. still getting an L on the ballot may be worth while since its not like voting for the R-proggie is better than voting for the D-progtard

  4. I’m in FL. My boss told me it was dumb for me to vote for Wylie because he won’t win. He asked who would I vote for if Wylie wasn’t on there, I told him Rick Scott. He told me I should just vote for Rick Scott because voting with conviction is stupid. I told him Rick Scott should earn my vote.

    1. lol rick scott stole billions from taxpayers
      jesus christ on a popsicle

    2. You should have told him “I wouldn’t vote for that office – both of the major-party candidates are unacceptable.”

  5. I’d note that reasons 5 & 7 only work to the extent one is willing to defect from the Libertarian party. If libertarians will only ever vote Libertarian, then the major parties don’t have an incentive to pursue libertarian voters and major party libertarians can’t offer much in the way of additional support.

    1. I would defect for a more libertarian leaning R, but it is a dangerous game because they can always fall in line with the higher Rs.

    2. Rand Paul exists because of big L member efforts. Ron Paul got his R3VOLUTION campaign from Ernie Hancock (whom I may dislike but credit where due).

  6. If the Republicans think that Libertarians are “Stealing” votes, then maybe they should fucking earn our votes. They don’t even have to go full Libertarian, just give on some things. Your base will not dessert you.

    1. ^this^

      Also, never go full Libertarian…or something.

  7. Bonus reason for the H&R commentariat:

    Because FYTW.

    1. Now you’ve convinced me.

    2. That’s funny right there.

    3. That’s all you needed to say. Why go through the trouble of an entire article when you were able to beautifully elucidate your point through this acronym?

    4. Well stated!

    5. Vote Saxon X

  8. There was exactly 1 LP candidate on my ballot this year. In addition to being an overall loon with a website that looked like it was put together on Geocities in 1999 he wasn’t even on the LP reservation on several LP platform issues (strongly anti-immigration and pro-campaign finance legislation, for example). It was embarrassing. I can’t believe the state party actually put their name behind somebody like that. It’s a good way to get yourself taken even less seriously than you already are. So please, for the love of zod, exercise some discretion on who you associate with the brand.

    1. Hey, I had a website on Geocities in 1999….

    2. Dude you think yours is bad, NYLP put up McDemott for Gov. on the surface hes an idiot, under the surface hes too busy deepthroating the Dems to do anything else

  9. Data in support of items 5 and 7, please: a) where and when has increased Libertarian voting produced these effects or 2) can it be shown to have had that effect for other parties?

    1. 2) I would say it worked pretty well for the socialist party influencing the dems.

  10. Funny how only Libertarians believe anyone else cares how Libertarians vote.
    This is a strong indication of individuals who do not understand what political parties are for, how they work and how individuals can use them best to forward their political goals.

    The premise of this article is just plain false. If you want to change the nature of a party you must participate in the candidate grooming and selection process of that party. Jeering and cheering from the peanut gallery is irrelevant to those a actions taken by folks who participate.

    1. So your claim is that when a politician loses to their Big Two rival, and the third party candidate garners more than enough votes to swing the election the other way, nobody cares. I’d say that a short study of history would show you’re wrong.
      Only after this happens will one of the Big Two pay more attention to the element that’s disrupting their goals. At that point they can either attack that element, attempt to co-opt it, or change to reflect the will of voters.

  11. For what it’s worth, Ron Wyden is excellent on surveillance issues, but nigh on full-on progtard on everything else. I’m glad he’s great on one issue, but that doesn’t make him “libertarian-leaning” by any stretch.

    I absolutely love it when a libertarian candidate beats the margin between the two main party candidates. THAT is what will make the republicans and democrats sit up and take notice. When they see there are enough “wasted” votes to swing an election their way, that’s when they’ll look into adopting policy positions that would help them collect some of those votes.

  12. It’s a lie. The Libertarian Party (along with Cato and Reason) support the LGBT agenda, just like the D-Party (and almost secretly the R-Party – it’s just that RINOs are often too stupid to know it). They have eliminated all civil rights through politicization of marriage and family, and concretely a federal takeover. They all push forward on the “equality” thing same way as always. When the masses have no rights, they are equal. (While the Political Class has power.) We should all understand by now that just because politicians say they stand for something doesn’t mean that they actually do. The Libertarian Party didn’t survive to maturity, and voting for Libertarian candidates means absolutely nothing. The whole thing here has to do with what politicians say and not what they do. Candidates from the two Big Parties are already pretending to have a libertarian (traditionally known as politically conservative) streak.

    1. You keep forgetting chemtrails.

      1. riveting counterpoint.

        1. They have eliminated all civil rights through politicization of marriage and family, and concretely a federal takeover.

          Not exactly starting with sound source material. Also, the “federal takeover” began in 1997 with the “Defense of Marriage Act” which was decidedly not part of the “LGBT agenda” (rather counter to it, although I suppose you could argue that it was a federal strawman set up for later Democrats to slay). You could even push the “federal takeover” farther back to Loving v. Virginia (in 1967) or the institution of separate tax filing statuses for married people on federal income tax returns (I don’t know when that happened).

          It is true that the combination of gay marriage, public accommodation laws, and protected classes results in the inevitable consequence of people being forced to serve gay couples; but all it really is doing is bringing an old violence against freedom of conscience to the forefront after people had largely accepted it (libertarians excepted).

      2. funny thing is the UN admitted that chemtrails and the 5 HAARP stations are being used to modify the weather with silver nitrate dust and RF heating of the stratosphere

  13. The only issue I have is something that has been discussed here ad nauseum, that a vote for the Libertarian is the same as a vote for the Dems. From my perspective the Dems are not Liberal in any sense of the word. They are Progressives who are decidedly illiberal. Sure Team Red has big gov issues but at least they are fundamentally invested in Liberal political principles…even if they stray from them.

    I’d rather support somebody that veers from the path I support rather than support a group of authoritarian thugs invested in controlling every part of my life.

    1. When you’ve spent decades driving off-road, it’s no longer veering from the path. It is the path.

      1. Poll Republicans & you’ll see otherwise. Or simply read Don Ernsberger’s results from 20 yrs. ago. Don co-founded SIL (which became ISIL, unfortunate name as it turned out), and when he surveyed in the 1990s he expected GOP & Democrat politicians to be equidistant from libertarians. He learned otherwise: Democrats were much, much farther. I’m sure that’s true of the voters too.

        1. It’s not about what Republicans think, it’s about what their politicians do: expand government and meddle in your life.

  14. Voting for anyone is a violation of the non-aggression principle. To vote is to impose violent rulers upon peaceful people and give the appearance of legitimacy to that which is illegitimate.

    1. Actually, it’s not. It’s self defense. Ask Lysander Spooner.

      He sees, too, that other men practise this tyranny over him by the use of the ballot. He sees further that, if he will but use the ballot himself, he has some chance of relieving himself from this tyranny of others, by subjecting them to his own. In short, he finds himself, without his consent, so situated that, if he use the ballot, he may become a master; if he does not use it, he must become a slave. And he has no other alternative than these two. In self-defence, he attempts the former.

      1. Acts of self-defense must target aggressors and only aggressors; otherwise, the act is aggressive against the innocent bystanders who are harmed. Voting does not target aggressors and only aggressors; it targets everyone. Those who do not participate in a vote are still affected by the result of a vote. Even people who live in other countries and cannot vote are affected due to foreign policy. Thus, Spooner was wrong here. Voting does not qualify as an act of self-defense.

        1. You do you, but you’re literally sending exactly the same message as a slacker who just doesn’t bother to vote.

          Sound and fury, signifying nothing.

  15. Voting LP sounds cool, bro.

    Unfortunately I live in California and “Top 2” primaries have removed all the LP candidates from the November ballot, so I’m staying home.

    1. Vote for yourself as a write in, thats what i do for every position that doesnt have a Libertarian

  16. my best friend’s sister-in-law makes $88 every hour on the computer . She has been without work for 8 months but last month her income was $21663 just working on the computer for a few hours. view it….

    ????? http://www.netjob70.com

  17. Vote for Turd Sandwich in 2014.

    1. Amen! And, Turd Sandwich == Rethuglico-Demonology Party…

  18. Libertarians
    Ordinarily
    Lose

  19. Or look at the 8 essays from a decade ago linked from the bottom of this page, explaining why libertarians should let LP rot:

    http://users.bestweb.net/~robgood/political.html

    1. Oh, and vote for me:

      Robert Goodman (C, R)
      NY assembly, 80 (Bronx)

    2. Your essays haven’t aged well.

  20. Reason #8 to Vote Libertarian: It is the CHRISTIAN Thing to Do!
    Not “Christian” in the “You must believe the following 18-point set of rules and dogma”, but in the sense of, “If you believe in ‘Loving your neighbor’, I call you a ‘Christian’ person, whether you call yourself that, or not’. ? ‘Christian’ simply in being Christ-like, whether you are an atheist or a Buddhist or what have you.” ? AKA, “Christian” has gotten a bad rap as judgmental hypocrisy, and, sad to say, I can see why? But? Go read Peter McWilliam’s book, “Ain’t Nobody’s Business if You Do?”, and you will see that Jesus condemned hypocrisy and self-righteousness right down into the flames of HELL, and he NEVER said diddly squat about family-friendly tax codes or condemning gays or starting righteous wars, etc. ! He was of the mind of obeying our Conscience (AKA God), and not politics! “Treat others the way I like to be treated”? I do NOT want to be treated as your moral inferior! My choices matter! It is NOT such a far leap, to assume, from there, that Government Almighty (AKA force and coercion) should be minimized to the bare minimum that is ABSOLUTEEY required!

    1. I have often thought, the ONE thing that keeps a LOT of voters from voting Libertarian, is that they simply can NOT give up on their favorite self-righteous hard-on. “Oh, yeah, I agree with the Libertarians, keep government small, keep them out of my bedroom and out of my wallet. But? But? But they want to legalize DRUGS! OMG!” ? “Oh, yeah, I agree with the Libertarians, keep government small, keep them out of my recreational-substances-choices and out of my wallet. But? But? But they want to legalize GAYS! OMG!” ? “Oh, yeah, I agree with the Libertarians, keep government small, keep them out of my recreational-substances-choices and out of my bedroom and out of my wallet. But? But? But they want to legalize MAKING YOUR OWN CHARITY CHOICES! I WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO VOTE FOR MORE COMPASSIONATE WELFARE SPENDING! OMG!” ? “Oh, yeah, I agree with the Libertarians, keep government small, EXCEPT THE ABORTIONISTS ARE KILLING BABIES!” ? So many of us want small guv? EXCEPT when OUR favorite self-righteous hard-on is NOT catered to! So Jesus was right, ALL those friggin’ years ago, so rag on SELF RIGHTEOUSNESS more than ANYTHING else!

      1. So I vote for Libertarians pretty much whenever I can (except for “clear and present danger” exceptions). They, and they alone, would pretty much agree with my distilled essence of a GRAND central compromise: If y’all progtards and yer pretensions of being OH so much more compassionate that I am, will YIELD, and STOP yer self-righteousness, about my charity spending, and STOP “charity” at the point of yer guns and jails, then if the conservatards will STOP their constant catter-wailing about gays and abortions, in exchange? Then WHERE do we end up!?! ? Drum roll? The Libertarian Party, the Non-Self-Righteous Party! The “Christian” party, when “Christian” is properly understood!

    2. I take issue here. I take issue with the golden rule.

      A Sadist is simply a masochist following the golden rule. I don’t want people to do to me what they seem to want to do to themselves. Have you seen how some people dress?

      1. Amen, I see yer point… I wish the opposite sex would throw themselves at my feet, all day, every day, yet I do not do that to them… Point well taken… But then, do they REALLY_REALLY_REALLY want me to throw myself at their feet?!?! HUGE shades of gray here…

  21. Illinois is going nuts. All of a sudden there are huge mailings for the Libertarian candidate for governor, Chad Grimm. His mailings say he’s 100% pro-life, but the ads against him by Repubs say his party is 100% pro choice. There is a matter of a union whose leadership stated months ago that they would defeat Rauner hell or high water gave Grimm 30,00 dollars. Looking at all the ads, there can be little doubt that the Dems are using Grimm as a cat’s-paw, because the incumbent Quinn has been such a disaster. Last time, he won just 3 of 103 counties- two in the Chicago area, and the one opposite St. Louis- but that was enough to win. Now with all major media endorsements against him, they are going undercover. RTauner does have some stealth of his own, but in Illinois, that’s not a bad idea for a Republican. I might vote for him, only to break the Dem stranglehold on the state offices. This state is in deep shit.

  22. From the Libertarian platform:

    “Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders. However, we support control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a credible threat to security, health or property.”

    That’s the reason this small-l libertarian has a hard time voting for the big-L Libertarian Party. At the very least, the qualifying sentence, “…we support control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a credible threat to security, health or property.” is insufficient. It should at least include a proscription of people who pose an economic threat to the country: third-worlders who come here to take advantage of the American economy but contribute nothing to it.

  23. The article leaves out the most important reason of all: I like having a clear conscience.

    -jcr

  24. Can you have some spare time to sit back in your chair having your laptop with you and making some money online for some interesting online work said Jenny Francis in the party last nightsee more what is for you there to increase your pocket money??.

    http://shorx.com/clickforsurvey

  25. The real #1 reason is because libertarian voters are just like all other voters: They wish to use government force to accomplish their goals.

    Voting is Violence!

  26. My neighbor’s mother-in-law makes $88 hourly on the laptop . She has been out of work for 8 months but last month her check was $21643 just working on the laptop for a few hours.
    Have a peek at this website. ????? http://www.jobsfish.com

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.