Ted Cruz

Cruz Makes Play for Libertarian Voters. Is Anybody Game?

A shift from Iowa to New Hampshire includes shift in rhetoric.

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Ted Cruz
Credit: Gage Skidmore / photo on flickr

As he moved from evangelical Iowa to fiscally conservative New Hampshire, Sen. Ted Cruz didn't waste a minute in changing his tune.

In his Iowa victory speech Cruz gave a shout-out to libertarians, who are thick on the ground in New Hampshire. He declared, "That old Reagan coalition is coming back together, … conservatives and evangelicals and libertarian and Reagan Democrats all coming together as one, and that terrifies Washington, D.C."

One friend asked on Twitter, "When was the last time a presidential candidate even mentioned the word #libertarian?" Well, Rand Paul and Ron Paul did, of course, and Republican-turned-Libertarian Gary Johnson. And so did Ronald Reagan, who said in various speeches just before he launched his 1976 campaign that "the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism." And so indeed did Barack Obama, once, in libertarian-leaning Wyoming in March 2008: "You can be liberal and a libertarian, or a conservative libertarian," he told a crowd in Casper. But "there's nothing conservative" about President George W. Bush's antiterror policies. "There's nothing Republican about that. Everybody should be outraged by that."

Still, libertarians are pleased when a candidate appeals to them by name. And with Sen. Rand Paul out of the race, the libertarian vote doesn't have an obvious home.

That libertarian vote is bigger than Paul's 5 percent in the Iowa caucuses. David Kirby and I found that 13 to 15 percent of American voters hold libertarian values on a range of questions. In three separate analyses Kirby found that libertarian strength among Republican voters had risen to between 34 and 41 percent by 2012. Paul's father, Rep. Ron Paul, garnered 21 percent in the Iowa caucuses and 23 percent in New Hampshire, not far off that mark.  

That's why Cruz is now lowering the volume on social issues and trying to sound like Rand Paul. CNN reports, "Gone Wednesday morning was the vow to investigate Planned Parenthood. In was [Rand Paul's] punchline about the White House tapping your cell phone." He's talking about the Fourth Amendment, eminent domain, and auditing the Federal Reserve. He's downplaying the social issues that he emphasized in Iowa. (Maybe he'll bring them back next week in South Carolina.)

But will libertarians buy it?

Cruz's appeal to libertarians rests on his apparently strong commitment to free-market economics and the limited federal government established by the Constitution. He name-drops economists Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek, who are idolized in liberty circles. He filibusters against Obamacare, albeit without a coherent game plan. Just this week he introduced a bill to reinstate school choice in the District of Columbia. Compared with far less ideological establishment candidates such as Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, or the megalomaniacal Donald Trump, he's got an advantage.

Iowa gave Cruz one big selling point with libertarians. The Wall Street Journal exulted that he was the first candidate to win the caucuses without supporting the federal ethanol mandate. The ethanol industry and popular governor Terry Branstad spent millions to stop Cruz. Libertarians reveled in the victory over corporate welfare.  As was once said of Grover Cleveland, they love him most for the enemies he has made.

Cruz talks a lot about his commitment to the Constitution and the constraints it places on government. He memorized and recited the Constitution as a teenager. His campaign website says, "Ted Cruz has spent a lifetime fighting to defend the Constitution [which] was crafted by our founding fathers to act as chains to bind the mischief of government and to protect the liberties endowed to us by our Creator." Words to warm a libertarian heart.

Even there, though, a closer examination gives libertarians pause. Roger Pilon of the Cato Institute and Damon Root of Reason have pointed out that Cruz seems not to understand "the proper role of the courts in limiting legislative and executive excesses, federal, state, and local." In both the seminal Lochner case of 1905 and the gay marriage case of 2015, Cruz has insisted that the Supreme Court defer to state legislative decisions rather than uphold individual rights.

Get beyond economics and some constitutional issues, and Cruz's record is far less libertarian.

Take foreign policy. Cruz has tried to position himself between Republican uber-hawks such as Sens. John McCain and Rubio, and the non-interventionist positions of Rand Paul. He has questioned nation-building and the toppling of Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi. And the interventionists have denounced him for it.

But Cruz is no non-interventionist. On the campaign trail he talks about "bombing ISIS back to the Stone Age," "carpet-bombing," and even making "sand glow in the dark"—a surprisingly unremarked threat to use nuclear weapons for the first in 70 years. It's hard to see such loose talk about bombs attracting much support from libertarian voters.

And then there's his hostility to immigration and gay marriage. Cruz promises to deny immigrants a path to citizenship, deport illegal immigrants, build a wall on the border, triple border patrols, and step up surveillance and biometric tracking at the border. That's not the attitude that welcomed tens of millions of immigrants, including Cruz's father, to this country.

Meanwhile, Cruz has been embracing a truly startling array of antigay extremists. I don't mean that he says the Supreme Court exceeded its authority in striking down state gay rights bans—though of course he does—or that he has been endorsed by numerous members of Congress who support a constitutional amendment to take marriage rights away from gay couples—though he has. I mean that he has shared stages with people who ought to be beyond the bounds of any aspiring president. On caucus day in Iowa Cruz brought in Virginia pastor E. W. Jackson, who has called gays "perverted," "degenerate," "spiritually darkened" and "frankly very sick people," to campaign for him.

The night before the caucuses, making his final pitch to Iowans, Cruz brought Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson with him to Iowa City, and Robertson told the crowd that same-sex marriage "is evil. It's wicked. It's sinful….We have to run this bunch out of Washington, D.C. We have to rid the earth of them." In November Cruz appeared at a "religious liberties" conference organized by pastor Kevin P. Swanson, who railed at the conference, as he had said many times before, "YES! Leviticus 20:13 calls for the death penalty for homosexuals. YES! Romans Chapter 1, Verse 32, the Apostle Paul does say that homosexuals are worthy of death….And I am willing to go to jail for standing on the truth of the word of God."

Those are not alliances likely to appeal to libertarians, not to mention moderates, independents, swing voters, soccer moms, or anyone who wants a president with a modicum of judgment.

Ron Paul supporters and other libertarian-leaning voters may swoon when Cruz says, "There are a whole bunch of areas that the federal government has no business sticking its nose in. I will fight every day for you, for your freedom, for your right to run a small business, for economic growth and for keeping government the heck off your back." But if they look more closely, he's going to have some awkward conversations.

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153 responses to “Cruz Makes Play for Libertarian Voters. Is Anybody Game?

  1. I hope not.

    1. Just once, I’d like to see a candidate that is actually a Libertarian and lies to republicans to get their vote, rather than the other way around.

    2. Not only does Cruz not have a chance of getting Libertarians but because of his extreme evangelicalism (I know, that’s redundant) and the evangelicals Wars on Women, Gays and Drugs, he doesn’t stand a chance of winning against ANY Democrat.

      TRUMP in 2016, 2020, 2024, 2028?.

  2. No

  3. By now Cruz has proven himself to have zero character or integrity so I have no idea why any libertarian would trust him or believe the horseshit he says about limited government.

    I trust no person with an ego as big as Cruz’s to respect any limits on his authority should he find himself elevated to the presidency.

    1. Yep. He’s shown his true colors. Blind ambition. Power hungry. It’s what makes Trump and Clit-on so repulsive too.

      1. You mean he’s a politician? Color me shocked.

  4. The “Libertarian Vote” is not a deciding factor in much of anything. A: Libertarians often don’t vote. B: when they do it’s in such small numbers that they’re drowned out by statistical noise and voter fraud.

    1. It turns out that people who recognize that political solutions inevitably fail don’t see much point in running for political office, or even voting. [sad trombone noises]

      1. That stance of not running just makes things worse, as there’s no one in a blocking position to stop the people who do seek a political solution to a non-political issue.

        1. Yeah, it’s a conundrum. Do i expend vast amounts of my own effort and precious time on earth to become part of a system that i hate, in order to fight internal rearguard actions against those who seek incessantly to expand it?

          1. You know, a whole lot of progressives and marxists thought the exact same thing about thirty years ago. They saw a country that voted almost unanimously for Ronald Reagan and was outright hostile towards their ideology at nearly every level of the culture, outside of a few pockets in academia, entertainment, and local bureaucracies. To say the deck was stacked against them is an understatement.

            But they played the game, participated in a system that they hated (and largely hated them), and made incremental gains wherever they could. And now they own the culture and the government. It wasn’t an accident; they worked at it for a very long time and got results.

            Libertarians could do the exact same thing. Hell, libertarians could have already done it INSTEAD of the progressives back in the ’70s and ’80s. I’d argue that they likely would have had an even easier time of it than the progressives did.

            But it didn’t happen. And it’s probably not going to happen, because libertarians are content to be smug assholes amongst themselves rather than go out and do the heavy lifting of building a freer world.

            1. Where the Left won the game was not at the ballot box – I mean, look at the last couple of off-year national elections and the elections for governor’s. The Left won by taking over the media and being the ones to create the narrative. When the elections are over the Left portrays them as having meant whatever they want. The Left is able to demonize politicians who do things like privatizing, and to turn socialists into heroes.

            2. And it’s probably not going to happen, because libertarians are content to be smug assholes amongst themselves rather than go out and do the heavy lifting of building a freer world.

              The game was lost a lot earlier than the 80s. The fact is that public schooling is a massive cornerstone to the whole statist enterprise.

              Furthermore, it is inevitable that the State would impose uniformity
              on the teaching of charges. Not only is uniformity more
              congenial to the bureaucratic temper and easier to enforce; this
              would be almost inevitable where collectivism has supplanted
              individualism. With collective State ownership of the children
              replacing individual ownership and rights, it is clear that the collective
              principle would be enforced in teaching as well. Above all,
              what would be taught is the doctrine of obedience to the State
              itself. For tyranny is not really congenial to the spirit of man, who
              requires freedom for his full development.

              -Rothbard

              1. Yeah, but public schooling has existed in this country literally since before we were a country. Except up until about thirty years ago, these schools for the most part taught the virtue of western society and built students who were compatible with liberty. However, libertarians (and conservatives, for that matter) allowed the apparatus to be taken over by progressives and cultural marxists in the 1970s and 1980s without putting up any serious effort to counter them.

                Liberty is something which requires a vigilant and perpetual defense. We completely dropped that defense, and now we’re in a country where an actual socialist has a real shot at the presidency, and all libertarians want to do is shrug their shoulders and complain about how nobody listens to them.

                Well guess what, nobody listened to marxists and socialists either. But they put in the work, adopted a strategy of incrementalism, and now here we are.

                1. My bad. I’ll get right on it. Which should I do first, take over the media? Get elected to the school board? Spend my weekends canvassing?

                  Oh, nm, I forgot I have to go live my life.

                  1. No you’re right. Better to just bitch on the internet. Impotent rage is the best rage.

              2. Doing the heavy lifting to build a freer world would require getting up from behind my computer keyboard. I don’t want to do that.

            3. Have you ever stopped to think that maybe (part of) what makes us libertarians (i.e. classical liberals) is our unwillingness to play this stupid game anymore? Sorry, but being one percent better on economic issues (while also sharing a stage with someone who implies a willingness to out-right murder people simply for their choice in consensual sex partners) is just not enough to get my vote. “I’m a Christian first, an American second” is no better then Bernie Sanders when it comes to the economics of drugs or porn. Freedom is a holistic concept: Freedom to exchange ideas and beliefs begets freedom to exchange goods and services (and vice versa). All are equal and intertwined, you can’t short-change one without inevitably doing irrevocable damage to the others.

      2. The thing is there are enough people with libertarian ideals who don’t vote, that if they did, at least for a 3rd party like Gary, it would get attention. Staying home means we’re easier to ignore.

        1. ^^^ THIS.

      3. And yet, ironically, the only solutions that have a chance of succeeding are political ones.

    2. Small numbers? Same was true of the communists and prohibitionists. In fact, communists had to operate under fake names like Republican, Anti-monopoly, Greenback, Populist, Socialist Labor, Progressive… to get their law into the Constitution They only came out of the closet as CPUSA long after Manifesto Plank 2 became the 16th Amendment. Small parties determine close elections, but don’t believe me. Tell the IRS you choose to ignore “statistical noise,” then watch what happens.

    3. This is incorrect. A good 3rd of the electorate is composed of Independent voters, and the vast majority of those are socially liberal, fiscally conservative folks who tend towards Libertarianism, even if they don’t understand the term. They HAVE been the swing voters, time and time again when they have decided elections based on looking at candidates based not only on what they say but also what they do and deciding if the lesser of two evils was social conservatism or fiscal liberalism and casting their vote accordingly or by walking away from candidates who have failed to fulfill their promises.

  5. Cruz may be the lesser of five evils, but he’s still evil. His current stance on the Security (Theater) State, doubly bad given he flip-flopped on it, is a deal-breaker for me, but it’s at least an indication that he’s a normal duplicitous politician instead of the idealogically-driven evil of the rest of them. Sad that this may be as good as it gets – he’s an evil slimy bastard but at least he’s not an evil slimy thieving bastard.

    1. Cruz may be the lesser of five evils, but he’s still evil.

      See, I consider pain, evil. Would I prefer a finger cut off, or my dick? Both are evil. Bizarrely, I guess, I actually prefer less evil, crazy as that seems to the average libertarian.

      1. Unclean! Unclean! Where’s your philosophical purity, man?

        1. I am not suggesting anyone get excited about Cruz, or that he isn’t, at heart, evil. I am not suggesting that anyone give his campaign money or vote for him.

          I just don’t get the idea that less evil isn’t better. In my example above, parts get cut off. A pinkie would be much better than a thumb which would be better than an arm, ect.

          Especially when comparing literally ANYONE, to the Hildebeast or Bernie the mad socialist.

          1. Oh, I agree with you. I was just being sarcastic about the common view that anything less than philosophical purity should be rejected.

            1. The stance of not voting for anyone because no one is good enough, ensures that your vote is the equivalent of the guy who doesn’t know anything, and is less than the guy who votes for the most venal of reasons.

              Sure, my vote might not win an election, but I remain confident that I cancelled out some idiot’s vote. Of course, that idiot is probably thinking the same thing.

            2. Not many of us voting Libertarians are asking for ideological purity. What we are asking for is that the obviously more pure Libertarian alternatives be given their shot, rather than written off entirely for a “less evil” establishment candidate.

      2. Please don’t turn this into a circumcision thread.

        1. +1 Pizza style

        2. Yes. Cut it now.

      3. You present two choices and seem to pretend they are the only choices. That does not describe this situation. You could also refrain from voting or vote for a third party candidate. Voting for evil is not mandatory, and is foolish.

        1. “You could also refrain from voting ..” Inaction is Not the same as action. That’s just the Peter Principle applied to politics.

          1. But it’s still an option.

      4. I prefer to cut off THEIR finger AND dick, and to accomplish this by the simple expedient of voting my conscience.

      5. Marshall, what exactly is the analogy here? Hillary is the finger and Cruz is the dick?

    2. I think one on the requirements to get elected to President is that you have to pander to some fairly large group of stupid people. I think Ted has accepted this.

    3. So who is your choice then?

  6. He’s said things before I agreed with, sure. And then immediately after he pulled out his crucifix and starts to “exercise the demons”.

    1. Aw, come on. Those demons have a high BMI. They need the exercise.

      1. “Gimme ten more, Azazel! Keep those wings tucked!”

        “Shub-Niggurath! Keep those tentacles to yourself. And stop staring at Baal’s cloaca! More effort! I wanna see you dripping with ectoplasm.”

    2. Do you think he’s genuinely religious and plans to make us a theocracy?

      Or is that a schtick?

  7. So we’re not 10A fans here? Notice that he hasn’t said they ahould show deference to Federal courts. I don’t know if he’ll be good or bad, but that seems like a weird hill for libertarians to fight a Cruz presidency on.

    1. *has not said that courts should show deference to the Federal legislature.

      Fuck it. More coffeee.

    2. I’m not really much of a fan of state’s rights. I mean sure it keeps some limits on federal government (though it seems like it never actually does in practice) but the States have been abusers of individual freedoms just as much as congress.

      It’s best use seems to be with entry-ism of previously unacceptable personal liberties such as marijuana use or gay marriage but even then it gets used by so many holdouts to resist those freedoms (Utah, my state, is going to vote down medical marijuana coming up pretty soon, bc state’s rights). That is until the big bad federal courts (or congress) makes them accept it.

      They also like adding their own regulations. Basically, state’s rights often means more government, not less.

      1. No. States rights means another check on the Federal government, just as the Federal government is a check on the states. The only thing that really matters are to have separate power centers that have the incentives and power to oppose each other and hopefully cancel out to some extent the designs of each. However, this also means some states will be worse/better than others.

  8. Cruz is the only politician in my lifetime who’s pre election rhetoric matched his post election actions exactly.

    1. Hugo Chavez delivered.

  9. Cruz is the least bad of the lot. This is what every election comes down to.

    1. You seem to have identified an inherent problem with elections.

      1. So, dictatorship then?

    2. The big question is whether he is a contender. If so, we can expect the media to start pounding him from all sides.

      1. In the last two days, I’ve already seen anti-Cruz bromides on Facebook and Reddit.

        So its started.

    3. Every election comes down to the brave and honest voting libertarian and wrecking the election chances of the more cowardly and dishonest. Every major change in American politics was won by spoiler votes cast with integrity, not by cowardly desertion or surrender to the looters and fanatics currently controlling the mindless-but-many.

      For game-theory modelling, buy a zombie game and surrender or flee every time a gang of them comes near. See where THAT gets you…

  10. I think I agree with Cruz on the courts. In a choice between inventing new rights or deferring to the states, I’ll take the later. I believe the term is Federalism.

  11. Any man who can say to people in Iowa, to their face “I’m going to stop giving you guys money for ethanol” is a man with principles.

    1. Herbert Hoover had that principle, and look what good it did.

      1. Hoover did not have free market principles. The man was FDR on a smaller scale. He subsidized, raised tariffs, increased spending and encouraged wage freezes.
        Check out FDR’s Folly and New Deal or Raw Deal. They both have sections going over Hoover’s policies.

  12. Every time I have heard Cruz say something that I agree with (in whole or part) he will follow it up with something totally dreadful. So no, the Elephant party is dead to me, not that it mattered as I am not in a purple state.

    1. Cruz will pander to his audience. H’e running for President. It’s what they do. What matters is what he’s said and done when he didn’t have anyone to pander to.

  13. There are a lit of post about the lesser evil, I think that perspective misses the point. It’s a question of who is the least dangerous.

    When you look at the candidates and the ability to actually do any of the crazy things they say they want to do I think Sanders may be the least dangerous in that he is most likely to keep an opposition party in charge of congress.I certainly disagree with the crazy things which come out of his mouth but I also think there’s much less chance of him doing them than there is for a Cruz or trump to accomplish theirs while they have a Republican Congress.

    1. I think that’s a good point. Also when you factor in that things he can do as en executive, like choose to bomb or not bomb every country on earth or prosecute the drug war, Sanders seems way better than anyone else. He also doesn’t care what you do with your vaginas, whereas Cruz seems to be scared of vaginas and wants to regulate them to death.

      1. …whereas Cruz seems to be scared of vaginas and wants to regulate them to death.

        citation needed.

        1. Cite this: I am ashamed that Cruz is a Texan. I wish he would get into a duel so that, worst case, he could at least be stripped of Texas citizenship. Best case, left for the vultures to haggle over.

      2. Judging from how many kids he has, I don’t think Cruz is scared of the vag at all.

      3. Bernie cares deeply what I have in my wallet, and that is not something to be overlooked.

        1. I think that is why Will Nonya said “with a Republican Congress”. There is no chance Sanders will get access to your wallet as long as Republicans control the budget process. Sanders is less likely, however, to have (very expensive) foreign entanglements and more likely to use prosecutorial discretion to at least pause the Drug War. Is it the best of everything? No, of course not.

          1. Cruz is on the record as states states should be allowed to have different marijuana laws.

            That’s pretty much the best prosecutorial discretion you can get, no?

      4. “…whereas Cruz seems to be scared of vaginas and wants to regulate them to death.”

        There doesn’t seem to be much evidence of that.

      5. He also doesn’t care what you do with your vaginas, whereas Cruz seems to be scared of vaginas and wants to regulate them to death.

        ‘You don’t necessarily need a choice of 23 contraceptives or of 18 different abortifactients when children are hungry in this country.’

        If you think Bernie Sander’s Healthcare (BSCare?) is going to remain completely oblivious to women’s health issues, you’re sadly mistaken. If you think half the country is going to quietly chip in while it does (or doesn’t), someone should disabuse you of that notion.

    2. Because we all no socialist ideologues would never resort to extra-Constitutional means to enact their agendas. It’s just unpossible.

      1. Absolutely. Just look at Barack Obama, he’s told the nation repeatedly that it’s not within his purview to do something. And then proceeded to do it anyway, because Congress refused to grant him his desired policy goals.

    3. Before Obama’s rule by phone and pen this was a fine stance.

      Now? His followers aren’t just expecting an executive order presidency–they’re hoping for it.

  14. I’ve never understood some libertarians’ fascination with gay marriage as a “right” to be protected by federal or state governments. With glee they note it as part of the libertarian moment.

    Marriage, in the public sense, is a legal construct that exists to provide access to various government benefits. These benefits often cause distortions and complexity in the tax code, inheritance law, and welfare benefits. I think many of these benefits and complexities should be abolished. They can cause the government to grow and create factions pitted against each other. Equal protection is often cited, but I don’t think that principle should be applied in a positivist sense.

    Private marriages can be whatever the participants what them to be. They can be solemn religious ceremonies, wild pagan celebrations of debauchery, or simple contracts. The right to enter into these relationships should be protected, but these kinds of marriages are not what people are talking about when they celebrate gay marriage.

    I really like Boaz, he is normally very principled. But I think the fact that he is gay causes him to lose a bit of the objectivity and precision normally present in his thinking.

    1. But until government ends those privileges, it has to offer them all around, or else it’s discriminating against it’s own people. Perhaps if people argued that marriage shouldn’t have any specific benefits, maybe that would end the argument there and then any adults who wanted to marry each other could go ahead without the government blocking it.

      1. So why did gay libertarians, like Boaz, not work instead for a negative right to marry, by which the government merely protects a couple’s right to marry? What we now have is a positive right that not only forces clerks to sign forms against their principles but also indirectly forces bakers to make gay wedding cakes.

        1. Why, because they wanted their slice of the cake too, off course.

        2. First up, gay marriage has nothing to do with any of the non-discrimination in public accommodation cases. Most of them happened in states that didn’t have marriage equality at the time (that is, they weren’t to celebrate a legal marriage, but a “commitment ceremony” or civil union or some non-legal-marriage event).

          Second up, why didn’t *any* libertarians/Libertarians work to abolish marriage as a legal construct? I’ve heard that whole “should’ve abolished marriage” argument in exactly two contexts. People whining after marriage equality is achieved about how gay people should have done it, and an excuse for why people voted against marriage equality.

          Or, to put in other words…why are Libertarians/libertarians only interested in getting the government out of marriage when gay people come up? If it was a serious issue, I would expect it to show up regardless of gay people.

          1. This libertarian has always thought government should have nothing to do with marriage. And I’ve read enough articles and have enough anecdotal experience to make me believe that it is a pretty universal idea in libertarian thinking.

            But have you ever heard of the concept of picking your battles? Government involvement in marriage was not an issue in the forefront of ideas until the gay marriage battles came up. That was the trigger/opportunity for libertarians to make their principled case. It has nothing to do with the fact that it was about gay marriage.

            1. “But have you ever heard of the concept of picking your battles?”
              Sure. Have you?

              I mean really, faced with two options… broaden marriage to allow gay people to marry, or fight to abolish legal marriage all-together. One of those was/is a winnable battles, increases individual freedom and liberty, does no harm. The other isn’t winnable and has a great potential for unintentional harm? .

              And you think that the “Libertarian” choice should have been the second one? If gay people had agreed with you, my Husband would still be a legal stranger to me, wouldn’t have affordable insurance, we’d have to pay a lawyer hundreds of dollars to obtain some simulacrum of the rights/protections we instead got with a $40 marriage license, and those fancy legal documents would be in serious threat of being arbitrarily ignored whenever they’re needed the most. And legal marriage would *still* be a thing in all 50 states.

              That’s your idea of “picking your battles”?

              ________
              ?If you think you can abolish marriage and make everything a matter of “private contracts” without a period of confusion and instability in which some people/things fall through the cracks, you’re deluded.

              1. Nice sleight of hand. Your initial point was that libertarians didn’t care about marriage before, so now they only care about it because they’re against gays. You think this convicts them of hypocrisy.

                I pointed out that you were wrong about that because most libertarians do care about it, but it makes no sense to bring something up when it’s not in the public consciousness. It would be futile when there are other things that can get more traction. That is what I meant my picking battles, but of course you knew that.?

                Now you’re bringing up completely new stuff. None of which are “rights”. A “legal stranger”? People are tied together all the time by contracts. They are not legal strangers. And how you get insurance is between your provider and you. If government is somehow impeding you from acting in the marketplace, then put your energy into removing the impediment.

                ?And I never claimed that doing away with government-sanctioned marriage was easy nor likely

                1. It wasn’t “sleight of hand”. That entire post was arguing why the “abolish marriage” “battle” was a poor choice and libertarians/Libertarians were right to choose the path that *actually* expanded liberty and freedom.

                  Oh, and you didn’t prove me “wrong” by saying some libertarians/Libertarians “cared”. I never said they didn’t “care”. I said they weren’t *serious* about it and only brought it up when gay people were involved.

                  1. right to choose the path that *actually* expanded liberty and freedom.

                    You’re talking about pragmatism out one side of your mouth, and ignoring pragmatism out the other side. It was a completely foreseeable consequence of the wave of state legalizations of gay marriage, and eventually of Obergefell, that homosexuals would be a protected class. You can’t talk about pragmatism in one sentence and then completely ignore the pragmatic effects that have resulted in “bake my cake or pay a fine.”

                    But whatever, you got your cake, so who cares whether you got it by holding a gun to the baker’s head.

                    1. You do know that religion has been covered by non-discrimination laws since 1964, right?

                      But I have heard exactly 1 case where anyone supported the right of a baker to refuse a cake on religious grounds, and that was by misrepresenting the facts.

                      So yeah. You really have me convinced that it’s non-discrimination laws that are the problem in your eyes.

              2. Instead he’s now no longer a legal stranger to me because I get to subsidize him through the tax code. How do you have a right to affordable insurance? How do you have a right to entitlements?

                This was the most expedient way for you to get the goodies. At least you’re starting to be honest about it.

          2. Second up, why didn’t *any* libertarians/Libertarians work to abolish marriage as a legal construct? I’ve heard that whole “should’ve abolished marriage” argument in exactly two contexts. People whining after marriage equality is achieved about how gay people should have done it, and an excuse for why people voted against marriage equality.

            You should have paid more attention. I became a libertarian c.2008 partially because I didn’t like the shit policies the Rs and Ds had on gay marriage. Libertarians have been about abolishing state licensing of marriage for a long, long time.

            1. Not to discount your experience, but if you feel my experience is not representative, take it up with your fellow libertarians/Libertarians. ’cause what I’ve seen? Is much MUCH closer to what you see here: self-identified libertarians/Libertarians whining, a lot, about how gay people have access to the same institution as everyone else. Because apparently gay people should have done that which libertarians/Libertarians are unwilling or unable to do, and failing to do that, should have done nothing to improve our own lot.

  15. The really sad part is that as awful as Cruz is from a libertarian perspective, not only is he the least awful of the major party candidates running, if he got the nomination, he’d be the most libertarian candidate running on a major party ticket in at least a generation.

    1. If you’re female, gay, or a non-Christian, he is not libertarian in the slightest. He would happily use government power to infringe upon their basic civil liberties.

      1. Come on, you can be “slightly” libertarian if you support libertarian positions on some things and not on others.

        You’re saying that for the issues most importation to you, he’s not libertarian. But it’s pretty self-centered to say that that makes him less than slightly (by which you mean, not at all) libertarian.

        BTW, I see what you’re saying about being female. But I don’t see any evidence nor ability to infringe on the civil liberties of non-Christians. Same goes for gay people, but you and I have a difference of opinion on marriage being a “civil right”.

      2. Yeah. I don’t dislike Cruz because I’m a female. Identity has nothing to do with it. He’s just a disingenuous dick. That alone is pretty much enough.

      3. But he’ll let the weed-legal states keep tokin’ for taxes. That’s why I’m torn here. The other GOP candidates either have huge drugwarboners or seem to just give lip service to the pro-pot folks. Ending MJ’s bum rap would solve a lot of problems we have with overzealous police, or so it would seem, that’s why it’s an important issue for me though I’ve never tried the stuff.

        1. You’re not missing out on much, though weed is safer than just about anything worth having. The point is not to legalize weed but to outlaw assholes with guns shooting our teenagers for the sake of Anheuser-Busch dividends. At this stage it amounts to paying a competing bribe or dividend in hopes our kids might live to graduate and vote libertarian in the next step. Thank the GOP and Dems for putting us in this pathetic fix.

      4. Like what? Force somebody to bake your fag cake for your “special” state sanctioned marriage? Identity politics is not Libertarian.

      5. Darth, you’re not a libertarian, so how would you really know?

        Your position, more accurately stated is that if one does not hold the standard liberal/SJW position on civil rights, one sees nothing good about Cruz.

        This is true. But none of those people were considering voting for anyone but Bernie or Hillary anyway, so why should anyone pander to them?

        There are purely libertarian reasons to be pro-life. The version of gay marriage we got was decidedly unlibertarian in it’s design and execution. And this ‘non-Christian’ bogeyman is just silly.

      6. Okay, so what is the actual, specific, state action he’s calling for to infringe on the rights of female, gays and non-Christians? So far, all I’ve heard is “he talks mean about them”. But, I’m open to be enlightened if he’s actually proposing state action.

        Because pretty much anyone else running in any of the major parties, I can find specific proposals about violating people’s rights.

      7. “infringe upon basic civil liberties”

        I take that this means forcing a private bakery make you a dumb cake or fine them $100,000. These are the “civil rights” invented by the left out of the “emanations and vapors” that displace actual civil liberties.

  16. I really don’t get this comment

    “Cruz promises to deny immigrants a path to citizenship”

    Am I supposed to be disappointed that we aren’t putting people who are used to a massive centralized state in a position to vote for the same thing in this country? Fine let them work here but as a libertarian I consider preventing them from becoming citizens and voting to be a feature not a bug.

    1. What the big deal about citizenship anyway? You can do pretty much anything with a green card as you can with citizenship. You can’t vote. There are some jobs you can’t hold because of security clearance. Not much else. I’d support some kind of amnesty for illegals who have been here a while (especially “dreamers”) if it was just a permanent green card with no ‘path to citizenship’. It’s not a burden.

  17. One reason to support Cruz is that evidently he’s an asshole that not many people like in Washington.

        1. Well, shit. Point taken.

        2. And Reagan

    1. This is the meme that the establishment and their sycophantic media journolisters are pushing: Cruz is “not nice”.

      Go look at his response to the question about narcotic abuse and see his character. Don’t let the media brainwash you.

  18. “David Kirby and I found that 13 to 15 percent of American voters hold libertarian values on a range of questions.”

    Big problem with that line of thought. This is the age of identity politics. It doesn’t matter what someone actually believes, in order to succeed in this democracy, all that matters is what people call themselves.

  19. “David Kirby and I found that 13 to 15 percent of American voters hold libertarian values on a range of questions.”

    Big problem with that line of thought. This is the age of identity politics. It doesn’t matter what someone actually believes, in order to succeed in this democracy, all that matters is what people call themselves.

    1. All that matters is what people call themselves… the law says. Holding values and not voting them is theoretical and applied cowardice.

  20. I never feel great about not voting. Even when forced to choose between poor choices or not vote.

    1. You should do some time in Brazil or Australia, where voting is as mandatory by law as murdering villagers was when Nixon was president. Brazil has 32 communist, fascist and Sharia law parties, all subsidized following the example Nixon signed into law. There is no LP in Venezuela, Brazil or Peru, but we have one in Uruguay. Guess what’s legal there?

  21. OT:

    I think I’m triggered. I can’t stop watching PuppyMonkeyBaby.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql7uY36-LwA

  22. NO! That’s why we are a marginalized and fake segment of the population. Only a unicorn would get the Libertarian vote.

    1. And only a coward AND a fool would throw away 90% of his vote power and his children’s future on major party organized looting via Nixon-subsidized teevee commercials.

  23. He is not a libertarian. People who claim he is are deluding themselves. He is, at his core, a statist.

    He surfed the Tea Party anti-establishment libertarianish wave into the Senate and made some libertarianish moves while he was there but he is a “law and order” hyper-religious social conservative with decent amounts of nationalism and militarism thrown in. Whenever he talks like a libertarian, he uses the language very well but he isn’t actually saying anything of substance.

    On top of that, he lies through his teeth more egregiously than practically any national politician of the last quarter century (Bill Clinton might be comparable).

    Expect a wave of people to defend his actions as some sort of awesome strategy and/or drone on about his general awesomeness. No, he’s a fucking huckster: you’ve been duped; admit your error and move on.

    1. “On top of that, he lies through his teeth more egregiously than practically any national politician of the last quarter century (Bill Clinton might be comparable).”

      Ted Cruz doesn’t hold a candle to Hillary Clinton. How many verifiable and substantive lies has she made regarding the email scandal alone?

    2. Thank you bassjoe! Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose starts out with the socialist platform of 1920 and observes that it became the law of the land despite the looters rarely netting 5% of the vote. The communist, socialist and prohibition parties lost every vote count but changed the laws and constitution by sticking to their guns. Integrity works and nobody respects lickspittle prevarication. The big stick in the hand of our little party is set to whack the thieving hands of rights-violating looters trying to reach for the till. Let them worry about how to steal our spoiler votes by changing their coercive platforms. The LP just doubled its market share last election! 2x is the derivative of a quadratic function, and doubling is the first step in a geometric series that shoots past 50% on the 6th iteration. Looters and mystics hire mathematicians to show them how exponential functions work.

    3. He is not a libertarian. People who claim he is are deluding themselves. He is, at his core, a statist.

      He surfed the Tea Party anti-establishment libertarianish wave into the Senate and made some libertarianish moves while he was there but…

      If you ignore all the things he’s done that would cause someone to mistake him for a libertarian, then, yes, it would be clear he’s not a libertarian. However, with that magical logic anybody could make an elephant tango.

      However, saying they’re falling for an illusion that he’s generated historically or by his behavior is the opposite of delusional.

      Gullible or naive? Certainly.

    4. A statist? Bull.

      He is the only candidate to stand against the D.C. establishment which is doing its best to assassinate him.

  24. In the Do Tank of real politics, we observe how the Prohibition and Communist parties and used tiny vote counts to amend the Constitution adding dictatorial force laws. With no platform endorsement from the ku-klux Dems or Red Republicans, the income tax was moved from the Communist Manifesto of 1848 to the 16th Amendment and the Maine Laws of witch-burning New England enshrined in the 18th with never a major party endorsement or 5% of the vote. Fellow-travellers from Altruria stood out for full communist looting at gunpoint. Hatchet-wielding, cross-burning ku-klux christianity never sold out or gave an inch until two spoonfuls of alcohol in a gallon of water was made a 5-year felony and a fine of 480 ounces of gold. Voters can smell the difference between looter presstitutes and people with integrity. Let Ted’s handlers have him beg us to vote to betray someone’s rights, then spit in his eye!

  25. Cruz is no Clint Bolick.

  26. So, here’s a reason to consider voting for Cruz–all the statists, “left libertarians”, “liberaltarians”, drive-by lefty idiots, and other extrusions from the left who lurk here are telling you not to do so.

    1. This occurred to me as well.

      I don’t see the investigation of PP as intrinsically non- or anti-libertarian (the abortion issue is far from settled from a libertarian standpoint and the transfer of [whose?] unborn property prior to birth only muddies the water further). Passively citing/agreeing that the rhetoric swap represents a pandering or migration away from evangelical base to the libertarian base comes across as libertine/cosmotarian. As though the only people who might have an interest in investigating an organization (for any reason, let alone baby part sales) that receives federal funds have to be irrational followers of a sky daddy, they couldn’t possibly be libertarians and this premise (generated by CNN) seems to permeate the story.

      I mean that he has shared stages with people who ought to be beyond the bounds of any aspiring president.

      Maybe we should ask Mati Weiderpass and Ian Reisner whom Cruz should be allowed to hang out with? Maybe we should have a clause in the Constitution preventing Barry O from being president because Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright. In any event nothing says, “I’m a libertarian and I support all manner of free association and free association.” like “Presidential candidates shalt not be found fraternizing with people who said mean things about other people.”

      1. I’m pro-choice, but I think PP should not be funded by the government in the first place.

    2. Agreed. Vote for the guy who the D.C. establishment hates the most – that would be Cruz.

      Why does the establishment give Trump so much free air time? Because he is “malleable” as Jimmy Carter recently correctly put it. He has a long history of working with (colluding with) political insiders.

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  28. You know, it’s funny. It’s my first time in my life this year voting in a national election (or even a primary) that could conceivably be contested after years living in Texas and Oklahoma. I’ve spent nine months being a political junkie and I’m still not smart enough to have figured out the game theory of whether the most libertarian recourse is electable warmonger/decent fiscal conservative, semi-unelectable semi-warmonger and hardcore fiscal conservative, or completely unelectable protest vote for a libertarian.

    But hey, whatever, I’ll eventually pick what I think I can sleep with at night and some gender studies major at Ohio State will cancel my vote out because “it’s just time” for a woman, so I’m definitely overthinking it.

    (FWIW, I refuse to not vote. Even when it’s a hopeless cause, I think of every vote against big government as a microscopic course correction to the future.)

  29. “But if they look more closely, he’s going to have some awkward conversations.”

    That’s alright, modern libertarians often have to have awkward conversations with people centered on the principles of America’s founding.

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  31. Stop making me defend conservatives! It really makes me mad!

    pastor E. W. Jackson, who has called gays “perverted,” “degenerate,” “spiritually darkened” and “frankly very sick people,”

    I’ll do the same, though calling them “degenerate” wouldn’t be my first choice of words. After all, almost all humans (in other words, non-Christians) can be accurately called the same things.

    “YES! Leviticus 20:13 calls for the death penalty for homosexuals. YES! Romans Chapter 1, Verse 32, the Apostle Paul does say that homosexuals are worthy of death?.And I am willing to go to jail for standing on the truth of the word of God.”

    That’s actually pretty hard to argue with. If indeed the Bible is God’s word, then God says that.

    But God also says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” in Romans 6:23.

    Romans 8:13 “For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.”

    Proverbs 11:19 “Truly the righteous attain life, but whoever pursues evil finds death.”

    Galatians 6:8 “Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”

    Do you need any further proof that this “deserving death” is an unremarkable comment? Or is it that we Christians have so failed to explain the problem, you will die if you don’t repent?

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  33. “And with Sen. Rand Paul out of the race, the libertarian vote doesn’t have an obvious home.”

    SERIOUSLY WTF, REASON!

    No obvious home? Would it be too much to ask that the leading Libertarian magazine actually, i don’t know, recognize that a Libertarian candidate actually exists, and god forbid actually endorse him as the OBVIOUS HOME for the Libertarian voter?

  34. I am a New Hampshire State Representative who endorsed Rand Paul early on along with about 30 others. Here is my statement regarding other endorsements: http://on.fb.me/1KBC28H

    1. Congratulations on Triggering The Move, from a fellow former “Phil’ulphian”.

  35. A politician pandering to certain groups of people to get their votes… What’s new? The Rand-less GOP and democratic field running for president keeps me up at night. I’m so disillusioned with these candidates for president. I truly hope that the people that supported Paul are true libertarians and not just anti-establishment guys.

  36. Noooope.

    While Cruz gained a certain amount of respect from me in smacking down Feinstein’s gun ban (I streamed the hearing live), he’s still a moralist authoritarian er sumthing when it comes to social issues. Somebody please set me straight with the proper terms here.

    I’m sick of compromise. I’m burning my votes on whoever represents my goddamn values from now on. Even on possible write-ins.

    New Hampshire’s seeming less and less inhospitably cold and remote, over time.

    1. Yep, I stopped voting for the lesser of two evils in 2008 and haven’t looked back since. I vote for the Libertarian candidate or the most Libertarian candidate every time now.

  37. the perfect is the enemy of the good. Cruz is no “pure” libertarian and doesn’t claim to be, but he’s a lot closer than any other candidate that still has a chance. or take your little balls and go home.

  38. Libertarians are often confronted with the choice between allying with social conservatives or leftist “progressives” (are we, as a country, progressing? that is definitely debatable). Libertarians frequently fall for the leftists’ talk of tolerance.

    Here we have again such a choice: a big government, D.C. insider Clinton vs an even bigger government socialist vs…

    …Cruz is a strict constitutionalist who wants to reestablish the checks and balances that previously protected the citizenry from the abuses of the government.

  39. Well, at least he is advocating something that is libertarian. besides when he was talking about lochner and the recent knock down of states gay rights legislation he may have a different opinion of the supremacy clause, as in the one that is plain english, that States are the last ultimate authority.

  40. Cruz is FAR too socially conservative to get this Libertarian’s vote.

  41. I think libertarians would do well to drop the search for the “perfect” in favor of “better than we’ve got.” Ted cruz is more committed to shrinking government than anyone else with a chance to make it. And probably more than any major candidate in decades. Is he perfect? He’ll no! But I don’t get the logic of rejecting an improvement because it’s not perfect. I’m voting for cruz because I would like less government (the only issue I really care about.) And if someone comes along later on who wants even less government than cruz, I’ll vote for him too.

    1. The only way candidates will even try to win the libertarian vote is if we follow the approach you mention. We talk about cruz appealing to the libertarian vote as if we are some huge powerful voting block. Fuck, we should be fuckin flattered. A candidate is actually trying to appeal to us who is currently high in the polls. We should reward him for doing so, and maybe more candidates in the future will try to win the libertarian vote, instead of just writing is off as unwinnable and “going to vote third party anyways”. We aren’t powerful enough to win an election on our own. Our only hope is through coalition.

  42. If you want to vote Bernie in to get gridlock, that may sound fine, but that also locks in Obamacare, the EPA gone wild, etc.

    Plus, because the GOP is terrified of shutting down the government, Sanders will be able to get a lot passed. Obama and Reid control the budget not the GOP.

    Yes, I know Cruz is overtly Christian and also smarmy and dickish.

    But sometimes you need a dick.

    1. *controlled not control.

    2. If it came between Cruz and either Democrat, I would be hard pressed to pick which was the lesser of two evils and I have no need to do so as there will be a solidly libertarian candidate on the ballot. If even 10% of the public started voting their libertarian conscience, it would make a meaningful impact.

      1. if libertarians would vote for the people that make appeals to them in order to form a coalition it would make an impact. all voting third party everytime does is tell politicians that we aren’t going to support them anyways unless their fucking purity libertarian jesus. It would work in a proportional representation system, but in ours… you got to form a coalition. Especially when it comes to voting for the president

  43. I would rather have Ted Cruz appoint Supreme Court justices than Bernie Sanders.

    Watch your rights disappear, including gun rights, if he gets to appoint people.

    Dems may re-take the Senate, too, meaning there won’t be any opposition to horrible choices.

  44. I will vote for Cruz, because he is the only candidate left that in any way supports civil liberties and the Constitution. He supported Rands filibusters, co-authored a bill for Smarter Sentencing,is the only candidate left who was against the NDAA and NSA data mining without a warrant. He also happens to be fiscally conservative ( a plus). Is he a Libertarian? Hell no. But versus the rest, I’ll take him. I want my vote to count this election. Rand is out and I don’t agree with Ron about Sanders,but I’m not going to sit back and waste my vote with an egomaniac like Trump who wants to use the Presidency as his personal power trip. I have to vote this time,or we could end up with Trump or Sanders (authoritariansim either way) so Cruz it is.

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