Why Should Libertarians Vote For Team Blue?

Our old friend Garrett poses a worthy challenge. - promoted by david

As you probably know libertarians are estimated to make up somewhere around 10% of likely voters, not enough to win a majority but enough to sway an election. When it comes to actually showing up and voting libertarians have a recent history of going with the party that wins. In 2000 and 2004 the majority of the libertarian vote went with George W. Bush while in 2008 the bulk went with Barack Obama. Libertarians threw Republicans out of Congress in 2006 and tossed the Democrats on the street in 2010

As we stare down another “most important election ever”, it’s a big question as to where libertarians will go. Most libertarians I know are planning on voting for the Libertarian Party’s presidential nominee, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, a guy I’ve spent much of the year covering on the trail for Reason. The consensus in Galt’s Gulch seems to be that he is the most competent person the LP has ever put at the top of their ticket, which is saying something for a party that nominated a guy opposed to drivers licenses as recently as 2004.

Now, shelve the idea that Johnson is a viable option for voters in 48 states plus Washington, DC. I want you, the diarists of the hyperpartisan blogosphere, to sell libertarians on why they should vote for Team Blue. It can be in 100 words, 500 words, or even 1,000 words. Don’t limit your responses to just Obama, though. I want to hear why libertarians (that’s with a small ‘l’) should vote for Elizabeth Warren in the all-important US Senate race. Warren’s said some interesting things on medical marijuana and end of life care in recent weeks but what else does she have to offer libertarians that Scott Brown doesn’t?

The best responses from BMG and RMG will end up in a post at Reason and Boston.com

Recommended by tblade, stomv, petr, geo999.


30 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. They should not vote

    Please note that I am not saying they should be prevented fromto voting. They should be allowed to. They should refrain from voting until they have reconciled their “I’ve got mine, now pull up the ladder” attitude with what the rest of us recognize as the Social Compact. As a beginning for the reconciliation process, I recommend a study of US history, with special emphasis on the Robber Baron era.

    I think their influence is a major reason that our first Black President is not the progressive we hoped for. If they are swayed enough by whatever the current version of Mitt Romney is putting out to elect him, they will have further damaged our society, by making a robber baron the chief executive.

    • Don't understand Christopher's downrating

      The Democratic campaign this year has had an explicitly anti-libertarian message this year. There are social issues where liberals share common ground with libertarians, but the libertarian voting bloc seems much more interested in the economic issues on which we definitely differ.

      I haven’t seen anything backing Mr Quinn’s assertion that the swing of libertarian voters explains the shift between 2008 and 2010.

  2. War, personal choice and economic liberty

    Democrats are more in tune with personal liberty in regards to marriage equality, abortion and in some cases legalization of Marijuana, at least Warren is, Brown is not.

    In regards to war, while both parties have succumbed to war, Democrats are a lot more cautious in the expense and the act of war than Republican Democrats are less likely to put our fellow men and women in harms way, IE using drones instead of men. Romney seems to want to fight wars with out caution and or thought of the monetary expense and human lives.

    Economic liberty is more about leveling the playing field. Give every business the same shot at success. No special breaks to established industries and help start up industries get onto solid footing to compete against the larger, established corporations around the world.

    Republicans consistently increase spending and never pay for the new programs they create or continue. This is fiscally irresponsible They reduce taxes, yet never cut spending to correlate to the reduced revenue coming in.

    Democrats, while they do create more programs, Democrats have been consistently pushing to at least pay for them. this is a lot more fiscally responsible than than Republican approach.

  3. Who is the real enemy of personal and economic freedoms?

    Government or oligopolies?

    We live in an age where many segments of the economy have matured, consolidated and do not possess the qualities that constitute free-market conditions. Companies in these sectors (ranging from energy, telecommunications, consumer goods, act) are global in nature, have top-down internal controls, enormous leverage against consumers and have the upper-hand with most nation-states. They are not John Galt inspirations like Facebook or Microsoft, rather faceless corporate bureaucratic running our food supplies, health care systems and other critical industries.

    Current Republican (and Libertarian, and admittedly elements of the Democratic Party) values want to continually empower these forces under the guise of a neo-laissez faire policies. The ironic, unintended, consequence of this approach is the creation of a power-dymanic that weakens the political and economic position of the individual against the global corporatism that has taken hold over the last 20 years.

    What possesses the greatest threat to individual freedoms: Big Government or Big Corporations? Left unchecked…both. Which entity can have its powers not only checked by individuals, but also has the ability to check the unfettered power of the other? Government. Yes, libertarians should fear the power of corporations to deny individuals their economic and political freedoms, just as they fear the power of government. Ironically, the only way libertarians can live their lives the way they want, is through their collective ability to control and change government AND their use of government to restrain corporate power.

    The reality of libertarianism is that a weak government will allow powerful corporations to operate unfettered, usurping individual power and ultimately limiting personal freedoms. The only counterforce to this is a government controlled by people who seek to preserve these freedoms. VOTE DEMOCRAT!!!!

    • Democratic fascism

      You describe Democratic Fascism, and yes — intentional or not, it is the path offered by today’s GOP.

    • Reality and non-reality

      The reality of libertarianism is that a weak government will allow powerful corporations to operate unfettered, usurping individual power and ultimately limiting personal freedoms. The only counterforce to this is a government controlled by people who seek to preserve these freedoms.

      If I’m not mistaken, libertarians would regard the State as an ineffective brake on the rapacity of corporations. Instead they would expect the free market to cleanse the body politic of any troubles usurping corporations might cause.

      Given the shocking degree of regulatory capture we now witness in our beleaguered republic, one could be tempted to think that competition in the market place would always be more effective at curtailing excesses than the organs of the State. And, by that view, a smaller state would of course be better because a corporation willing to usurp your liberties would be just as capable at usurping a powerful government.

      • And that's why

        If I’m not mistaken, libertarians would regard the State as an ineffective brake on the rapacity of corporations. Instead they would expect the free market to cleanse the body politic of any troubles usurping corporations might cause.

        You’re not mistaken. It’s the fact that they have such a fantastic expectation that led me to say they should refrain from voting. Without government restraint – as flawed as it has been – the free market would throttle up the rapacity to levels we haven’t seen since Teapot Dome. We already have “opponents of big government” calling for weakening of child-labor restrictions. The vestiges of once-strong government restrictions are all that’s stopping Big Business from returning us to the economic world of the 1890s. Libertarians may think that’s what they want. If they do, they are deluded.

  4. Sorry Garrett, not buying it.

    The Cato institute makes lots of assertions in its publications, and lo-and-behold, their findings are that their interest are super important! Bah. I don’t buy self-importance.

    This idea that its libertarians or brown-skinned people or soccer moms or NASCAR dads or suburban two-income households or bicycle drivers or teh gays! or teh Bible thumpers! or any other subgroup who swings, wins, or otherwise determines the election is nonsense. One vote per person is one vote per person. In this case, not only does correlation not imply causality, correlation strictly ain’t causality.

    Self-described libertarians who care more about their own bank account than the rights of everybody should pull the GOP lever, just as they always do despite describing themselves as libertarians, This way they don’t have to square their personal financial interests with the GOP’s 20th (19th?) century social views. Self-described libertarians who feel personally on the outs of the GOP due to sexuality, race, gender, chemical ingestion preferences, etc should pull the Dem lever because, again, they’re acting in their own selfish interest first. Self-described libertarians who describe the Democratic and Republican politicians as two sides of the same coin, refusing to acknowledge that there are a long list of real policy differences because (a) both sides get donations and are influenced by big players, and/or because (b) neither the Dem nor GOP policy is sufficiently radical on a particular issue should continue to not vote, leave it blank, or vote a third party in their own lazy naïveté. Self-described libertarians who perceive that the Dems will move them closer to social interests but farther from financial ones, and that GOPs will move them farther from social intersects but closer to financial ones should vote for Gary Johnson, etc. So long as the GOP see that the libertarian faction really might be the key to winning, they’ll try to grab some of them by ceding pet social issue to peel off some of those libertarians. The Dems don’t really have that option, since the social issues are disparate but the fiscal issues all boil down to less tax and less regulation, something the GOP will always “win” with libertarians.

    Do I want folks who fancy themselves as libertarians to vote for Democrats? In general, yes — I think that Team Blue does a much better job governing than Team Red. Do I want the Libertarians, the Greens, etc. to work to revise government so it isnt so heavily two-partied? Yes, I sure do. Everything from revising voter reg, primary process, power centralization in the legislatures, IRV, etc. I think we’d have a better process, and do a better job elect politicians who reflect the will/interest/intent of the full spectrum of voters. In the mean time, I’d love to see the Libertarian party focus on New Hampshire and/or Montana and/or (???). Grow strong in a single state. Get some (more?) state legislature seats. Grow the percent of registered voters in your party to 5%. I think the same way for the Greens — maybe in Vermont.

    P.S. Is it more libertarian for you to publish my comments elsewhere despite my preference not to, or is it more libertarian for me to assert ownership of my own comments as a property right and demand compensation and agreement? In any case, I’d prefer that you don’t publish my comments at so-called “Reason” nor on boston.com. I’d prefer they remain right here at BMG. Publish a link to this page, if you must.

    • Damn

      And to think I can’t use the best response yet!

      • stomv, change your mind!

        stomv should change his mind about Garrett using his comment elsewhere.

        Garrett clearly said in the body of the post that the purpose of this exercise is to generate content for spots in Reason.com and Boston.com. If you want to opt out, just don’t respond!

        stomv is my man and his was a solid response. But this is the internet, taking material from point a to post on point b is what drives internet culture now a days. Don’t be so stingy with your words!

  5. Explanation for kbusch

    Nothing personal intended from my downrate, but any argument that begins with the idea that a certain group should refrain from voting will get strong disagreement from me.

    • Blanking the vote

      I think blanking the vote is perfectly valid response when you are dissatisfied with the presented candidates. Not showing up at all is a different story.

      • agreed...

        I think blanking the vote is perfectly valid response when you are dissatisfied with the presented candidates. Not showing up at all is a different story.

        … just as being forcibly prevented from voting is a wrong, let us remember that, by design, there is no forcible requirement to cast a vote. Perhaps the problem isn’t the dichotomy of voting versus not voting but the clear failure of those who tally to take account of abstentions….

    • She’s made anti-NDAA noises…

      At least on one occasion:

      But I think she would have voted for it, right along with Senator Kerry. Whatever she really thinks about the NDAA, civil liberties are not a priority of hers, and she seems to be one who would pick her battles.

      Given Brown’s neoconservative leanings, Warren shouldn’t be struggling so much to win-over libertarian-leaning independents. I think her core philosophy probably has more to do with this than does her position on any particular issue.

  6. Liberty afforded by Democratic philosophy

    Based on the gap between what Obama has said on certain civil liberties and how he has performed in the last 4 years, I don’t think I could make a totally convincing pitch to a Libertarian, but to propose that the GOP is a party of liberty is absurd.

    *Should a woman have the liberty to choose to terminate a pregnancy or not?
    *Should a woman have the liberty to choose to terminate a pregnancy initiated by a rape?
    *Should a woman have the liberty to purchase birth control at any licensed pharmacy, regardless of the religious beliefs of the pharmacist behind the counter?
    *Should I not have the liberty to conduct business with my government without constantly having to provide papers asserting my citizenship – especially when I show up to vote?
    *Should we not all have the liberty to sleep with and marry whichever consenting adult that we love and loves us back?
    *In the GOP 2012 platform, there is a section calling for vigorous enforcement of pornography and obscenity laws – how does this government intrusion on a private matter jibe with the Liberty movement and isn’t vigorous enforcement a gateway to government overreach?

    If Libertarians answer yes to all of the above, then vote Democrat before you vote Republican.

    Also, I would say that as much as Libertarians hate anything resembling the Affordable Care Act, I think the more people are easily covered under health care, the more liberty we have. The current model is imperfect, but the GOP’s solution of “no” is churlish and obstructionist. Health coverage and lack thereof is a huge leverage against any worker, especially one with a family. A worker has far more flexibility in the open job market when the specter of losing health coverage is not held over her head.

    Having the liberty to port your child with a pre-existing from your existing health coverage to the coverage at a new employer is fantastic. Not going bankrupt and becoming a virtual debt slave because your wife has cancer is essential for true liberty.

    The GOP establishment seems to favor a brand of Libertarianism that is anarchy capitalism for the rich. They pay lip service to the work-a-day Libertarians to get their votes, but if you look at liberties that affect everyday people, the GOP injects too much of authoritarianism and theocracy to be truly a party of liberty.

    I get it – there is a reason people are Libertarians and not Democrats. But I think reasonable Libertarians can look at the abject failure of Congressional Republicans to participate as a co-equal branch in government over the past four years and look at the set of issues where Democrats do provide far more liberty than Republicans do, make a thoughtful assessment of what is most important to them, and conclude that casting a blue vote will be better for them than casting a red vote.

  7. What makes you think they have a choice?

    I want you, the diarists of the hyperpartisan blogosphere, to sell libertarians on why they should vote for Team Blue.

    Why in the world would any Libertarian, who knows what the word means, vote for the party that refuses to recognize the separation of church and state? You can’t get much more anti-libertarian than that…

    If you need help on figuring out which party it is which refuses to recognize the separation of church and state then you’re not, and never were, a Libertarian.

  8. Functional government

    Neither party may be precisely what libertarians are seeking right now, but only one of the parties is the incompetent Party of No.

    The Democrats are, at the very least, openly seeking solutions to the problems our country faces, and reluctant to entangle ourselves in foreign escapades that put American soldiers at unnecessary risk.

    Republicans have tried their best to run the government into the ground, all for the insanely selfish reason of trying to hurt President Obama’s chances, while they’re saber rattling with Iran, demonstrating they’ve learned nothing after the disastrously unnecessary invasion of Iraq and the gross mishandling of Afghanistan, which has neutered our present chances in there to bring about an end of the war that brings about an end to the Taliban.

    We all have to live with the mistakes the Republicans have made over the past 12 years, but we shouldn’t enable them to create new ones.

    RyansTake   @   Mon 8 Oct 3:10 PM
  9. No one answer

    I’m not audacious enough to believe that anybody, especially libertarians, want to hear something that’s a one-size-all pitch. When I talk with folks about who they’ll support in this election, I ask them what really matters to them in this election.

    And what I hear from people — libertarian, liberal, conservative, moderate, whatever — is that they care about creating jobs and getting our economy working again. And nobody has a better record in this election than, as you call it, Team Blue. Just look at the jobs they created under Clinton and Obama compared to Bush II and Bush I.

    Now, we don’t believe that government is the answer to all our problems — and we think that government doesn’t have a role in the personal, individual decisions you and your family makes. There’s not a program for every problem. But we do believe that government has a role in helping people help themselves, and making sure that the market has a level playing field.

    For instance, we don’t think that government has a role in telling what a woman should do wit her body, but we do think it has a responsibility to make sure that the labor market is fair so she can get equal pay for equal work. That’s what President Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter fair pay act.

    We don’t think government has a role in telling you who you can love, or discriminating against those who want to serve in the military, just because of your sexual orientation or gender identity. That’s why President Obama reversed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. But we do believe that once you’re in the military, you should be properly equipped and get the benefits necessary to transition you back to civilian life. And, we believe in supporting our GIs once they return home from war.

    The place where libertarians may be most skeptical is on our view of taxes and debt. Libertarians tend to want low taxes. My response is: so do I, and so does Elizabeth Warren and President Obama and every other Democrat. But in addition to low taxes, we want *fair* taxes. And that means making sure that those who can most afford it pay their fair share. I’d ask my libertarian friends, “Which makes our country stronger, more fair, and more free: a tax system where 98% of Americans get to keep their tax cuts — and the wealthiest pay just a little bit more to help pay for things like our military; or blocking those tax cuts for 98% of families (97% of small businesses) unless the wealthiest get their tax cut, too? Which is more free: bitter gridlock, or tax cuts for 98% of us?”

    And on the deficit, the best way to start to lower the debt is to get us out of Afghanistan — which the President will do — and get us out of Iraq — which he already has. That will allow us to keep our focus here at home. I think most people, libertarians and otherwise, agree with that.

    One last point. Libertarians probably most disagree with Democrats on having a robust social safety net, things like social security, medicare and medicaid, foodstamps and so on, as well as some regulation of the marketplace. I’ve heard well meaning libertarian friends say that when you’re “reliant” on the government, your freedom decreases. To that I would only ask if they feel truly free with crippling medical bills, or when they aren’t able to pay for basic services like housing and food. When people have economic security, then they will be more free to participate in civic life. When people are more economically secure, they are freer to live the life they want. We’ve tried a world without these programs and without these regulations. What we got was the Great Depression and all the booms and busts of the 19th century. And then we tried deregulation again, and we got the Great Recession of 2008. And when we’ve had these strong safety net programs? We got the wealthiest, most prosperous society the world has every seen. So, there’s a record there, and we have to go with what works, not our particular ideology, to give people economic security — and thus, more freedom. That’s the kind of country Elizabeth Warren and Barack Obama have been fighting for their entire life — one that is both more fair and more free.

    I hope that everybody will consider voting for Warren and Obama, regardless of their ideology because we need to focus on what matters: creating jobs, strengthening the middle class, and making sure everybody is more free.

  10. I can't help but compare this thread to RMG's

    I mean, Garrett, are you reading this stuff? The first person calls Warren a fascist and says she has a “severe personality defect.” Another one calls the thread “gay” and tells you to “be a man” and write your own content. Yet another quotes Mussolini when talking about Warren’s ideology.

    You can disagree with Warren and Obama and think that they want to give the federal government too much power — that’s a perfectly valid opinion. But calling them fascists? Come on.

    Here’s one more reason to vote Team Blue: our ideology starts from some semblance of reality, and we are interested in actually governing. We might disagree with you on some things, but our goal is finding solutions to problems. Their side is dominated by people who are more interested in yelling at imaginary boogey-people than solving your problems.

    • I read the thread.

      It was hilarious. Wasn’t it Ram Rod who called Garrett’s post “gay”? Talk about small man syndrome.

      Here’s a slogan for you: Vote for Democrats! Republicans lie and suck up to crazy people way, way too much.

  11. If you want to vote for small government in every way,

    you don’t have a major party option. So you need to decide what “small” is most important to you.

    Democrats are the party that believes in getting government out of your personal life, believing a woman should be able to control her own body, people should be able to love and marry who they want, people should be able to practice whatever religion they want and religion is not the government’s business. If personal liberty is important to you, the modern Democratic party is the clear choice.

    If taxes and spending are your primary concern, then it depends. If you are a corporate/business libertarian — and I know a few — whose primary concern is that corporate and business taxes should be lowered to almost nothing, the Republican party is your choice.

    However, you need to be aware that the modern Republican party, despite claims to the contrary, will not cut spending to balance this out. They will cut some things painfully, including important things like infrastructure upkeep, but this is not to reduce the size of government. It is simply to transfer spending from programs they don’t like to things they like better. How do I know this? Because I lived through 8 years of George W. Bush and saw the Clinton surplus turn into a massive deficit. I am guessing that many Libertarians, given the fact that government spending would continue at a certain pace, would have preferred money be spent on repairing roads and bridges than invading Iraq. I’m not a Libertarian (nor am I registered with any political party), but I certainly would have.

    As far as I can see, Republicans only complain about government spending when Democrats are in power. I didn’t hear any of them complaining when Bush was running up the deficit. If you want vocal deficit hawks, you should want Republicans out of power as the opposition party.

    Yes, Democrats believe in the power of government to help effect positive change. If you are a Libertarian, you might not like this. But at least Democrats are honest and open about this. Republicans also believe in using government to effect change — like sending billions to defense contractors for massive defense programs, including some things that the Pentagon doesn’t even want.

    As the Economix blog noted: “It used to be — before Ronald Reagan — that the federal government grew when the Democrats were in office, and became smaller when the Republicans were in the Oval Office. Since then, the relationship has reversed.”

    Average contribution of the federal gov’t to growth in GDP:

    1981-84 (Reagan, R) +1.1%
    1985-88 (Reagan, R) +1.7%
    1989-92 (GHW Bush, R) +0.7%
    1993-96 (Clinton, D) -2.6%
    1997-2000 (Clinton, D) -0.1%
    2001-04 (GW Bush, R) +0.9%
    2005-08 (GW Bush, R) +0.9%

    I’m really not sure how anyone can call the modern Republican party a party of small government. They’re not. They’re the party of trying to use the government to benefit themselves and their friends and their corporate backers, while criticizing efforts to help anyone else.

  12. OK, here's my 2 cents.

    I think we can agree, as a rule, that neither Democrats nor Republicans will line up 100% on a Libertarian measurement of issues globally. That’s to be expected, of course. Otherwise all the Libertarians would just call themselves Republicans or Democrats.

    To the extent there is disagreement, however, I think you’ll find the parties deal with it very differently.

    The GOP has demonstrated a willingness to demote reality (out of cynical strategy or sincere delusion) out of it’s internal reasoning. Many are so ensconced that they don’t even see it. Others are proud of it. The problem that religion has had over time dealing with new scientific truths as their discovered holds a key as to why the religions right and the GOP are natural allies. Why deal with reality when you can live in fantasy?

    Now that’s not to say that there are not real and reasoned assertions to conservative thought. But that’s for the elite. The ‘mass consumer’ of GOP ideology cares not for reasoned debate. They’ve come to their understanding already and are not interested in the mechanics of debate (mechanics that define intellectual integrity).

    You’ll find that Democrats tend to be more interested in an effective government (they don’t consider the government to be the ‘problem’ by default). The funny thing about an effective government, though, is that you have to get there through design, which mean honest reasoning. That is, government by dogma has never worked very well and this is something that, in general, Democrats understand far better than the GOP. As a rule, electing a Democrat means electing someone who’s willing to listen to a differing opinion. Does that me they should put up with the random “Liar!” from the well during a State of the Union? Of course not. What it does mean is that if you are willing to engage in honest debate and not mere dogmatic assertion, you’ll find one party far more willing to engage toward a better understanding than the other.

    Do Democrats have their dogmas? Sure there are some out there – but the degree that you’ll find them challenged internally is far far more than the dogmas of the right are debated internally. Moreover, this willingness to not give ‘immunity’ to dogmas within the (internal or external) debate has been demonstrated – the left has marginalized it’s radical faction decades ago – the right can be seen on Fox News any day of the week.

    Libertarians tend to arrive at their positions through reason more than dogma. They tend to like to consider positions (their own or others) through that same lense of reason. On balance, the GOP likes to preach about ‘small government’, but the data indicate that this is a position of cognitive dissonance symptomatic of a lack of intellectual integrity. Libertarians are not going to lead the GOP to the promised land of reason. To the extent, however, that Libertarian positions hold up to honest (not tea-party hostility) debate, you’ll find engagement among Democrats.

    At least that’s summarizes my opinion and observations – but I’m willing to revise them on better argument and evidence.

  13. I will try to answer

    without having this take over my life.

    First of all, “libertarian politics” is, in a way, a contradiction in terms. Politics is the exercise of power within a state, or between states. Libertarians are distrustful of the Leviathan government and treasure freedom from its power; and yet, an election necessitates one group having power over another, and law is the exercise of power. Even the negation of law, or the curbing of state power, is an exercise of political power.

    Were the Civil Rights laws of 64 and 65, and the police actions taken by the Federal Government, supportive or erosive of “freedom”? Well, they expanded freedom for black people, but eroded the freedom of a white majority to rule over itself the way it saw fit. Rand Paul infamously wished there had been a “local solution” to segregation; of course, segregation was the local solution.

    So when the word “freedom” is brought up, we must ask, “for whom?”

    I would suggest that the state of our current governments — Democratic but very especially Republican — is that of corporate capture. The boundaries of political discourse are kept by those who have enough money or organization to keep teams of lobbyists, billions in political advertising, and — thankfully for those of us on the left — “social capital”.

    For instance, I would like very much to be free of the threat of global warming, which impacts everything from house maintenance to food prices; but our political system has been captured by fossil fuel interests who will not permit the people to rule themselves. They have foisted global warming upon those who do not wish to endure it. They have taken their garbage and dumped it on my lawn, and when I appeal to my government for protection, I’m told they answer to someone else, someone with more money.

    Is this freedom? Freedom for whom? Not mine.

    Here’s another example: The Affordable Care Act (still don’t prefer the term Obamacare) puts several restrictions on insurance companies, some on individuals, and several nudges on providers. For this it is roundly detested by libertarians. However, I didn’t feel “free” when I was refused coverage on the flimsiest of pretenses when I was on the open market. That was the insurer’s freedom, not mine.

    And now that I have coverage, when uninsured people do not contribute to their own care, go to the ER for their care and run up big bills, that constrains me as well, since my insurance premiums pay for their care. Is that freedom? Whose?

    And doesn’t the ability to get health insurance apart from working for a highly-capitalized institution represent some kind of freedom? Wouldn’t that encourage entrepreneurship — as I have anecdotally observed that it has?

    Freedom is not the freedom to be abused by people more powerful than oneself — whether it be the state, moneyed interests, or the combination of the two. Freedom includes the ability to come together with one’s fellow citizens to make the laws by which they wish to live. Such laws are by definition a curbing of *someone’s* freedom — and yet, laws create other kinds of freedom.

    That’s civil society.

    • The Supreme Court

      This President has flagrantly continued the worst civil liberty excesses of the Bush administration, his general election opponent would put them in place and expand them. That said, this President will appoint justices that respect a women’s right to choose, respect the separation of church and state, and will likely chastise the President that appointed them on NADAA, Guantanamo, War Powers and other areas. Also and this is most important, these judges will overturn Citizens United.A lot of libertarians like that decision since it protects free speech, but some, like Charles Fried and Lawrence Lessig, recognize that this allows special interests of all stripes to manipulate government and force it to choose winners and losers. Libertarians should want a political system they have a fair shot at competing in so they can work outside the duopoly of party politics and so unions, corporations, and other special interests don’t waste our tax dollars and have more influence on our government than the voters and states.

      *That was my official statement, in many ways I can’t see how a libertarian could vote for Romney, he literally brings nothing to the table not even in economics for that side of the aisle. The real choice is between purity in Johnson or pragmatism in Obama. Libertarians in solid red or blue states should vote Johnson.

      • Also

        Garret please link to your reporting on Johnson, I heartily disagree with him on economic issues but I strongly support his views on many other issues and wish he had an opportunity to debate and gain traction in the GOP. If he had a greater presence in the race the media would be forced to tackle Afghanistan, drug policy, and civil liberties which are issues entirely absent from the current campaign.

  14. Gary Johnson is a perfectly legitimate vote...

    …as is Jill Stein of the Green Party. Strategically voting for Romney or Obama might be best in the swing states, but Johnson and Stein have qualified for the ballot in enough states to theoretically achieve 270 electoral votes. As such, they should be treated as major candidates, IMO, and be included in the debates.

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