Skip to comments.Will Libertarians bolt The Stupid Party?
Posted on 11/24/2001 8:28:42 AM PST by real saxophonist
Will Libertarians bolt The Stupid Party?
By Bob Ewegen
Saturday, November 24, 2001 - ast week's column detailing the Libertarian Party's new majority on the Leadville City Council caromed around the Internet and brought a cascade of intelligent, and often delightful, responses from readers.
A Libertarian Leadville is a significant historical event, as well as a triumph for alliteration. There are currently 270 Libertarians in public office in the United States.
But except for a brief tenure in Big Water, Utah, a hamlet of 230 people, Leadville marks the first time Libertarians have won outright control of a governmental body in the U.S.
That's a significant landmark for Libertarians, who have quietly become America's best organized and most significant third party. They have a strong enough presence nationally to qualify for taxpayer funding of their presidential tickets. They also have enough integrity to turn down those "federal" dollars rather than joining the rush to the political hog trough. That's because they believe strongly that there is no such thing as "federal" money, only your money taken without your consent. Libertarian candidates will happily accept your voluntary contributions but scorn the notion of sharing in the exactions taken from you by force.
Unlike flash-in-the-pan parties organized around cults of personality like Ross Perot's and Ralph Nader's, Libertarians have organized at the grass roots for the long haul. In the last election, Libertarians fielded 75 candidates for the 84 seats up in the Colorado Legislature - often providing the only alternative to the Demol-ican or Repubocrat parties in the 21 districts where one or the other of the major parties didn't field a candidate. One Libertarian, Steven Lee, even captured the endorsement of the supposedly liberal Denver Post in Senate District 26.
Libertarians are a long way from replicating their Leadville success on a national scale. But they are fast approaching the point where they may force the major parties to reckon with Libertarian ideas - as Democrats did in the 1930s by coopting such Socialist planks as Social Security. Their Leadville success shows Libertarians may have already reached that point in Colorado, where the national party was born in 1971.
In the 1998 election, Republican Bill Owens won the governorship over Democrat Gail Schoettler by just 7,928 votes. The main reason for that photo finish in a state where registered Republicans outnumbered Democrats by about 150,000 voters was the superbly managed campaign Mary Alice Mandarich mounted on Schoettler's behalf. But it's worth noting that Libertarian candidate Sandra Johnson received 22,159 votes - nearly triple Owens' victory margin. A few more defections from the GOP to the Libertarians would have elected Schoettler.
The growing Libertarian presence may spell problems for the Republican Party if it can't wean itself away from the religious right's insistence on sticking its nose into our private lives the way Democrats intrude in our economic affairs.
One Republican friend with Libertarian leanings moans: "There are two parties - The Evil Party and The Stupid Party. We belong to The Stupid Party."
To Libertarians, the Democratic Party's fealty to the Marxist principle "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need" truly is evil.
But Libertarians are equally appalled by Republican efforts to dictate what goes on in your bedroom, your choice of intoxicants or even the manner of your death.
San Miguel County Coroner Robert Dempsey recently switched to the Libertarian Party to protest U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft's assault on the Oregon "Death with Dignity" law - a measure twice approved by that state's voters.
I called Dempsey to discuss his switch.
"Ashcroft's action was the final straw. I've been a Republican all my my life, believing in less government and more freedom. I was on the San Miguel County Republican Party Central Committee for 15 years. But the religious right has taken over the Republican Party, putting in more laws to take away your freedom," Dempsey said.
"Here are the Republicans pushing for state's rights - and trying to take them away in Oregon. I want less government spending, more freedom. I could never join the Democrats, they are controlled by socialist ideas. But I've had it with the Republicans and their hypocrisy."
Those are strong words and constitute a strong warning to The Stupid Party. If the GOP doesn't wise up and back off its assault on personal freedom, its influential small "l" libertarian wing may desert to its uppercased namesake.
Bob Ewegen is deputy editorial page editor of The Denver Post. He has written on state and local government since 1963. E-mail him at: bewegen@Denverpost.com
The forces of freedom are on the move. America trembles.
And you're too stupid to do anything but pull the liberal wagon harder and faster.
Must be due to the effects of all the drugs.
As opposed to the more subtle but no less dangerous form of RINO-type nanny government? No thanks. Hillary is scary, but most Republicans are no less condusive to big government nannyism. They just learn to hide it so they get your "Conservataive/small government" votes.
We also defend religious freedom, homeschooling, school choice, gun ownership, smoker's rights, drinker's rights, hunter's rights, land owner's rights, producer's rights, the concept of property, capitalism -- in short we defend FREEDOM of the individual so long as that individual does not initiate acts of aggression.
The Kevin Curry's of the world, the Christian Taliban, as it were, have a differnt plan in mind for the rest of us -- a master cultural plan that we must all obey or have the government come down on us.
Kevin Curry's idea of freedom is that everyone should be free to be EXACTLY like Kevin Curry -- no exceptions allowed.
Going to pop some popcorn. Mmmmmm...melted butter.
What took you so long? I expected your name to be on the very top!
I've been dying to know something....do you have like a form letter that you cut and paste to every thread involving Libertarians? You know Sodomy this, drug use that, blah blah blah blah. If you don't, I would consider it. One's hands are likely to become tired of typing the same stuff over and over again!
LP=pro legalized drugs
I consider myself a libertarian and yet am neither of the things you list. Odd.
But not to worry. Hillary loves all the little perverts of the world. She'll do her best to take care of all of them in typical Hillary fashion.
There is a sort of perverse logic to it. The dopers will likely get legalized dope as part of the faustian bargain and--as a bonus--all the government rehab they will ever need, paid for by the rest of us.
WRONG! You're either misinformed, or lying. You can choose.
Have you even looked at the issue statements of the LP? Of course not. Why should you confuse yourself with facts when you mind is already made up?
The GOP depends on fools like you.
The population of Leadville is approximately 2,629.
A staggering triumph. ;-)
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