Skip to comments.Another Libertarian Moment?
Posted on 04/13/2016 8:24:56 AM PDT by Kaslin
The Libertarian Party might get more votes this year.
Before the primaries, Time Magazine, frequent pusher of trends that do not exist, put Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ken.) on its cover and called him the "most interesting man in politics." Then Paul fizzled, and pundits said the "libertarian moment," if there ever was one, had ended.
But Sen. Paul never ran as a libertarian. He ran as a libertarian-ish Republican, and he wasn't particularly convincing when he got to speak in debates. Americans were unimpressed.
But now that, according to ElectionBettingOdds.com, the presidential race will be a choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Americans may give libertarianism a second look.
My TV show recently held a debate between the Libertarian Party's three leading presidential candidates. Compared to the Republican and Democratic contenders, the Libertarians sounded so reasonable to me. Take immigration.
While Democrats pretend they will carefully vet refugees from Muslim parts of the world, Republicans talk about deporting 11 million people. By contrast, the Libertarians on my show talked about reducing border problems by simplifying our complicated immigration laws.
Immigrants often break our current laws because the alternative is waiting years while trying to wade through our immigration bureaucracy. According to some estimates, that wait could last forever -- up to 100 years.
"Incentivize legal immigration so that we can cut down on illegal immigration," said Libertarian candidate Austin Petersen. "If we make a simpler path to citizenship, then people will not break the law, if they know that there's a chance that they can come here."
Republicans like Trump talk about illegal immigrants as if they're bad people who are bound to break other laws because they climbed over border fences. But as Petersen asked, "If you were living in a Third World country and your family was starving to death, who would not cross that wall?"
My parents came here from Germany in 1930. They wanted to get away from European stagnation. Who can blame them? I wouldn't be embarrassed if they had come here illegally.
Donald Trump shouts about bad effects of global trade, but his destructive bans and tariffs would do much more harm.
Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson asked during the debate, "Who benefits from free trade but you and I as consumers? If China wants to subsidize goods and services that they send to the United States, who benefits? We do!"
He's absolutely right. Cheaper goods from abroad mean Americans have more money to spend on other things, and cheaper ingredients for products we manufacture. Yes, some Americans lose jobs, but more gain work, and better work, because free trade helps Americans expand businesses -- in America.
Republicans and Democrats also engage in foolish talk about "creating jobs." Donald Trump promises, "I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created!"
God has yet to speak up, but Hillary Clinton says not only will she create jobs, she'll create "good-paying jobs"!
That's why Johnson was so refreshing in the debate. He said that in eight years as New Mexico's governor, "I didn't create a single job! Government doesn't create jobs. The private sector does."
Right. But government sure can get in the way.
"To start a business, I have to fill out a thousand forms and report to OSHA," the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said candidate John McAfee during the debate. "This is the fundamental problem. If we remove these barriers, industry will take care of itself and jobs will improve."
The Libertarian candidates were also skeptical about government imposition on drug users, on cellphone owners who don't want their phones hacked into and on people trying to accomplish things without first begging for approval from bureaucrats.
I liked how McAfee put it: "Some fundamental principles are all that we need to live together in a sane and harmonious fashion. We cannot hit one another. We cannot take each other's stuff. We must keep our word, our agreements and our contracts."
That's right. And that's enough. Government should enforce those contracts but otherwise stay out of our lives. I nodded in agreement when McAfee said, "Personal privacy and personal freedom are paramount to any society in which I would want to live."
I am going have forehead scars, from all the face-palming.
The Libertarians should have rallied around Rand Paul even though he started getting squishy in order to try and get more votes. Likewise the Greens should support Bernie rather than the ever popular Jill Stein.
If a party supports someone who has a chance, they may get a seat at the policy table, rather than being kicked to the curb once again when the election is over.
I don’t know why they even bother, as they have no chance ever to get elected. Rand Paul turned me off especially because he announced already in 2013 that he was planning to run for the 2016 presidential election and then he forced the Kentucky legislature to let him run at the same time for his senatorial reelection.
Fiscal conservatism and moderate social positions would fly with a majority of voters. IMHO
Libertarians need to stop whining so much about LOCAL LAWS, Even Bad ones, instead they will go above and beyond to bitch about a local ordinance that “infringes their rights”. It is almost like they don’t understand the concept of federalism.
I think that they could easily compromise and integrate better with conservatism if they consistently said that the FEDERAL government has no place in people’s lives while allowing that LOCAL people do have a right to pass crazy laws to restrict drugs, porn, etc...
Instead they seem all over the map or unreasonable when it comes to certain things that are “niche concepts”. Like Drug usage and Sexual habits without acknowledging that it’s okay for STATE/LOCAL governments to pass restrictions.
But their main problem seems to be their desire for a Pure Libertarian is so different depending on which Libertarian you ask that it is like trying to herd cats to get consensus.
The quasi-open-borders path-to-citizenship stand of the libertarians is one of the reasons I never vote libertarian.
I liked how McAfee put it: “Some fundamental principles are all that we need to live together in a sane and harmonious fashion. We cannot hit one another. We cannot take each other’s stuff. We must keep our word, our agreements and our contracts.”
Wow, that pretty much refutes Liberalism / Socialism / Communism.
But one problem is the liberals view “taking someone’s stuff” as a result of voluntary goods exchange and their solution to that is of course “taking someone else’s stuff”.....
Fiscal conservatism and moderate social positions would fly with a majority of voters. IMHO
Yeah? Then why do Libertarians place at or below 1 - 2 percent of elections?
Maybe because they aren’t that fiscal and are really too far to the left on social issues.
Fiscal conservatism makes for good talk but not one in a thousand candidates for federal office would dare to offend that many interest groups and teat-suckers.
During the debates, Gary Johnson seemed to be ruffling some feathers with his imperfect purity, which can be a big deal in Libertarian circles. But in an internal opinion poll of Libertarians (which can be seen here), Gary Johnson seems to be running away with it.
Republicans like Trump talk about illegal immigrants as if they're bad people who are bound to break other laws because they climbed over border fences. But as Petersen asked, "If you were living in a Third World country and your family was starving to death, who would not cross that wall?"Anyone who wants to live in the US, but doesn't want to become a citizen -- that's who.
This could be a libertarian moment, but almost certainly not enough to win the presidency for the party. However, speaking only for myself (although I know that tens of millions think as I do), if my choices in November are Trump or either Clinton or Sanders, I will, for the first time since my first vote in the 1972 presidential race, vote for someone other than the GOP candidate and pull the lever for the Libertarian. I may even vote a straight ticket if they field a full slate of candidates.
There would be fewer people in jail for robbery if we just quit arresting those nice folks.
The moronic statements in this post demonstrate exactly why Ron Paul is not president. Pot is legal almost everywhere, why are they still shouting?
If the repubs in charge went against the will of the people,and propped up a candidate who never ran.... I’d be hard pressed not to vote McAffee... who I am much more aligned with philosophically.
The majority of people don't want to live in a libertarian world. They want some sort of guaranteed safety net, some regulations, some protections from predatory businesses and individuals. They don't trust that the "invisible hand" will guarantee them a fair and just existence. Even Adam Smith didn't believe that. And as some great wag once said "It's a good thing for most people that life isn't fair."
The funny thing is that most people that are intelligent enough to understand libertarian arguments (however faulty) and persistent enough to slog through reams of Ayn Rand drivel could lead virtually libertarian lifestyles if they stopped wasting time advocating for libertarianism.
The Clinton's are living essentially libertarian lifestyles. Even though they are definitely not libertarian in their political beliefs they can pretty much do whatever they want, whenever and wherever they want to. They own multiple properties, have huge financial reserves, have famous and interesting friends from the world of science, the arts, etc. and have honors up the wazoo.
What more could any right-thinking libertarian ask for?
So for all those libertarians out there who are wasting any time at all trying to convince us poor beknighted conservatives of the errors of our ways: STOP. Do some googling to find an enterprise or career path suited to your skills and temperament, pay all the taxes and bribes and tax avoidance lawyers you need to, make your millions, and lead the libertarian lifestyle where you can live anywhere, shoot any gun your heart desires (even an RPG if you wish!) and do any one or anything you care to.
It's a libertarian world for those who are willing to work for it.
That "distinction" is just plain nonsensical.
"Which is better -- to be ruled by one tyrant three thousand miles away or by three thousand tyrants one mile away?"
[ “Which is better — to be ruled by one tyrant three thousand miles away or by three thousand tyrants one mile away?” ]
Three thousand local tyrants fear the retribution of angry citizens more than the one lone ruler from far away....
Especially if they start being picked off one at a time in order of Worst to least worst....