Why Libertarian?


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MicroBalrog
January 5, 2004, 07:32 PM
Would Libertarians benefit freedom more if they lobbied to shift existing parties towards freedom instead of running a separate candidate? Discuss.:D

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WonderNine
January 5, 2004, 07:38 PM
I'd think we tend to do both.

Standing Wolf
January 5, 2004, 07:51 PM
...if they lobbied to shift existing parties towards freedom...

Explain, please.

7.62FullMetalJacket
January 5, 2004, 08:06 PM
Existing libertarian platform fails on two major issues:

Immigration (i.e. open borders)
Foreign Policy (i.e. no projection of power)

We can not be secure economically or defense wise with open immigration. We can not prevent, pre-empt, or attack those that attack us with the live-and-let-live philosophy. The LP needs to address these issues in light of 9/11.

Don Gwinn
January 5, 2004, 08:22 PM
You can do both.

MicroBalrog
January 5, 2004, 08:34 PM
Explain, please.

Become members. Let the D's and R's know that you will vote for the more pro-freedom guy on every primary. Run for office as a D/R. Influence the D/R policy statements on your pet issue.

New parties don't work here, and they don't work anywhere.:banghead:

Jim March
January 5, 2004, 08:42 PM
http://www.rlc.org = Republican Liberty Caucus = libertarian infiltrators in the Republican Party :D.

(Yes, I'm a member.)

7.62FullMetalJacket
January 5, 2004, 08:51 PM
I thought there would be a flanking manuever on the RINOs :eek:

Jim March
January 5, 2004, 08:57 PM
RLCers are often known informally as "Ron Paul Republicans".

The idea is that since the old Socialist Party US managed to completely infiltrate and subvert the Dems, it's at least theoretically possible to do the same to the GOP. The place to do so is at the primaries and with the recent trend to closed primaries per the courts, that means registering GOP but maintaining a "libertarian tactical bent".

dischord
January 5, 2004, 09:07 PM
Yes, it would be great if, for example, a bunch of libertarians could join the Democratic party and push it towards dismantling anti-freedom, anti-liberty, anti-rights programs like Welfare, but I don't see that happening -- especially when socialists delude themselves into thinking they are critters called "left libertarians" who support income-redistribution programs like Welfare. A libertarian who supports Welfare is like a capitalist who supports communism.

It would be better to vote Libertarian and increase LP numbers. Contrary to the screeching of Reps and Dems, this practice rarely risks giving the "worse candidate" a victory. In most districts and states (including Electoral College for President), the margin of victory (or loss) is more than any extra LP votes. Any time that the predicted margin between the Rep and Dem on Election Day is greater than the margin of error, a libertarian minded person is wasting his vote by voting for a Dem or Rep instead of increasing the LP vote. Every election, the LP needlessly loses millions of votes to people who waste their votes on a Dem or Rep who is destined to win or lose regardless of the nominal LP vote they get.

Those millions of votes would send a greater message and push the parties more than some internal effort.

7.62FullMetalJacket
January 5, 2004, 09:10 PM
At this time. I support Jim March's approach. Two strong parties, work to move the R back toward freedom through primaries, and then vote LP or others in general.

MicroBalrog
January 5, 2004, 09:23 PM
Yes, it would be great if, for example, a bunch of libertarians could
join the Democratic party and push it towards dismantling anti-freedom, anti-liberty, anti-rights programs like Welfare, but I don't see that happening -- especially when socialists delude themselves into thinking they are critters called "left libertarians" who support income-redistribution programs like Welfare

And it would be great if libertarians understood that as long as they pushed the idea that you have to accept 100% of their mantra or you're an evil neo-Nazi/communist/blissninny, they won't win any votes...

dischord
January 6, 2004, 12:38 AM
And it would be great if libertarians understood that as long as they pushed the idea that you have to accept 100% of their mantra or you're an evil neo-Nazi/communist/blissninny, they won't win any votes... <Sigh> The idea of income-redistribution is antithetical to libertarian principles. Your belief in income-redistribution (Welfare) is not merely a policy disagreement with other libertarians -- it is diametrically opposed to the principles of libertarianism. It is just as diametrically opposed as the Patriot Act or a state-sponsored religion.

The word libertarian has a very specific meaning. It means someone who seeks to end government meddling in all areas. It was coined in the 20th century because the word liberal had been co-opted to mean someone who opposed government meddling in moral issues (abortion, etc.), but sought government meddling in financial issues (income redistribution).

You believe in government meddling in financial issues, but not in moral issues. You are a liberal.

Interestingly, the co-opting of liberal occurred as socialist ideas took hold in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. You merely attempt repeat that co-opting, whether you realize it or not.

Cactus
January 6, 2004, 01:31 AM
Originally posted by dischord:
Contrary to the screeching of Reps and Dems, this practice rarely risks giving the "worse candidate" a victory.

Not true! I can think of five example off the top of my head where the vote total for a third party candidate caused the "worse" candidate to win. (Worse being defined as the candidate whom the independents least wanted to win.) This is based on reported exit polling results in all but the first case.

1. In 1912, Teddy Roosevelt took enough votes from President Taft to give the presidency to Woodrow Wilson. Teddy Roosevelt took second in the election, the ONLY time a third party candidate has done so.

2. In 1992, Ross Perot took enough votes from George H.W. Bush to elect Bill Clinton.

3. In 2000, a Libertarian Party took enough votes from moderate Republican Sen. Slade Gorton (WA) to give the election to liberal Democrat Maria Cantwell.

4. In 2002, a Libertarian Party candidate took enough votes from conservative Rep. Steve Largent (OK) to give the governorship to the Democrat.

5. In 2000, Ralph Nader took enough votes in Florida to give the state, and the presidency, to George W. Bush.

Originally posted by dischord:
In most districts and states (including Electoral College for President), the margin of victory (or loss) is more than any extra LP votes.

If this is true, then how exactly does voting Libertarian make ANY difference in America?:confused: Unless what your saying is that the only time the LP makes a difference it is negative.

Triad
January 6, 2004, 01:42 AM
I love the way people talk about 'taking' votes away from the Republicrats. When did they become the owners of them?

Jim March
January 6, 2004, 03:51 AM
There's another issue here:

The entire game is rigged against 3rd parties. The media is only part of the problem - a BIG issue is the $12mil in "matching Federal funds" that will go to any 3rd party that gets more than 5% of the vote in a Prez race.

Granted, the LP has already disavvowed it. Doesn't matter. The day after they win 5% or more in a race, some lunatic will be plotting to bring a bunch of his buddies in, get the next Prez nomination and then use the $12mil for publicity for God only knows what.

When Pat Buchannon did this to the Reform Party (basically destroying it) he spent the $12mil on horrible racially divisive ads in California and elsewhere, damn him to hell.

He's not the only shark in the water ready to feed on the next up and coming party.

THAT is why I'm RLC instead of LP.

Moparmike
January 6, 2004, 05:15 AM
2. In 1992, Ross Perot took enough votes from George H.W. Bush to elect Bill Clinton.If Perot hadnt spazzed out about the repub's conspiracy on his family, he would have won. At the time, Perot was the best candidate out of the 3.

Until he spazzed out, he was proving that 3rd parties could win votes.

MacPelto
January 6, 2004, 10:52 AM
I love the way people talk about 'taking' votes away from the Republicrats. When did they become the owners of them?

Thank You! As far as I can remember, it's MY vote.
It in no way belongs to Rs or Ds. Plus, saying that somebody 'took' an election away from one of the big parties is based on the assumption that the people who voted for the 3rd party would have absolutely voted for the other losing party. You have no way of knowing whether they would have voted that way or not - they may not have voted at all, had there not been a candidate to their liking.

dischord
January 6, 2004, 11:10 AM
I can think of five example off the top of my head where the vote total for a third party candidate caused the "worse" candidate to win. That's why I said "rarely" rather than "never."If this is true, then how exactly does voting Libertarian make ANY difference in America? Unless what your saying is that the only time the LP makes a difference it is negative. This is a temporary strategy.

As Moparmike pointed out, third party candidates can win. Unfortunately, for the foreseeable future, the LP won't win (at least nationally). The LP needs to build credibility to attract enough votes to have hope of winning.

To do that, it needs a sizable number of votes each election. Therefore, it needs the votes of people who might support its candidates but vote Republican out of fear of a Dem winning, or vice versa.

Such people can vote LP without fear in, for example, Wyoming where the Republicans' margin of victory always is huge. This also is true in Massachusetts where the Democrats' margin is big -- why vote for a Republican who is destined to lose when you can help build the credibility of the LP?

This margin exists in most races to some degree. Only in a few races is the margin close enough that it is possible for the third party to tip the balance, so a smart voter will watch the polls and vote accordingly.

Even in the Perot example you give, the "worst candidate" syndrome was local to a few states because of the Electoral College. In many states, the Perot vote didn't affect the outcome. Perot tipped the balance only in selected states.

The Republicans have done a good job of stealing votes from the LP by scaring people with visions of Dems winning. This strategy would help save some LP votes. It is not a strategy that the LP ever could endorse because it admits defeat. But it can be an grassroots party-building strategy. It is realistic.

Cactus
January 6, 2004, 02:03 PM
Originally posted by dischord:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If this is true, then how exactly does voting Libertarian make ANY difference in America? Unless what your saying is that the only time the LP makes a difference it is negative.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is a temporary strategy.

As Moparmike pointed out, third party candidates can win. Unfortunately, for the foreseeable future, the LP won't win (at least nationally). The LP needs to build credibility to attract enough votes to have hope of winning.

Glad to see a Libertarian admit that they INTEND to make a negative influence on American politics. Gotta' destroy the village before you can save it, right!

Moparmike pointed out nothing!:rolleyes: All he did was give a totally unsubstantiated opinion. Just because Moparmike feels that Perot was the best candidate doesn't "prove" that he could have won. There is NO historical precident to show that a third party candidate will ever be elected President.

Before Perot dropped out of the race (he later re-entered), he was in second place. History shows that as the time gets closer to the general election, the support for third party candidates fades.

Perot also disproves the Libertarian Party's (and other third parties) whining about not being able to get media attention. Perot gained massive media attention because he was able to appeal to a signifigant portion of the electorate.

As for the LP building credibility, the fact is that the opposite is occuring. The LP had 1.06% of the national vote in the 1980 election. In 1996 (the last year I have records for) they got 0.50% of the vote. To say that the LP candidate won't win nationally in the foreseeable future is quite the understatement! The 'grassroots" of the LP seems to be in desperate need of a horticulturist!

Originally posted by dischord:
Perot tipped the balance only in selected states.

...which tipped the election to Bill Clinton.


Originally posted by dischord:
The Republicans have done a good job of stealing votes from the LP by scaring people with visions of Dems winning.

To paraphrase Triad; when did the Libertarians become the owners of those votes?

I just love how the LP assumes that: if people ONLY would vote their hearts, we would win. Funny thing, but that is the same thing that the Green Party says!:D

Sean Smith
January 6, 2004, 02:42 PM
Considering that the Green Party got about eight times as many votes as the Libertarian Party in the last presidential election, I almost wonder why we even talk about the Libertarian Party at all. Pat Buchannan got more votes than the Libertarian Party did, and he's a B-grade reporter whose claim to fame is being sympathetic to Nazis. :rolleyes:

Success in American politics is only partly, if at all, about ideas. The appeal of the individual candidate and the competence of the party that backs him are of paramount importance. It is here that the Libertarian Party has been a colossal failure. I don't consider this a good thing, since the present state of American politics is a "deadlock of stupidity" between Republicans and Democrats.

dischord
January 6, 2004, 02:45 PM
Glad to see a Libertarian admit that they INTEND to make a negative influence on American politics. Gotta' destroy the village before you can save it, right! You don't seem to be getting what I'm saying. I'm actually giving *some* people a way to vote libertarian without risking that negative influence.

It works like this:

1) In states where Bush is assured a win by a healthy margin -- like Wyoming -- why not vote Libertarian because you will not cause his loss anyway? (Conversely, in Wyoming, libertarian-minded Dems cannot help their guy win, so why not vote libertarian?)

2) In states where Bush is assured a loss by a healthy margin -- like Massachusetts -- why not vote Libertarian because you will not help him win anyway? (Conversely, in Massachusetts, libertarian-minded Dems cannot cause their guy's loss, so why not vote libertarian?)

3)In certain states -- like Florida -- the race will be close, and libetarian-minded Republicans and Democrats should avoid this strategy. This is the part that avoids the negative influence

As for the LP building credibility, the fact is that the opposite is occuring. The LP had 1.06% of the national vote in the 1980 election. In 1996 (the last year I have records for) they got 0.50% of the vote. Exactly. It need more votes. The LP will get more votes if libetarian-minded Republicans and Democrats consider voting for it where they have no chance of hurting or helping the Dem or Rep....which tipped the election to Bill Clinton. But it some states the Perot vote affected nothing. Zip. Nada. In those states, it was "safe" to vote for Perot.

In only a few states did Perot voters need to worry about handing the election to Clinton. In most states, the Perot vote affected the outcome not one whit.

Gordon Fink
January 6, 2004, 04:01 PM
Let the Libertarians “steal” votes from the Republicans (or the Democrats)! Let the Republicans (or the Democrats) lose elections because of Libertarian voters! That is how the Republican Party (or the Democratic Party) will change.

I tried to “change the Republican Party from within” for 14 years. My preferred candidates were always defeated in the primaries. When the party nominated G. W. Bush—a man so grossly unqualified to be President that it defies belief—I knew my efforts had been wasted.

I can’t get back those 14 years, but I can do the right thing from now on. I will vote Libertarian, though I reserve the right to vote for any good Republicans or Democrats that may yet come along. So far, these have been few and far between.

~G. Fink

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