Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Libertarian Revolt

...McCain's working on the other realignment: The one where eight years of fiscal recklessness and cultural warfare alienates swing voters and withers the Republican Party until the very base of the conservative movement cracks in half—splitting a coalition that has endured since the Barry Goldwater campaign of 1964.

That coalition between social conservatives and economic libertarians (who tend to be socially moderate to liberal), served the GOP well from 1964 to 2006. It gave the party eight years of Ronald Reagan and 12 years of a Republican Congress. But the Bush years have proven to be one long pulling apart. And, in a matter of days, we may just see the final snap.

Hat tip to Brian

I have occasionally summarized my political philosophy as being a monarchist with strong libertarian tendencies. My politics are generally conservative in the classical sense of the term. I believe that we have a government that is FAR too intrusive into areas it has no business worrying about, even as it ignores things that need regulation. And for me it is getting harder and harder to vote in concience for the GOP these days.

I voted (mea culpa mea culpa...) for Bush in 2000. But I could not bring myself to pull the lever for him again in '04. I voted Libertarian that year. By 2006 my disgust with the Republican Party had reached such levels that I felt obliged to sit out the election. While I did vote for McCain this year and I endorse his candidacy, I do so with more than a few reservations.

This simple truth is that the last eight years have been an unmitigated disaster for our country. We have a president who has shown no respect for the constitutional limitations on the powers of his office and has become a virtual power unto himself. He ignores laws at will with so called signing statements and has unilaterally suspended the writ of habeus corpus. He has authorized various agencies of the government to spy on citizens without a warrant and he has invaded a country which did not attack the United States and in no way threatened us. He has spent our country into near bankruptcy while cutting taxes mostly for persons in the higher tax brackets. He has been vigorously pressing for government regulation of the bedroom while all but suspending regulation of Wall Street. And in all of this he was backed by a rubber stamp Republican Congress for the first six years.

I for one have had enough. I am tired of voting for people who do not share my values or concerns. If the GOP wants my vote in the future they are going to have to start making some changes. As I noted elsewhere the Democratic party's marriage to the abortion lobby is an absolute impediment to their getting my vote. But that does not mean the Republicans are entitled to my vote by default.

If the choice before me is to waste my vote by casting it for someone who might win but reflects almost nothing of my values and in many respects is antithetical to them, or waste it voting for someone whose positions I respect though he may have little chance of winning, I am more inclined to the latter. I voted for McCain because I frankly think some of his neo-con rhetoric in this election has been born more of political necessity than conviction. But I will not criticize anyone who can't go there and who pulls the lever for Bob Barr instead.

1 comment:

Sophocles said...


I am with you. I voted for Chuck Baldwin as I believe it is high time we began putting our votes in a place other than the Republicrats' agendas and platforms.

I too voted for W. in 2000 :(.

I was quite dismayed at the treatment Ron Paul received by the media this election and had he been afforded a more visible presence, I believe he would have gotten the attention of many more Americans past the grassroots level where he did very well in spite of the virtual media blackout his campaign was put under.

We as a nation are at a crossroads now.

In Christ,