Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The GOP told libertarians to go away... and they did

It's worth noting that the bulk of the roughly 2% of the vote that went to other candidates mostly went to Gary Johnson and Ron Paul. In many key states including Ohio, Virginia and  Florida, Obama's margin of victory was less than 1%. Just some food for thought that will no doubt be ignored by the neo-con imperialists and theocratic elements in the GOP.


Phil said...

Your headline could just as well say, "Libertarians told GOP to go away...and it did." Also some food for thought.

Look, libertarians got what they wanted. Oh, yes, with an Obama unfettered by the electorate (such as it is), this is definitely going to be a country more friendly to freedom than it would have been under President Romney.

You can believe that if you want. My only advice would be to stock up on 12-ounce cans of Coke and toilet paper. You know, because it would be a lot more environmentally responsible if we all just used one square at a time. And we already learned, though the lesson was ignored by many, that no laws are need under the current regime to impose such restrictions.

How nice it's going to be to have a libertarian-friendly government for the next four years!

John (Ad Orientem) said...

Rubbish. Libertarians reached out to the GOP and tried to work within it. No one expected to get everything we wanted. All we wanted was a fair hearing and some respectful consideration of issues that are important to us. You all responded by kicking us in the teeth and shoving us out the door. Don't try to lay this on us. You feathered your bed. Now lie in it.

As for Obama vs Romney they are ideological twins, differing only on minor details. You seem to be under the delusion that Obama is demonstrably worse than the GOP from a liberty point of view. I don't see that at all. A plague on both your houses.

I find it curious that after posting a strident defense for ideological purity on the other thread you are quick to disparage Libertarians who opted to vote their conscience.

Phil said...


On what issues did you not receive consideration? On abolishing the Federal Reserve or moving to a gold standard? Granted. But, other than that, where did the GOP simply say "no" in a disrespectful way to libertarians? I'd honestly like to know, especially since you say you only wanted a fair hearing.

And isn't Ron Paul still a Republican?

You and I disagree that Obama and Romney are "ideological twins." One doesn't have to think Romney is some kind of perfect, divine gift of a candidate to recognize Obama is, in fact, demonstrably worse. The GOP is not advocating, nor is there any Republican voter interest, for any of the following (just as examples):
- telling you what size soft drink you can't buy
- telling you you can't use salt
- telling you what kind of light bulb you have to buy
- making you buy a toilet that won't flush properly
- seizing your property in order to give it to a land developer (which issue was pushed all the way to the Supreme Court by conservatives, and which practice was written into the Virginia constitution yesterday as being prohibited, thanks to Republican voters, not Democrats)
- forcing you to buy contraceptives for your employees
- forcing you to provide your labor for a gay marriage (which is functionally equivalent to slavery)

Democrats are in favor of that, only partial, list. The same on freedom? I think not.

Nor did my prior comment advocate ideological purity. I wrote what I did because I believe the two parties are different, and I responded to a hypothetical in which the Republicans "take stock" and decide to survive by becoming the same as Democrats. I have no problem with you voting your conscience, but I also have no problem with the entirely rational calculation that none of the libertarian candidates you mentioned could win, especially in the country we woke up in today, and so one chooses the lesser of two evils. I'd like to buy a 1978 Trans Am with good gas mileage and updated electronics, but nobody's selling one. That doesn't mean I'm going to walk everywhere just to spite myself.

May I also say - I'm very disappointed with the election results and I disagree with your judgment here (but, please understand, probably not many of your actual positions). On the other hand, if I'm coming off as being unfriendly, forgive me. That isn't my intention.

John said...


Fr. Andrew Damick has an article up today that I think summarizes very nicely the perspective of many like John and myself. He says it better than I could. Thanks for the conversation.

123 said...

Your analysis is a little off. Obama won with 50.1% and 50.8% of the vote in Ohio and Virginia, respectively, so Romney would have lost even if every Gary Johnson and Ron Paul voter went his way, too.

Florida is the exception where as of right now Obama only got 49.9% of the vote, though the vote count has still not been completed or announced and most of the unreported votes are in heavily Democratic precincts and counties. Still, even in Florida, Romney got 49.3% and Johnson received 0.5%, so it's not likely a combined Republican-Libertarian electorate would have unseated Obama in the Sunshine State (especially if we grant him the equally hypothetical support of the Green Party candidate who received 0.1% in FL).

Of course, Obama winning Ohio meant he didn't need to win either Virginia or Florida.

123 said...

Correction: "especially if we grant OBAMA the equally hypothetical support..."

Phil said...

Thanks for the link, John (commenter John).

Visibilium said...

Romney would have been more comfortable as Obama's running mate than as his opponent.

Anonymous said...

Gee, Phil,

You can drink all the soft sugar drinks you want and eat all the salt you want and use all the tp you want.

But when the medical bills come from your cardiac or liver care and your toilet clogs up sewer pipes etc; YOU pay, not the insurance companies or the community you live in. After all, that would be slavery according to your definition.

John (Ad Orientem) said...

That's a very insightful comment.

Nikolaus said...

The Host may fuss and fume all he wishes but the reality is that the U.S. political system, being non-parlimentary, does not work with more than 2 parties. You can sit in the smug comfort of your ideological purity but may the next 4 years be on your head.

John said...


Interestingly, "the- enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend" voting principle you are advocating is also a much applied principle of America's foreign policy. We see how well that has worked; American soldiers killed by our own weapons. No one is entitled to my vote or my allegiance and the fact that The Republican party did not earn it does not make me any more or less culpable for the state of this country than any other ordinary citizen.

Jason said...

If I'm not mistaken, it was Bush that signed the legislation that required flourescent light bulbs by a certain year. Correct me if I'm wrong on that please.

Republicans also support laws that require reporting of cash transactions of larger than $25K, which I think is part of the massively intrusive so-called Patriot Act. They are not quite the watchdogs of personal liberty their supporters make them out to be.

Phil said...


Agreed that Republicans are no watchdogs of personal liberty. But as to the suggestion that the Republicans are no different than Democrats in this regard, I firmly disagree. I'll take the lesser of two evils, and continue to try to move the Republicans further in my direction. Even though many are not, there are plenty of R's who are receptive to the message. I know of no such Democrats. The latter is a lost cause, the former isn't.

off2 said...

Actually the bank secrecy provisions are more onerous than that. As church treasurer, 2 or 3 years ago, I had to show ID and enable the teller to fill out a federal government form for a deposit less than 10K because it included a large amount of cash. We had a fireworks booth as a fund raiser. Bill, tGf

Jason said...

Good luck Phil. I tried on the local level, but unfortunately I was not allowed in the club - whether it was because of money or lack of connections or something else all together, I don't know. This was after the '08 election when there was a lot of grassroots motivation by commoners such as myself. In an auditorium full of well meaning folks, a gaggle of important party members made sure that their inner circle was elected to lead the State GOP. It was a sight to behold and I will never forget it. There was no way to lead a revolt, unless you dedicated yourself 24-7 to the venture, which no reasonable person could have done while juggling a job, family, etc. As a volunteer you would get steered to a committee and vanquished into oblivion, forced to support candidates that had no business holding public office. It would take a mighty special individual to get above all of that. If you're the man, then by all means go for it.

Phil said...


I doubt I am, unfortunately. And I'm not surprised by your experience.

I'd just say at a simple level, and thinking about what (AO) John wrote yesterday, I think good candidates can win in the Republican party if they get put up there. Take a Richard Mourdock, who wasn't such a good candidate, but was nominated in the primary against the wishes of the party apparatchiks. Or take the better example of Rand Paul. Would that we could have a lot more Senators like him, instead of establishment retreads who (to my mind) are never going to win, as we had with George Allen in Virginia.

How we get those candidates, I'm not always sure. But they can win.

Anonymous said...

"You can sit in the smug comfort of your ideological purity but may the next 4 years be on your head."

Glad somebody said it!