November 5, 2012

Did you watch the big debate tonight?

You know: the Gary Johnson vs. Jill Stein debate. Of course, I didn't. I was at the Bob Dylan concert. But my son John watched and even live-blogged it. Of course, it's over now, but you can still read the live-blog:
10:24 - Johnson says in his closing statement: "Vote for the person you believe in. That's how you change this country for the better. I'm more liberal than Obama when it comes to civil liberties. I'm more conservative than Romney when it comes to dollars and cents. . . . I made a name for myself [as governor] by being a penny-pincher. . . . I don't know if there's a more important vote right now if you want to register your distaste with what's happening in this country." Johnson ends by asking for 5% of the vote, which will let the Libertarian Party get more ballot access and receive federal matching funds. So, the libertarian's slam-dunk argument for why you should vote for him is that it will let him receive federal-government benefits.
Meanwhile, over at the Wall Street Journal, Randy Barnett makes the argument to libertarians: "Libertarian activists need to set aside their decades-old knee-jerk reactions to the two major parties, roll up their sleeves, and make the Republican and Democratic parties more libertarian."

22 comments:

wyo sis said...

Randy Barnett has a valid point.

bagoh20 said...

"Libertarian activists need to set aside their decades-old knee-jerk reactions to the two major parties, roll up their sleeves, and make the Republican and Democratic parties more libertarian."

That's the way I see it. Besides the only way the Libertarian party could become a contender is by sacrificing itself to be more like those parties anyway. The easier route is influence not dominance. Far better to win something with every election than to lose it all every time.

That said, it seems to me it would be much easier to ride the wave of Republicans loosening up on social issues than to get the Dems to drop big government. The Republicans are the only ones moving toward libertarians to any degree. Besides, smaller government is the holy grail and they share that at least in theory.

Lyle said...

Rand Paul is the future Libertarians. Get on the bandwagon or stay stuck on stupid.

rcommal said...

Bagoh20: The heartbreak of it is that I can't agree with your second paragraph. I simply can't (and by can't, I mean I cannot: the evidence isn't there for me, by my lights). I don't think sentence one is accurate; I don't think sentence two is either accurate or precise; I think sentence three is both a smokescreen and a pipe dream. I say that to you with respect for your differing opinion, but there it is: my differing opinion

As I said: heartbreaking. And so it goes.

rcommal said...

Should've included the reference[s] in my previous comment, and so I will do that in this one, which necessarily will include a repeat of my own:

"Libertarian activists need to set aside their decades-old knee-jerk reactions to the two major parties, roll up their sleeves, and make the Republican and Democratic parties more libertarian."

That's the way I see it. Besides the only way the Libertarian party could become a contender is by sacrificing itself to be more like those parties anyway. The easier route is influence not dominance. Far better to win something with every election than to lose it all every time.

That said, it seems to me it would be much easier to ride the wave of Republicans loosening up on social issues than to get the Dems to drop big government. The Republicans are the only ones moving toward libertarians to any degree. Besides, smaller government is the holy grail and they share that at least in theory.

11/6/12 12:05 AM

Bagoh20: The heartbreak of it is that I can't agree with your second paragraph. I simply can't (and by can't, I mean I cannot: the evidence isn't there for me, by my lights). I don't think sentence one is accurate; I don't think sentence two is either accurate or precise; I think sentence three is both a smokescreen and a pipe dream. I say that to you with respect for your differing opinion, but there it is: my differing opinion

As I said: heartbreaking. And so it goes.

11/6/12 12:56 AM


rcommal said...

Make no mistake: I will be voting for Romney later today, as previously indicated and even said. But it's quite likely not for the reasons people think, or at least not just or precisely the reasons that people think. (And my down-ticket choices, in general, might surprise.)

run19 said...

my best friend's sister-in-law makes $69 every hour on the laptop. She has been out of work for 8 months but last month her paycheck was $21550 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site http://www.taz3.com

Unknown said...

How did you feel about Bob Dylan? I saw him here in Seattle a few weeks ago and was more than a bit disappointed. I don't really care that his voice is shot--actually I think losing his voice was on-the-whole quite a boon to Bob Dylan's songwriting and career. But it really bugged me that I couldn't recognize some of his most iconic hits until I heard him sing the first few lines. The live versions just didn't sound anything like the studio versions. And the live versions sounded invariably worse than the studio versions. I've listened to recordings of live Dylan from 1964-1985 and they're usually awesome. Live Dylan 2012...not so much.

Saint Croix said...

my best friend's sister-in-law makes $69 every hour on the laptop. She has been out of work for 8 months but last month her paycheck was $21550 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Read more on this site http://www.taz3.com

Kind of ironic that the scambot shows up on the libertarian thread. Just a reminder of why we need wv, buddy. Oh that sweet wv.

Harsh Pencil said...

The beauty of our electoral system is that

1) First past the post makes it essentially rigged to have a two party system, but

2) The parties themselves are essentially defenseless against being taken over.

That is, you can't defeat the two party system, but you can co-opt it. Reaganism took over the Republican party because it defeated an Eastern Republican establishment which couldn't defend itself.

The commenter who said Rand Paul is the future of Libertarians is correct.

Lyssa said...

rcommal: Make no mistake: I will be voting for Romney later today, as previously indicated and even said. But it's quite likely not for the reasons people think, or at least not just or precisely the reasons that people think.

Would you explain your reasons, then? I'm interested.

edutcher said...

What wyo sis said.

It's what the Tea Partiers are doing in the Republican Party.

rcocean said...

If only people who commented on the internet could vote - Libertarians would win 30% of the vote.

In real life they get .05%.

NitneLiun said...

The Republican Party used to be more libertarian until the bible-thumping whackos took it over.

The Democratic Party can never be libertarian because their base is the welfare/entitlement coalition.

Big Mike said...

Stein exists only so that people who can't bring themselves to vote for Obama but also cannot bring themselves to pull the Republican lever lest Mommy and Daddy rise out of their graves and smite them have someone to vote for.

Johnson doesn't exist.

Tank said...

You can't make Dems more libertarian. They are, by definition, big gov't. Reps slightly less so, but overall, the same.

mikee said...

Actually taking over a major party while you have only 10% or 20% of the numbers of the major party is hard work, see the Tea Party for an example.

Initial Tea Party gatherings were bipartisan, with Dem & Repub voters demanding an end to deficit madness and overintrusive, nonconstitutional government. But Dem supporters quickly re-affiliated to Repub or just evaporated - can't support racists who are known by a homphobic slur, after all! And now the Tea Party seeks power among the Repubs, while the numbers go against them.

Thorley Winston said...

Gary Johnson 2012 = Ross Perot 1996. Both were reduced to impotently railing against the two parties while shilling for federal tax dollars.

prairie wind said...

I will vote for Romney/Ryan because they are more likely to bow to pressure from the Tea Party. Also because the fiscal difficulties might keep them busy and out of social issues.

Thorley Winston said...

Another thought – Gary Johnson’s supporters are mostly Ron Paul supporters who went over to Johnson after Paul ended his latest presidential bid. Johnson didn’t get beyond one or two debates because he had trouble breaking the 2-3 percent support threshold established by the media sponsors of the debate. If half of the people who supported Ron Paul had said “you know, Ron Paul has been doing this for 36 years without effect and we now have a former governor who is running on almost the same platform” and supported Johnson when it could have done him some good, who knows how the primary would have turned out? The fact that so many of his current supporters couldn’t think far enough ahead that a former two –term governor without racist baggage would make a more credible standard bearer when it mattered most leads me to think that these people aren’t fit to run a student council much less a credible political party.

gregq said...

"So, the libertarian's slam-dunk argument for why you should vote for him is that it will let him receive federal-government benefits."

Quite the burn, and entirely true.

Anthony said...

So, the libertarian's slam-dunk argument for why you should vote for him is that it will let him receive federal-government benefits.

That changed my vote. Not that it matters, I vote in California. But after reading that, I voted for Romney instead of Johnson.