Tuesday, March 4, 2008

For What Shall A Man Profit?

There have been many complaints of late regarding Libertarians “stealing” elections from Republican candidates. That we agree in principle about 80% so we shouldn’t be fielding candidates. It has even been suggested that the Libertarian Party should simply fade away and its members and activists return to the parties from whence they came and work within them to effect change.

I have but one word for these sentiments.


Last evening I had the misfortune to meet a most disagreeable man who voiced these very points. I shall, therefore, endeavor to dissect his “logic” and present a case as to why third parties, and specifically the Libertarian Party, are necessary. JP, this is for you.

Let us begin with the charge of “stealing” elections. Locally the biggest complainer is the old-line Republican Party and it is directed at the Libertarians. This is where the 80% idea comes into play. The Republicans claim that since the Libertarians and they are so similar in their beliefs, what we have is basically two Republican candidates running against each other dividing the vote to such a degree that the Democrat is elected even when he or she would not necessarily be.

What these ideological arguers fail to take stock of is that it is the other 20% that makes all the difference. For example, I can agree for the need to have a balanced budget. I can agree that government spending is out of control. I can agree that we are paying too many taxes. I can agree as to the need for a strong defense. But, I disagree with need for a constitutional amendment defining marriage which many Republicans insist is necessary.

Third Parties are highly necessary. Consider the citizen, who after years of watching his party drift further and further from the ideals that bound him to it in the first place, can no longer support the creature it has become. Some would argue that one should not leave the party in question, but should stay and work within the party to effect change. I’ll give this an “A” for theory but an “F” for practicality. When the rift has grown to great and the party so insulated from new ideas or change, those who control the workings of it will jealously guard their influence and do everything in their power to maintain the status quo. I give you the Carson Machine and the Center Township “gang”. So what is a Democrat with conservative economic values, but who treasures the civil liberties guaranteed to us by the US Constitution and Bill of Rights to do other than become a Libertarian? Without that third party individuals capable of thinking for themselves instead of regurgitating “party” rhetoric would have no voice. But then that is the goal of those who would impose their ideology on us. It was true in the time of George III and it is just as true in the time of George W.


Eclecticvibe said...

Thanks for the nod! I couldn't agree with you more. People like to trash on Cuba, but they vote there too. Only they're only allowed to vote for the Communist Party's slated candidates. It's not much better here when we only are able to vote for two parties' slated candidates. Real democracy is about choice and about people being involved hands on in the political process. Not simply endorsing whoever has the bully pulpit and money in the bank, but endorsing the candidate with the best ideas. It's unfortunate most people don't feel they have the time to truly evaluate candidates' positions on issues, but rely on slogans and advertisements to sway their vote. Dem's and Repub's get really annoyed when someone comes in and articulates well informed positions instead of toeing the corporate party line.

Endiana.com said...

My gubernatorial race did better in Democratic counties than Republican.

Mark W. Rutherford said...

The Libertarian Party candidate in 2006 in US House District 9, Eric Schansberg, kept Hill from beating Sodrel by even more votes.

However Republicans are claiming that is not so. If they want to beat Hill in 2008, they better figure out that he has more support than they care to admit, except when it is pealed away by the Libertarian candidate.

Anonymous said...

Well said. People need to stop thinking as collectivists when it comes to their votes. The probability of a person's single vote being the deciding vote in an election is ridiculously slim. In that way, most votes are "wasted" (according to their "logic") since it wasn't the deciding vote.

Instead, their argument boils down to a horse race. People should vote Democrat or Republican in order to say they voted for the winner. That's all the "wasted vote" argument comes down to, and the reason I've begun calling it the Wasted Vote Fallacy.

Jacob Perry said...

Way to completely twist anything that was stated at that discussion to fit your twisted rationale. That is not at all what was discussed, and as I would expect from a supporter of this collection of juveniles, you've made a pathetic attempt to paint an issue one particular way in order to further the aims of your "party of 3%".

BTW, I appreciate you acting in the overly immature and absurd manner you did that evening, as you did more to prove my point that the LP is primarily made of hyper-paranoid, immature and clueless wannabes than I ever could on my own. Your lack of class and grace spoke volumes about who you are as a man, and are quite representative of your "party" in general.

The fact that you chose to personally attack me in the manner that you did, despite having no idea who I even was (before or since) or why I was there, simply pointed out the small man that you are.

You embarrassed your candidate to such a high level with your juvenile antics that you may have caused you and your "party" much greater damage in the long term than a small-minded man like you could ever realize.

Enjoy your three-percent. No doubt you've discovered it's far easier to throw rocks from the safety of your laughably insignificant debating society than it would be to actually engage in the process at any level.

You, sir (a term I use in a sarcastic manner) have made an ass of yourself, embarrassed your candidate and shown your "party" for what it really is.

Well Done!

Ed Angleton said...

"an ass-head and a coxcomb and a
knave, a thin-faced knave, a gull!"
-Sir Toby, Twelfth Night

"poisonous bunch-backed toad"

-Queen Margret, Richard III

I don't know why, but for some reason these two Shakespearean quotes keep popping up in my head.