by gt slade


Researching Tuesday’s post [“Obama intentionally obtuse?”] debunking the Columbo Theory, I chanced upon an article at, which confusingly addressed libertarians, claiming Derek Hunter baited a hook and used it to generate a more confusing piece than the one he was following up on, “The Problem with Libertarians.” Just one? How refreshing.

Read it to see if you can unearth his point. After reading the exercise in confusion, it seemed worthwhile to offer some clarification in a way even Mr Hunter might understand.

What is a libertarian? That entails specific beliefs and, while libertarians differ on a few issues, like abortion, we agree on most others. Hunter insists, “The word no longer has any meaning, no definition or parameters, certainly no coherent philosophy to speak of. And there’s no one to blame for that except Libertarians themselves. ”

I disagree, but what group has a more clearly delineated philosophy, except maybe al Quada? You can take the libertarian test [LINK here] or even check your alignment with Tutin’s laws.

Mr Hunter says Libertarians have “allowed” their brand to be co-opted. That may be true for the Tea Party, not for libertarians. Now that libertarianism is starting to go mainstream, largely thanks to FBN and The Blaze, I’ve seen arguments where people self-identify as such, and actual libertarians retorting with, “You can’t be libertarian on the Drug War, but not on surveillance and the NSA,” for example.

Hunter by Hunter not Hunter?

All Libertarians do is complain, laments Derek Hunter, since a group of them celebrated John McCain’s presidential defeat in 2008. Well, that proves it. [I am being sarcastic.]

Hunter’s evaluation is that, “bad as McCain was (and still is), he was better than Barack Obama. At least that’s a conclusion you’d expect anyone who supported liberty to draw. ”

That is the old “lesser of two evils” argument, which has gotten us into the current morass, not Obama exclusively. Last time Republicans took control, they behaved remarkably like Democrats, initiating a questionable war, expanding the federal education bureaucracy, doling out corporate welfare and bailouts, enacting an unfunded health-care benefit, spying on US citizens and attacking liberty liberally.

Obama built on those policies, admittedly with great zeal.

Senator John McCain was responsible for the awful McCain-Feingold legislation that unconstitutionally restricted free expression in elections, arguably the area where it is most necessary. He was anti-liberty in practice, as his record shows.

As far as celebrating McCain’s loss, that did not bother me, but Obama's victory made me queasy, given the implications of his campaign.

Rather than explore this point futher, Hunter veers off into Bill Maher, who once claimed to be a libertarian. By the way, he also said famously that he would be a Republican if they acted like Republicans, with which I agree with Bill; they do not.

While it is true that Libertarian (and other spoilers — Ross Perot for one) have hurt Republicans, the Democrats have the same problem with groups and individuals who want the Democrats to stand for something other than accumulating more power and kowtowing to special interest groups, like unions, lawyers, environmentalists and environmentalist lawyers.

As a Californian, my vote does not count, since Democrats consistently win by huge margins. When I lived in San Francisco, I never believed that Nancy Pelosi would lose without my vote. In San Mateo county, I am stuck with Jackie Speier. So, if I vote for the Libertarian or another independent candidate, or leave that slot blank, it only matters in that it sends a message to Jackie that not everyone thinks she’s the greatest thing since the Cronut™, or even a decent representative.

My voting for McCain would not have altered the outcome. Like Gore, he was an awful campaigner, at least nationally. He seems to have Arizona fooled.

Some voters are guided by convoluted reasoning, such as voting for someone they don’t want in the primary to make it easier for the person they do want to win in the general election. That’s fine. At least they gave it some thought.

Voting is an individual decision. I remember adults saying they were voting for JFK in 1960 to prove they weren’t prejudiced against Catholics. I remember because it struck a young GT as being absurd, even at 11. After all, they could have said they were voting for Kennedy, actually voted for Nixon, then had to live with that decision.

More recently, I read of a woman who voted for George Bush, I forget which, because she lived on Bush Street, as good a reason as most when facing two poor alternatives. Unquestionably, many European-Americans voted for Obama to show they weren’t prejudiced, or to be part of a vote for the first African-American president. Allowing skin colour to be a consideration is the mark of a prejudiced person.

But back to Derek Hunter. Voting Republican with the expectation that the party will evolve is absurd. Politicians respond to pressure, and the fear of losing their cushy jobs. If you believe Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton flipped their public views on same-sex marriage because of deep soul-searching, you are living wherever it was that Michael Jackson resided, when he was alive.

As Democrats do when someone in their party attacks their hypocritical abuse of voter blocks like Blacks, Republicans waste energy battling Libertarians that could be used to oppose failed Democratic policies, perhaps because the policies are much closer to actual Republican actions.

Oddly, Hunter asserts that, “Libertarians agree with conservatives on probably 80 percent of the issues. Yet they can’t or won’t get past the remaining 20 percent. So they cheer a conservative loss as some sort of philosophical victory, and we get Obamacare. How’s that working out for the cause of liberty?”

False premise, Mr Hunter. As a libertarian, I disagree with both of the nominal parties 80 percent of the time, so I could just as well work with Democrats to try to marginally moderate their spending and taxing. Oh wait, then I’d be a Republican.

And seriously, don’t blame Libertarians for Obamacare. I like to blame Pelosi and Reid for subverting the legislative process. However, one could blame Republicans. [By the way, I sent money to support progressive Scott Brown, who promised to vote against the Unaffordable Care Act. How's that for pragmatism?] And who says we wouldn’t have gotten McCaincare? I never believed Mitt Romney would repeal Obamacare, if elected, one reason I never considered voting for him.

As I’ve written frequently and extensively, the problem is that the election process has been commandeered by the Incumbent Party (Democrat and Republican wings) to stifle opponents of bigger, more oppressive government, whether Ralph Nader or Gary Johnson, even Gene McCarthy back in the sixties.

Asked why he was a Republican, Ron Paul pointed out the futility of getting a fair shot as a Libertarian, based on his experience running as our party’s candidate for president in 1988. As a 2012 Republican candidate, he reached a national audience and was able to influence many, many Americans, including young people, arguably the most victimised by Democratic-Republican policies. As a Republican congressman, Paul failed to get legislation through Congress, but he swayed thought on important issues like auditing the Federal Reserve.

My problem is with the two-party system’s perpetuation of the status quo. That is the fault of Democrats and Republicans. Don’t even try blaming libertarians. We have enough problems without being responsible for the two-party system's failure, so don't bash me, Bro!

© 2014


Posted 17 JUNE 2014, at L·E·E, Liberty·Equality·Eternity, our official BLOG (and by our, I mean my)


©2014 GT Slade

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