Friday, November 06, 2009

My Take On Recent Elections

There was a lot of predictable spin on the recent elections that follows partisan lines. The race that most interested me was NY-23, where a Democrat ultimately won in a district that had elected Republicans for more than 100 years.

This happened because the Republicans nominated a fairly liberal candidate for US House, and in response, Doug Hoffman ran on the Conservative Party ticket. The liberal Republican dropped out of the race, the Conservative nearly made up the ground, but ultimately lost.

Some are saying that this is proof that a third-party candidacy is folly, and that reform needs to happen within the major parties.

I'll point out again that the GOP leadership nominated the liberal Republican.

The GOP leadership, virtually anywhere, has been so interested in targeting moderate and independent voters that the result is the appearance of not standing for anything at all. That's where they don't get it. There is a morass of wandering disaffected voters looking for a home, that requires a party to stand for something.

Obviously, the fear of third parties in general is keeping these folks in limbo, because the Libertarian Party has ever been for smaller budgets, less spending, less taxes, more economic growth, and higher employment... and this is what the people seem to want. From CNN's polling:
The number of Americans who say the economy is their top issue is on the rise, according to a new national poll.

Forty-seven percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday morning say the economy is the most important issue facing the country today. That's up 6 points from August.

Health care, at 17 percent, remains second on the list. But the issue is down a few points from August, indicating that the furor caused by the late summer town hall meetings may be fading somewhat on the minds of most Americans.

This tells me a lot. There's the Democratic leadership, working hard on something that the public doesn't regard as the top issue. Neither the Bush stimulus nor the Obama stimulus convince the public that their solution is working. Here are the Libertarians, offering a result that the people are clamoring for, yet not reaching the people.

My opinion is that right now, the Libertarian Party needs to become a single-issue party, focused solely on the economy. It isn't just that CNN article that makes me think this way. This has been the top issue for about a year now. The old leadership is discredited. The new leadership is losing people. This is an opportunity for the Libertarians, provided they eliminate distractions.

What say you?

4 comments:

Wainstead said...

I would say the same thing to any Republican offering your solution: tell me where you would cut the budget to reduce it by $1.6 trillion dollars, or whatever the current deficit is... are you willing to cut military spending? Is that even politically feasible? Cut Social Security or Medicaire? Good bye senior citizen vote.

You know I'm all in favor of smaller government and less spending (and fewer taxes!), but the American public typically says they want one thing and then votes another way.

Mike Kole said...

The thing here is in appealing to voters. I think the opportunity is here for saying it's time to cut spending and the deficit as a message. True enough, many voters want the magic of a reduced budget while increasing entitlements- which is exactly what Obama proposes to do, even if it can't be done.

I'm willing to see Libertarians elected and then given the task of figuring out where to make the cuts. :-)

Mike Kole said...

As for me, where I would make the cuts? I would start incrementally. I have no doubt that over a nation of 300+ million, some small scaling back in this department or that yields large savings. End the borrowing from foreign nations, and we have no choice but to scale back the spending. I would probably not touch Social Security or Medicare. People paid into the lie, they rightly expect to recieve on the back end.

But there are so many other areas. Yes, I would cut military spending. I would also try to scale back the federalization of education, returning as much as possible to the states. Eliminate the DEA. Stop funding the war on drugs. Etc.

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