I’m a partisan Libertarian, as you know. Although I frequently state my ‘glass half empty’ case, fact is, whenever a major change takes place affecting an executive or legislative branches of government, there are things I can be hopeful of, depending on the offices affected, and the party of those taking power.
When Obama was sworn in, there were many things I was hopeful for, especially because he was campaigning about them. These included:
- Withdrawl from Iraq
- End to borrow-and-spend
- Closing of Gitmo
- End to policy of ‘indefinite detention’
There were others, but these were the big ones. On all counts, I have been disappointed with the President.
This has been the way of modern politics for me, regardless of the party in charge. There are things I can be hopeful for, especially in light of the rhetoric that got people elected, but promises aren’t kept, or impressions aren’t matched with actions.
Prior to the election of Obama, I spent several years blogging about the failure of the Republicans to deliver on the things I was hopeful for on the domestic front. Smaller government is the rhetoric of the Republican Party, but when Bush was President and his party controlled Congress, borrow-and-spend became a way of life. Bush didn’t veto a single bill coming from the Republican Congress. Departments were added, not cut.
So, what to do? Well, I am a partisan Libertarian. I’m not going to go voting for Republicans, hoping for smaller government. I have a recent track record that tells me I’m not going to get what I want. I’m not going to vote for Democrats, hoping for expanded civil liberties or an end to war. I have a recent track record there too that tells me I’m not going to get what I want. I’m going to vote Libertarian.
Sure, Libertarians haven’t been winning elections. So what? What kind of fool gives his vote to someone he can reliably determine won’t deliver? Not this one. Voting is about selecting candidates that best represent your views, not about picking winners. After all, winning is pretty hollow if you don't get the policy you wanted.
So, what about those who aren’t partisan Libertarians? What about those who are disaffected Democrats or Republicans- people who love their party, or hate the other party, and aren’t willing to go 3rd party? I think the best thing they can do is make a statement at the Primary Elections. Vote for the candidate who best represents your views, regardless of their ‘electability’. If you continue to vote for a candidate that doesn’t deliver what you want, you have told them they never will have to. After all, they have what they want- your vote!
What if nobody challenges Obama in the Primary? Well, Democrats who want an end to wars and restoration of civil liberties are going to be out of luck, in the same way Republican fiscal conservatives were when nobody challenged Bush. They better start bending Dennis Kucinich’s ear now, and start funding him.
Failing that, vote for the Libertarian or Green Party candidate, or some other that represents your views. The only truly wasted vote is for the candidate who has given you good evidence that he won’t deliver what you want on the issues that matter most to you.