Friday, July 20, 2012

I Loves Me Some Conventional Wisdom

The usual saw is that Libertarian candidates 'steal votes' from Republican candidates.

First of all, no candidate steals votes unless they are engaged in voter fraud. A candidate will better compete for votes than others. So, my Republican friends, if you think Ls draw from Rs, you may consider that Ls just do a better job of winning over people who really mean it about smaller government.

But this news from New Mexico Watchdog:
Here are the numbers in the question PPP asked when it included Johnson’s name with Obama and Romney:
Another interesting aspect?
A lot of Republicans have worried that a serious Johnson candidacy would hurt Romney more than Obama but in this particular poll, Johnson pulls down Obama’s numbers from 42 percent to 38 and, as Jensen points out, Johnson “gets 24 percent of the independent vote, and a lot of his support is coming from more Democratic leaning independents.”
Those results echo what Johnson has told reporters this summer — that his presence in the race doesn’t necessarily hurt Romney and appeals to voters who are so turned off by both Democrats and Republicans that a large number of these disaffected voters wouldn’t have voted anyway.
This cuts both ways. I find Democrats cheering on Libertarian candidates, because they perceive Libertarians as opposites of Greens or Democrats, and thinking back Green Party candidate Ralph Nader in 2000? Well, they like to think of Libertarians 'Nadering' Republicans.

Awesome! Keep thinking that way! Those usually Democratic voters who really, really want expanded civil liberties and reduced foreign intervention? They haven't gotten what they want, and they aren't going to in a 2nd Obama term. They know that. The only person running for president who will be on the ballot in their state will likely be Gary Johnson.

Terry Michael, former Press Secretary for the Democratic Party, is supporting Johnson.

I don’t intend to change my registration. I’m still a Democrat. But I’m a small “l” libertarian Democrat, who wants to teach fellow Democrats that 21st century libertarians are not a bunch of selfish, Ayn Rand-style, greedy capitalists. Among the three issue frames of politics—economy, social, and foreign—most rank-and-file Democrats share much in common with modern libertarians. Most libertarians want to keep government out of our bedrooms, away from our bodies, and out of the backyards of the rest of the world. On the economy, while we are for limited spending, taxes, and regulation, we favor free markets—not oligarchic capitalism that uses government to re-distribute tax revenue to the military-industrial-congressional-media complex, the behemoth pharmaceutical companies, or other lobbyists along Washington’s K Street who seek benefits from government and regulations that put competitors at disadvantage.

Why would I abandon the candidate for whom I had great hopes for change in 2008, a president from my own home state of Illinois, Barack Obama? In fact, I even made a libertarian case for Obama in 2008 at—which turned out to be hoping against nothing but hope.

For me, that hope turned to despair when President Obama ramped up another hideous elective war, putting tens of thousands of young men and women in harm’s way in Afghanistan; rammed through a taxpayer and deficit-funded corporate welfare program for drug and insurance companies, in the guise of health care reform; and reneged on promises to slow prosecutions in the assault on personal freedom, the violence-creating neo-Prohibition known as the war on drugs.

Obama has had 3+ years to make his case in action. Alas. I do not believe Terry Michael will act alone. I am hoping against hope that many left-of-center voters will look past team and squarely at policy.

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