Thursday, November 08, 2012

Be On Time

I posted a similar 'hopping off the train' message on Facebook and got a considerable number of 'thank yous' and 'oh no, please no!' type responses. They really warmed the heart and helped console me on a tough day, but I couldn't help but think how much they would have helped when I needed a pick-up on the political path, which was often. Alas, they did not come.

Maybe we need to announce quitting more frequently. Maybe, and more likely so, we need to make it a point to thank those we are grateful for not at the moment they leave us, but while they are with us. I've long made it a point to do so, and will continue, because there just aren't enough 'thank yous'. I thanked Gary Johnson when he came, and will do so again. Etc.

More comments on Facebook than here on the blog is a post for another day.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Another Ending

Back in July, I took a long, hard look at my life and decided that there were a handful of things that needed to go. The main criteria was a cost-benefit analysis. If I wasn't feeling like I was getting some kind of reward, be it monetary, emotional, or some other, then it had to go. I have too many interests to satisfy them all, and besides, I have two young kids who are my top priority.

So the politics has to go.

Over the past 10 years I have at times given everything to promoting the cause of liberty. Very rarely has it been rewarding. There aren't a lot of 'thank yous', and there certainly isn't any financial compensation. Come to think of it, I've really taken a beating financially, thanks to politics.

My views are unchanged. My actions will be. I have enough stress in my life without taking on 'fixing the world' and carrying on with some righteousness. Maybe when the kids are older, or when I'm more financially secure, I'll find myself back at the station and ready to board the train again. As for now, I'm off the train, and leaving the station for home.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

In Elections, Money Is Number One

I'm really bummed out for Rupert, in getting a 4% result in the Indiana Governor's race. I was hoping against hope that because of his celebrity status and his larger-than-life persona, taken together with the enormous amount of personal outreach he undertook, that he would be seeing numbers at least in the teens.

Rupert may be the best retail politician I've ever seen. He connects with people directly like nobody else I've ever observed. The lesson here is that none of that matters these days. While Indiana is a smaller state, it's still too big to meet everybody. What matters most is money.

I hate that. I didn't want to believe it when I ran for Secretary of State. I made (if memory serves) about 250 campaign appearances. It didn't matter. I got 3%. I was told ahead of time by my campaign manager Sam Goldstein to focus on raising money for ads, and forget about blogging and doing appearances- unless those appearances resulted in at least $200 coming home. I fired Sam. Trouble is, he was right. He lets me know about it whenever he can, and I let him let me know about it, because he was right. I can't deny reality.

I try to build myself up by rationalizing that I probably touched a few people personally, and they became Libertarian voters or candidates themselves is later years. I'll never really know. What I do know is that in order to reach the great bulk of voters, advertising is the only way, and advertising takes money. That's the reality of the situation. It's why millions of dollars are poured into tight races.

Sure, our base is growing. But it's going to take 20 years to win if we keep doubling every 4- and there's no guarantee of that. Money, money, money. *sigh*

Very Hard

Election Night is invariably depressing for me. It doesn't really matter whether Republicans or Democrats are the winners. What always becomes evident is just how tremendously distant the ideals I wish to see implemented are from becoming policy reality.

It stings a little bit more this year than most, because the Libertarian party fielded what I think was the best slate of high office candidates in its history.

Yes, the numbers appear to be higher than ever for Libertarian candidates. It looks as though Gary Johnson will break 2% in Indiana. No LP candidate for President had topped 1% before.

Rupert Boneham is at 4% as of this writing. That doubles the 2008 result, which doubled the 2004 result.

Andrew Horning is at 6% in the US Senate race. The last time there was a 3-way race for this office was 2004, and it was a 1.4% result.

So, it's clear that our base is growing, and that's great. I just feel such despair that such good people can net so little, that such failing policy can net so well.

Rex Bell is polling 6% so far in the race for US House, District 6. We got 3.5% last time, so another improvement.

But Chard Reid is at 4%? He got just under 8% last time. I know he was running against Dan Burton, he of the lousy reputation for missing votes, but this time running against Susan Brooks, who doesn't know squadoosh about economics? There is no justice.

And then, the Fishers vote went exactly the way I hoped it would not- in favor of the 2nd class city, with the full mayor. Crimony.

At this point, I don't know who will be elected President. I have a huge hunch, but I don't much care. Either guy is the status quo, which isn't working, and which is eagerly embraced. 

Depressing, indeed.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Vote For Gary Johnson!

As I've stated, I have never been more proud to vote for the entire slate of Libertarian candidates on my ballot this year. It starts at the top.

Gary Johnson with my kids & I, at a recent campaign stop in Shelby Co, IN

Gary Johnson is easily the best candidate we've had in my awareness of the Libertarian Party, which began in 1995 with Harry Browne. He just brings so much more to that table than Browne, Michael Badnarik, or Bob Barr did.

Top of the list, Johnson is a two-term governor. The usual canard is that if a libertarian was elected to office, the state would be in flames within weeks. As it happened, no flames. The people liked him enough to re-elect him. Why? He balanced the state's budget, turning a deficit into a surplus- despite cutting taxes. He used the veto pen regularly. He cut the size of the bureaucracy. I really like having someone with real executive branch experience running for us. More on Johnson's record.

I also like his personal record. Johnson started a handyman business and grew it into New Mexico's largest construction company, with over 1,000 employees. He is an Ironman triathlete (big respect!) and has even reached the summit of Mt. Everest. If Gary Johnson was offered the role on those Dos Equis ads, it wouldn't surprise me.

I am not even slightly tempted to vote for Obama or Romney.

Obama has a track record of his own now, and it's all downside for me. When he was elected, there were a few things I could be hopeful (sigh) of. Candidate Obama attacked deficit spending, said he would get us out of Iraq immediately, would close Gitmo, would end indefinite detention, would curb Executive power, would reduce spying on US citizens, and would turn the economy around. That's actually a lot of things for a Libertarian to be upbeat about upon the inauguration of a Democratic President. Alas, he failed on absolutely every single one of them. Failed. He's been a miserable President.

In fact, Obama's term has been so miserable that the Republicans should have taken this easily. Alas, they posted a miserable nominee in Mitt Romney. Normally there are some things a Republican candidate can excite a Libertarian about, in the areas of the economy, size & scope of government especially. Romney excites nothing in me. It doesn't seem he has any clue what capitalism is, unless it's crony capitalism. His track record in Massachusetts leaves nothing that makes his pledge to repeal Obamacare credible. He's about the worst example of a plastic, empty suit, country club Republican I've seen in my lifetime.

What's so horrid about the choice of Romney is that there are so many things about Obama's record to run against. For example, Obama's foreign policy is the same train wreck as George Bush's, but then Romney largely agrees with them- except that he wants to EXPAND the military! No plan to pay for it, just keep on with the borrow-and-spend.

These are Reader's Digest-sized criticism. They could go another 10,000 words each. So, it's an absolute no-brainer for me to vote for Gary Johnson.

I am certain that he will break Ed Clark's high-water numbers for Libertarian presidential candidates. It's been a long time coming, but I think the combination of  states that are 'settled' prior to election day, and the realization that neither Obama nor Romney are very exciting, will make it so.