February 17, 2007

On Becoming a Libertarian

Something weird is happening - I'm becoming a Libertarian and I don't know how to stop. Let's take a look at their presidential candidates for 2008. It's a joke. There is a sleazy former host of a "Girls Gone Wild" video, a singer/model/actress, and a former fugitive from the United States government. Only one of them, George Phillies, looks good on the surface but I'm sure given another half hour of research I would find he used to be a stripper named Coco.

Have things gotten this bad? Since turning 18 I've always gone with the Republicans but what has it gotten me? Thanks to an obscene national debt and overwhelming taxes, almost half of the money my family makes never crosses our door and our retirement prospects are bleak. We're in a senseless war and public education is going down the tubes. So do I keep hitching my horse to the same old broken wagon year after year? Seems like a no brainer.

The country would be drastically different under the Libertarians. Their party platform begs for reduced interference of the government. This would mean the end of prosecution for drug usage, allowance of homosexual marriage, no guaranteed minimum wage, and basically letting me make most decisions for myself. The government would abandon its role as my snooping parent and treat me like an adult. Even though I may not agree with how other people use the freedoms this party would give them, I believe that taking away personal choice is not the answer. I don't want a government who legislates my morals. Libertarians are all about putting the choices back in our laps and cutting many of the ridiculous government programs that are currently making them for us.

Then I look at the actual members of the party and I get a little sick. It's helpful to remember that there are thousands of sleezebags in the Republican and Democratic parties as well. A major strike against Libertarians is that Howard Stern ran on the Libertarian ticket for governor of New York back in 1994. Do I really want to be on Howard's team?

I'm still deciding whether or not to use my 2008 Presidential vote for Coco, er - I mean George. He's guaranteed not to win the election against the two major parties, but I want to stop hiding behind the majority and actually vote for what makes sense to me peronsally. Maybe in 15 years a Libertarian will have a realistic shot. As a good Mormon I know I'm supposed to vote for Mitt Romney but I just can't swallow the idea of more tiresome Republican b.s. from D.C.. I've spent countless hours looking into the Libertarian thing and can't seem to talk myself out if it. Please tell me what I'm missing? I'm on a slippery slope here folks, Coco for President!


Janell said...

I can never figure out why people expect people to vote for their gender, race, or Mormon. Does not voting for the woman make me antifeminist because I don't care for her platform? No, yet people often treat it that way.

Vote for who makes sense to you.

snoopy parent said...

Careful now...don't disparage "snoopy parents"

Anonymous said...

Phillies was never a stripper, of that you can be sure. In fact, one of his strong positives: there are no skeletons in his closet.

BTW, Howard Stern toyed with the idea of running for governor, but dropped out due to the fact he'd have to disclose his finances. So he's NOT on the team.

As for the wackos in the party: wackos get 99% of the attention, so the 'normal' folks who are Libertarians are ignored. Be a normal person and help put the Libertarians back on the right track. Take back the party from the wackos!

Jake Porter said...

No, George has never been a stripper; however, I will be sure to ask him about it.

Actually, by running for President, George can help other serious Libertarian candidates. Our campaign has already provided radio ads free to any Libertarian candidates to use. In fact, I helped place one on the radio in Des Moines, Iowa. Please consider giving us your volunteer time and donations and we will give you a respectable, and serious Presidential campaign.


Jake Porter
National Mobilization Facilitator
Phillies for President
E-mail: natmobfac1@phillies2008.com

A Payne said...

I am going to meet Neal Boortz next weekend. I am really excited. That is funny, I have been investigation Liberatarian-ism too.

Gina said...

This is one of the major perks of living in California, as I see it. You can vote for whoever you feel like without really having hope that it will have any impact or make a difference! There is no chance at all that the Democratic candidate won't carry the state, so go for it. It's like the flip side of living in Utah. I think if you live in either of those states you should definitely vote Green or Libertarian every chance you get.

Mumsy said...

You are joking, right? Oy, veh! Another one of my little Republicans gone astray....

Elizabeth said...

I agree with Gina. I live in CA and I've been a registered Libertarian for years. I don't actually like the entire Libertarian platform (I happen to like public libraries and parks), but I think if we move towards Libertarian ideals the compromise will be better than what we're living under now.

Jill said...

I hear you! I'm more liberal leaning than libertarian leaning, but I reregistered as independent ("decline to state", not that funny independent party) because both major parties have been so disappointing! That said, I'll probably vote for Obama, though.

Bex said...

hmm. I'm thinking Howard Stern = no. If he is involved with that party at all, I'm so not.

Infantry Dad said...

In a comment I left earlier on, http://wherehotcomestodie.blogspot.com, I spoke of voting for Ralph Nader in the 2000 elections.
I did so as a message that it was time for a change. I was tired of having to choose between bad and worse.
In effect, I threw my vote away.
At the time, the race was running close, with exit poles showing Al Gore winning, which we all know he did, yet Bush got the Presidency. (I think he could run again in 08 and win, despite the fact that constitutionally he can’t. The Constitution hasn’t stopped him from doing anything else he desires).
The choice at the time was between, (in my opinion), a half wit that couldn’t string a sentence for more than three words, and a big geeky dork.
I agree with a lot of Libertarian principles and beliefs, I just don’t think they have a viable candidate at this time.
Keep an eye on Barak Obama.
Like your blog.
Check my crap out if you’ve got some time to throw away.

Anonymous said...

One thing that many ideologies seem to have in common is that their logical extreme is a strange world that does't work very well. Not that we don't have that alrady, but it could be a lot worse than it already is. Too many of the libertarians I have met seem to believe that the bad things that would come from a full application of their political ideals would be good rather than bad. If you have no sense of personal morality, if you have supreme confidence that you would come out on top if no holds were barred in the struggle for personal triumph, and if you think that government schools and roads are a crime against nature, you will find a welcoming home in libertarianism.

In many respects, at least when I was there thirty years ago, there was a lot more freedom in Guatemala than there was in the United States. If you owned property, and sometimes even if you didn't, you could usually do more-or-less anything that you wanted with it. You wouldn't have the problem that some owners in my home town have, that their property sits has to sit unused for years because they can't get city approval for the uses that they have approved. If you wanted to buy a legal drug, you didn't need to bother with getting a prescription. You could just go to the pharmacy and ask for it.

Some of the downsides were that most of the people were very poor, that basic political freedoms could disappear at any time, and that an ongoing political struggle raged between local families who controlled much of the wealth and sometimes much of the political power, communists who claimed to represent a broader community of otherwise unrepresented citizens, Americans who wanted a favorable political climate for their business interests, and military leaders who wanted to perpetuate their own power for its own sake. Constant civil war continued for more than three decades.

When I think about our world and the problems that need to be solved, starting from my own family and neighborhood and moving outward, it seems obvious to me that individuals and organizations need ample freedom to go about their activities without excessive interference. It also seems obvious that some of the problems and needs at every level require cooperation, coordinated planning, and if necessary, an appropriate degree of coercion. If the power of the government is cut too much, the winners in in free competition will gain enough power that they effectively become the new government, or the leaders of the existing government will see what is happening and reclaim their hold on power before it is lost completely, and the cycle will start over in a new form.

With the past pace of change in today's world, there is a strong need for cooperation to fight against war, poverty, disease, and environmental damage. Mass extinction of many of the species on the earth is an overwhelmingly urgent danger. Some of the solutions, if they are to be had at all, will come from governments and international organizations, and some will come from individuals and businesses. It isn't just a matter of choosing the right balance between liberty and coercion. Somehow, we have to learn to choose the right goals and work together to achieve them, before the opportunity is lost forever.

KDA said...

Obama? He is as far from libertarian that you could get. Unless opposition to the FMA or pro-choice are the only libertarian planks that matter. Thankfully, there is the Republican Liberty Caucus. I actually changed my registration to LP, and sent them a few checks in 2005. Until, that is... I found the RLC, and since have left my registration as a LP member, but my money and support goes strictly to RLC endorsed politicians. I think they are our only hope to roll back of the nanny state, by virtue of takin gback individual legislative seats from the pork-belly version of GOPers we have now. Check out their website(www.rlc.org) before going full bore LP.

Jill said...

Anonymous who wrote about Guatemala, your comment is really interesting. I never thought of Libertarianism as effectively already in practice in other parts of the world. That makes me think. I wish I had a link to your blog if you blogged somewhere - I'd like to read more of your thoughts.

Dane said...

I wrote a post during last years elections about my cantankerous independence. Since I lived in Texas most of my life and knew my vote hardly counted, I would usually vote for all the wacky third party candidates (giving preference to Greens if any appeared) and then split the remaining votes between Dems and Reps, depending on which candidate I disliked the least. I'd say that the Libertarian party is a fine choice if you're planning on throwing your vote away. If only there were an anarcho-syndicalist party.

Anonymous said...

I like the RLC, too. But, I vote for LP candidates whenever they have a reasonable shot (rarely) or when the Dems or GOP will win a lopsided battle.

Anonymous said...

i know one of your sisters went libertarian years ago. frankly, because she is just sick of the government mucking things up. taxation is out of control, health care, education. . . anyhow. she will likely give the libertarians her vote in '08 beats hillary's "economic redistribution"