Sunday, December 18, 2022

Libertarians aren't splitting vote

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for November 16, 2022)

After the election, I saw a few bitter Republicans on social media blaming the failure of Republican candidates to get elected-- the fizzled "red wave"-- on libertarians. It's a silly complaint.

Libertarian candidates don't take votes from Republicans any more than they take votes from Democrats. Most people who vote for Libertarians aren't going to vote for any of the other candidates no matter what.

If I were a voter and I only had a choice between a Republican and a Democrat-- and both advocated policies I couldn't tolerate-- I wouldn't pick the lesser of two evils. I would reject them both, even if there were no Libertarian candidate on the ballot. I would rather stay home than vote for someone I don't like or trust.

No candidate of any party has earned my trust. They all carve exceptions when it comes to protecting liberty from government depredation. Why would I waste effort voting for them? Just because they tell me their opponent will be even worse? Why should I believe them?

If Republicans want libertarians to vote for them, they are going to have to offer better candidates who stand up for liberty. No more of this "If you don't vote for us you're just helping Democrats win".

The same goes for Democrats who want libertarians to vote for their side.

If your candidate is pushing "gun control", drug prohibition, identity politics, a tighter "border", higher taxes on anyone, or more government in any way, I won't waste a vote on that candidate. I fell for this trick back when I was young and gullible, but never again.

If neither candidate is willing to resolutely and loudly reject anti-liberty positions, why would I vote for either one? I'll either vote for the Libertarian or I'll stay home.

Since I don't believe political government is legitimate in any way, no matter who is making the policies, staying home is what I do. You can vote for a new master every few years if it makes you happy, but I won't. Someone will assign a supposed master to me with or without my consent, but it doesn't obligate me to bow down or obey them.

Bad people have always done that sort of thing but I won't help them enslave me.

There's no reason to pretend such a system is inevitable or legitimate. You can't blame the failure of a system on those who see through it.

Thank you for helping support

Performance or principles?

In recent days I've had more than one person accuse me of "performing" for attention. Spouting libertarian ideas I can't actually believe. Ideas I "know" could never work in the real world. In other words, virtue signaling.

It would be interesting to see one of these accusers actually talk to people who know me in real life and see if I'm expressing values or ideas that I don't believe and don't live.

It's a useful reality check, though.


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