The Instigator
RoyLatham
Pro (for)
Winning
26 Points
The Contender
Microsuck
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Libertarians should support Romney

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
RoyLatham
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/30/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,527 times Debate No: 24499
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (28)
Votes (8)

 

RoyLatham

Pro

This debate is whether libertarians should support Mitt Romney in the upcoming U.S. presidential election rather than support a third party candidate such as Gary Johnson. Supporting President Obama is ruled out for this debate.

The right of third party candidates to run for office and of voters to vote for them is not questioned. The debate presumes that libertarians want to have libertarian views, as generally espoused by Ron Paul or Gary Johnson (per http://www.garyjohnson2012.com...), prevail in American politics. The resolution is affirmed if supporting Romney is more likely to ultimately lead to that end than supporting a third party candidate. The resolution is negated if supporting Gary Johnson or another third party candidate is more likely to lead to libertarian beliefs prevailing.

The debate is not about whether libertarian positions are correct or incorrect. The debate is about whether libertarians working inside of the traditional two-Party structure is more likely to succeed in the long run than following a third party strategy now.

Currently, the challenge is open only to debaters who have completed sixty or more debates. If it is not accepted in a couple of days, anyone having at least 15 wins may ask in the comments to have the challenge redirected to them.

Everyone is enouraged to vote on the debate.

Rules

The burden of proof in this debate is shared, meaning that the better case should prevail. In legal terms, it is the preponderance of evidence that determines the outcome.

This opening round is for definitions and acceptance only. The Pro case will be given at the start of the second round.

Standard debate conventions apply. I list them here mainly for the benefit of readers. I believe there is nothing tricky or eccentric n these rules. Both sides agree to the following rules, and that violating the rules is a conduct violation, with anything contrary to the rules to be ignored by readers judging the debate:

DR 1. All arguments must be made in the debate. Evidence may be cited or linked from the debate, but only in support of arguments made in the debate. Arguments made in Comments are to be ignored.

DR 2. Source links or references must be included within the 8000 characters per round limit of the debate. No links or sources are permitted in comments.

DR 3 Any term not specifically defined before use is to be taken with the ordinary dictionary definition of the term that best fits the context of the debate. The definitions given in the challenge stand as a condition of acceptance.

DR 4. No new arguments shall be made in Round 4. Arguments and evidence may be presented in R4 in rebuttal to any previous argument, but no new arguments.

DR 5. DDO site rules always apply. Neither side may add or modify rules for the debate once the challenge is accepted.

DR 6. Dropped arguments are not counted as concessions. They may be taken up again or left to be judged as part of the case.
Microsuck

Con

Thank you roy for the challenge. I will argue that Libertarians should NOT support Mitt Romney for President. I fully endorse Gary Johnson and Ron Paul.

Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
RoyLatham

Pro

Libertarians sometimes like to expound upon the virtues of free markets in heroin and other such exercises in libertarian theory. They may be right, but that's not likely to win this election. Some believe that libertarianism needs to be swallowed in one gulp or not at all. That ignores a present economy crippled by excessive government control and ever-expanding entitlements. I claim that approach of selling libertarian theory is ineffective. Libertarians should plan to win by demonstrating case-by-case that less government is better and that people can in fact do better without the nanny state. To do that, they need to support Romney right now.

1. Socialism must be dismantled incrementally

Socialism is government control of the means of production. In past times, socialists preferred direct control of businesses so that bureaucrats could make the decisions according to ideological prescriptions. That method proved to have two problems. The state then had the responsibility for the industry failing, as it always did, and with bureaucrats having little incentive to succeed, the failure was relatively fast. The new method of socialism is to compel compliance with the wishes of the state through regulations. This keeps businesses going longer because there are still nominal owners who have reason for the enterprise to succeed, and as it fails the regulator can always blame the private owners. I don't think socialists plotted this strategy. It just evolved over time as socialists found ways to satisfy their need for power incrementally.

Sober people resist revolutionary change. People are comfortable with what they know. In a democracy they will accept small changes, but few people want to take a chance on a theory. Once socialism is in place to "protect" people from the evils of free enterprise, they are reluctant to get rid of the "protection." When socialized medicine is in place,
people will believe it too risky to dismantle it. This works on a large scale. North Koreans are sold on the idea that only Dear Leader keeps them safe from the forces of imperialism. The power of the state is maintained by fear that change has too much risk.

If the socialist state is to be overcome, it will only be done by taking it apart a piece at a time. Could we survive without a 70,000 page tax code that provides 3500 loopholes designed to incentivise behavior that complies with the wishes of the elite that make such decisions? I think it is only possible to sell that idea by hacking away at it. A 60,000 page tax code is clearly conceivable, and the reasons can be explained successfully.

To incrementally dismantle the socialist state, libertarians need to be in government. They need to be elected to office and appointed to high positions in government. Ron Paul is not going to be elected President, but he might be appointed Secretary of the Treasury or to the Council of Economic Advisers. That's only possible if libertarians support Romney. That way they earn a seat at the table.

2. This may be a tipping point election

Gary Johnson is not going to be elected president this year, but what about 2016 or 2020? If President Obama is re-elected, it will be the result of promising payoffs to a long list of constituent groups. Government workers will be promised high wages and job security. The middle class will get free medical care. Unions will get elite privileges in negotiating. People who don't want to work will get a guarantee that the state will care for them. Every person who ultimately ends up dependent upon the government will then be inclined to defend their particular entitlement as fair and necessary.

A record 49 percent of Americans live in a household where someone receives at least one type of government benefit, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And 63 percent of all federal spending this year will consist of checks written to individuals for which the government receives currently no services, the White House budget office estimates. That’s up from 46 percent in 1975 and 18 percent in 1940. [3. http://www.bloomberg.com...]

In addition to those receiving benefits, an additional 8% of the population works directly for the government. Consequently, we have over half the population dependent on the government for either benefits or jobs. With government controlled health care (an estimated 140,000 pages of regulations) kicking in, this may be the last election where there is a reasonable chance of turning the tide. Once the nanny state is entrenched, even financial collapse does not typically reverse it. Europe is collapsing, ad there is no great rush to the libertarian alternative.

We cannot be sure if this is the last chance for free enterprise to make a comeback, but it isn't worth taking the risk. In President Obama's first term he learned that he can nullify laws that he doesn't like and that the bureaucracy can expand government without any new legislation. To preserve hope, libertarians should not plan on waiting for future elections.

3. Supporting Romney is not apostasy

Some religions require members to adhere to a set of rigid principles. It's all in or nothing for them. Libertarianism does not demand a religious type of doctrine.

Is it possible that Ron Paul is getting ready to endorse Mitt Romney? ... Congressman Paul’s campaign website in recent days has posted several pieces that discuss political endorsements in a somewhat defensive manner. In one, campaign blogger Jack Hunter talks about libertarian founding father Murray Rothbard’s 1992 endorsement of President George H. W. Bush.

Rothbard’s libertarian principles did not evaporate because of the “mere act of endorsing,” writes Hunter. [4. http://www.csmonitor.com...]

Famed libertarian economist Milton Friedman wrote "I am a libertarian with a small 'l' and a Republican with a capital 'R.' And I am a Republican with a capital 'R' on grounds of expediency, not on principle." [5. http://en.wikipedia.org...] He was an adviser to the candidacy of Barry Goldwater and served as an adviser to president Reagan.

4. It's about the economy, and we're not stupid

If Romney is elected, is it likely that while free enterprise gets a boost, there would be greater losses on Libertarian social issues? Romney won the Republican presidential nomination over Ron Paul and a field of social conservatives. The final viable opponent was Rick Santorum, a dedicated social conservative. Even the social conservatives said that social issues ought to be determined at the state level, their beliefs notwithstanding.

Romney has stayed focused on the economy, much to the frustration of President Obama's supporters who want to talk about almost anything else. Romney is so focused, the liberal media are getting desperate. [6. http://www.breitbart.com...]

Libertarians should have the same focus ths year. In Capitalism and Freedom, "Friedman promotes economic freedom as both a necessary freedom and also as a vital means for political freedom. He argues that, with the means for production under the auspices of the government, it is nearly impossible for real dissent and exchange of ideas to exist. Additionally, economic freedom is important, since any "bi-laterally voluntary and informed" transaction must benefit both parties to the transaction." [7. http://en.wikipedia.org...]

Economic freedom precedes all else. In the swing state of colorado, Gary Johnson is now polling 7%, enough to give the state to President Obama. [8. http://news.yahoo.com...] Libertarian support for Romney could be the deciding factor in America's future.

Microsuck

Con

I want to thank Roy for challenging me to this debate. It is a great honour to finally get to debate you.

[Centeral thesis]: Republican Party nominee Mitt Romney should not be endorsed by the Libertarian Party because he is big government, has a history of raising taxes, and in the long run, is no different than Obama. For a Libertarian to endorse Mitt Romney is akin to a conservative Republican such as Sarah Palin or Roy to endorse Obama for President.

C1: CIVIL RIGHTS

The ACLU has ranked Gary Johnson better than any candidate running in 2012 on civil rights. [1] Compare that to Mitt Romney who proposed wiretapping mosques [see first video], supports the patriots act, and supports waterboarding. Moreover, Romney supports South Carolina law that restricts number of voters able to participate elections and disproportionately affect minorities by requiring photo ID at all polls. [see second video]. Third, Mitt Romney supports a Federal Marriage Amendment. [2] Finally, Mitt Romney is opposed to all forms of legalized medical marijuana and supports federal raids on medical marijuana.[3]Compare this to the Libertarian Party which is virtually the opposite of what Romney believes. The Libertarian party believes that marriage should be left up to each individual and religious organization and not to the federal government. Moreover, we are for legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes and for medical purposes.

C2: MITT ROMNEY IS BIG GOVERNMENT

sub point a: Raises taxes

The Libertarian party supports no to limited income tax. From the main page:

Before 1913, federal income taxes were rare and short-lived. America became the most prosperous nation on earth. The U.S. Government did not try to police the world or play "nanny" to everyone from cradle to grave. People took responsibility for themselves, their families, and their communities. That is how the founders of America thought it should be.And it worked. It can again! [4] Mitt Romney proposed 3 new taxes during his campaign: tax on vehicles, tax on campaign donations, and building constructions. Moreover, each of the four years he served as governor, he raised taxes - all the while, he pretended that he did not. [5] This is clearly contradictory to the Libertarian principles.

Sub point 2: Romneycare

After Thursday's announcement that the supreme court ruled in favour of Obamacare, Mitt Romney's campaign received more than $1,000,000 in campaign donations that day. [6] During his campaign, he has campaigned hard to repeal Obamacare [7]; however, what he fails to tell you is his blunderous attempt at the VERY SAME THING in his attempt to make his own version of Obamacare called "Romneycare."In "Romneycare" Individuals who are deemed able to afford health insurance, but fail to comply are subject to penalties for each month of non-complience in the tax year. [8] In other words, those who can afford health insurance are mandated to pay for it! This is unconstitutional and Romney has steped over his boundaries as governor. Moreover, the Libertarian Party is absolutely opposed to any government program that forces the people to pay for something they don't want -- including health care!There is virtually NO difference between Romney and Obama. For a Libertarian to support Romney is akin to Sarah Palin to support Obama - it just not going to happen!

C4: SOCIALISM MUST BE DISMANTLED INCREMENTALLY

As noted above, there is virtually no difference between Obama and Romney. Not only has Romeny failed to live up to his "no new tax" pledge, but has instituted his own version of socialized medicine. It is ludacris to think that when Romney is president that anything will be different than his previous actions. Actions speak louder than words and if the Republican party/Libertarian party want to get rid of Obamacare forever, the LAST thing they should do is nominate a person who did the EXACT SAME THING AS GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS!

As my opponent states in round 1, "We cannot be sure if this is the last chance for free enterprise to make a comback, but it isn't worth taking the risk. In Obama's first term he learned that he can nullify laws that he doesn't like and the bureaucracy can expand government without any new legislation." To preserve hope, libertariand -- republicans -- ANYONE that values the free market system should NOT support Mitt Romney and should support Gary Johnson for President.

CONCLUSION

Libertarians should not support Mitt Romney because he contradicts their basic principles and is big government to the core. Moreover, Mitt Romney has continually raised taxes, instituted Romneycare, and has overstepped his bounds on numerous occasions. As such, the resolution is clearly negated.

REFERENCES
1. http://www.aclulibertywatch.org...
2.http://latimesblogs.latimes.com...;
3.http://glassbooth.org...;
4.http://www.lp.org...
5.http://www.lp.org...
6. Information from a newsletter that I received from Gary Johnson's campaign.
7.http://www.mittromney.com...
8.http://www.politifact.com...
Debate Round No. 2
RoyLatham

Pro

Thanks to my opponent for a topical debate. It's nice not to be debating a leftist for a change.

Obama and Romney differ on socialism vs. capitalism


Are the positions of Barrack Obama and Mitt Romney really identical? Are they almost identical? No, there aren't three people remotely familiar with the candidates and issues who believe they are. President Obama is neo-socialist who believes that every aspect of economic life must be regulated in the extreme so that people will do the government's bidding. Obama has applied that principle to banking, automobile manufacturing, energy, and health care. Romney is unquestionably a capitalist. Romney understands how free markets work, the relationship between risk and reward, and the mechanisms by which jobs are created. Obama operates on the principle that if the government pays one person to dig a hole and another person to fill it, then two jobs have been created. Romney understands that only the private sector creates sustainable commerce.

Con's issues are relatively unimportant compared to free markets

Con argues strictly from apostasy. He picks what he considers to be determining issues, finds Romney impure, and that's that. Con's litmus issues are trivial compared to the survival of free markets. Near the top of Con's list are legalization of marijuana and government facilitation of marriage. Even California did not democratically approve decriminalization of marijuana, and nullifying all marriage laws does not move the needle in polls anywhere. A grand total of three terrorists were waterboarded, including a guy who cuts off heads on television. The Patriot Act is a debatable issue involving wartime powers; libertarians will have more of a voice if they support Romney rather than isolate themselves. So how can they fine points of libertarian theory possibly be more important that free markets? How will libertarians be better being shunned by both Parties rather than having a voice Republican politics?

Romney supports a law requiring having an ID to vote. Any voter without an ID would be provided one by the State at no cost. Is it a central libertarian principle that non-citizen and non-residents should be able to vote without restriction? Why is it important libertarian principle that people be allowed to vote multiple times in the same election? As far as I can tell, the only libertarian objection is the trivial cost of issuing IDs to the very few people who do not have them. http://www.unitedliberty.org...

Romney opposes taxes and spending

Con claims that Romney broke a no-tax pledge as governor of Massachusetts. In fact, Romney refused to make a no-tax pledge when running for governor. http://www.politifact.com... Massachusetts is an extremely liberal state, and Romney knew he would have to bargain with a state legislature 85% controlled by Democrats. Romney did his best to control spending. "I like vetoes; I vetoed hundreds of spending appropriations as governor," he said. Romney issued some 800 vetoes, and the Legislature overrode nearly all of them, sometimes unanimously." http://www.npr.org...

Con disqualifies Romney because his vetoes of spending measures where overridden about 800 times. If that's the same as Obama, then there should be an equivalents record of Obama vetoing spending measures and congress overriding. that is not the case.

What should Romney have done in Massachusetts? Should he have adopted positions that guaranteed he would not get elected? That preserves libertarian purity at the expense of doing nothing that actually improves the situation.

Romney opposes Obamacare

Romney is unquestionably opposed to Obamacare and committed to repeal, but Con says that having supported a similar program in Massachusetts makes his position identical to Obama's. No, Romney has changed his position and Republicans will guarantee that the repeal takes place. States are allowed to try things that the Federal government is not, and the experience proved it unworkable. Con's notion is that past sins cannot be forgiven; Con is more doctrinaire than a fundamentalist preacher; preachers accept redemption.

On taxation, Obama is a clear advocate of the transfer of wealth who wants to soak the rich. Romney is not a redistributionist. and he favors reducing the maximum corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%. Romney has take a no-tax-increase pledge.

Romney favors control of the money supply

Control of the money supply is important to libertarians. "Critics contend [Bernanke] is pursuing a reckless money-printing binge that exposes the world’s largest economy to a dangerous inflation risks while his defenders credit him with bold moves to stimulate growth that prevented a repeat of 1929-level depression. Romney is signaling he wants the Fed – and the economy — to take a different direction. And that means giving Bernanke the boot, he says." http://blogs.reuters.com...

An Obama spokesman recently characterized the differences between Obama and Romney. "Romney, the official said, stands for stripping regulations and cutting taxes in the hope that the market "will solve all our problems." Obama, the official said, "believes the economy grows not from the top down, but from the middle class up, and he has an economic plan to do that."
[ http://www.foxnews.com...] The official clearly though that opposing regulation was untenable, while redistribution was the path to growth. He figured out the difference between Romney and Obama.

Con dropped three of my four contentions

Con has all but ignored my arguments. He has only disputed one of my claims that (1) socialism must be dismantled incrementally, (2) this may be a tipping point election, (3) supporting Romney is not apostasy, and (4) it's about the economy. The only thing he has disputed is (3). His argument is that litmus issues like ending government sanction of marriages and requiring vote IDs are so much more important than saving capitalism that the candidates are virtually the same. I pointed out that argument has been rejected by prominent libertarians, notably Milton Freedman and Ron Paul. The position is illogical on several grounds cited: it's better to have a seat at the table, libertarianism has to win issue by issue, and with increasing entitlements the tipping point may be passed in the coming election.

While Con pointed to what he considers litmus issues, he does say why they are so important as to be willing to risk consolidating neo-socialist government with another term by Obama. Obama has all the legislation he needs in place. The EPA can control CO2, so every aspect of the energy industry is controlled. He can order you not to exhale if h chooses, because your CO2 pollutes. He has Dodd-Frank in place to control banking, with more rule to be written by the bureaucracy. We can look forward to 140,000 pages of rules governing health care. He can punish individual states by choosing not to enforce federal laws in states who resist. Obamacare will make tens of millions of people dependent upon the government.

Con challenged me to say if I would support the lesser of big government candidates. I live in Northern California, where such choices are the norm. Democrats use gimmicks of "non-partisan elections" and a new jungle primary system to make sure you can only vote for Democrats. Yes, I do the best I can.

The resolution is affirmed.






Microsuck

Con

Thank you, Roy. From my last political compass (http://www.debate.org...;), I don't know if I can be considered a "leftist."

The resolution to this debate is that Libertarians should support Mitt Romney for President. By the terms of this debate, the resolution is negated if supporting Gary Johnson or another third party candidate is more likely to lead to libertarian beliefs prevailing.

For my rebuttals, I will start with what I could not have responded to in my first round.

1. THIS MAY BE A TIPPING POINT IN THE ELECTION

My opponent argues that: "We cannot be sure if this is the last chance for free enterprise to make a comeback, but it isn't worth taking the risk. In President Obama's first term he learned that he can nullify laws that he doesn't like and that the bureaucracy can expand government without any new legislation. To preserve hope, libertarians should not plan on waiting for future elections."

My opponent argues that supporting Gary Johnson could be more likely leading to a reelection of Obama. However, this may not be true in all states.

First, the accusation is based upon the idea that obstruction of voters, and possible "election theft" by a major party are less dangerous to our free enterprrize system than the right of an alternative party to participate in fair and square. I am less concerned about the Obama-Romney contest than with the fact that neither have adaquet jobs programs and the fact both are "big government politics" which is a direct contradiction to the libertarian beliefs.

Second, the Romney-Obama campaign is too close to call either way. Gallup has long been tracking the Obama-Romney campaign and has found that the trends are very close.

Gallup tracking of the Obama-Romney campaign.

http://www.gallup.com...

It is too close to call to should that "Johnson will guarantee an Obama victory."

Finally, history shows that unemployment is too high to guarantee Obama any victory. Today, the unemployment rate is 8.0 per cent (http://www.gallup.com...;) which makes it very unlikely that President Obama can secure a victory.

The New York Times writes, "Barack Obama is much more personally popular than Romney, but his problem is that no incumbent president has ever won re-election with unemployment rates as high as they are likely to be in November. The modest decline in the unemployment rate in the Labor Department’s March report – to 8.2 percent — adds to the challenge he faces. In recent times, only Ronald Reagan struggled with a comparably high unemployment rate (8 percent) at the start of his re-election year. However, it declined steadily over the course of 1984 and it stood at 7.2 percent by Election Day."

"Even if Obama succeeds in making further progress on unemployment, he is not likely to mirror Reagan’s experience. He will remain vulnerable on the economy more generally."
(http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com...;)

2. SUPPORTING MITT ROMNEY IS NOT APOSTASY

My opponent is correct to the extend that Libertarian idealogy does not adhear to a strict ridigt rule as some religious organizations do. My opponent has cited Rand Paul as an example. However, what he fails to tell you is that Rand Paul was fried by the Libertarian National Convention on his decision to endorse Mitt Romney (http://www.lp.org...;). Marco Rubio also got fried on his endorsment of Mitt Romney (http://www.lp.org...;)

So, in conclusion; the LP is very much against both Obama and Mitt Romney.

4. IT'S ABOUT THE ECONOMY, AND WE'RE NOT STUPID

In this argument, my opponent attempted to show that social issues are not as important as the economy. Although I concede that the economy is the most important issue to this election, it misses the entire point of the debate. One more reminder about what this debate is about:

"The resolution to this debate is that Libertarians should support Mitt Romney for President. By the terms of this debate, the resolution is negated if supporting Gary Johnson or another third party candidate is more likely to lead to libertarian beliefs prevailing."

Hence, if I show that supporting Gary Johnson is likely to lead to libertarian beliefs prevailing, it will negate the resolution. I have shown that Mitt Romney is by no means libertarian in regards to social aspects. The terms clearly show that all beliefs -- including the economy and social issues, are important to negate or affirm this resolution.


I am out of time. I will respond to whatever I did not get to respond to in the next round.


Debate Round No. 3
RoyLatham

Pro

I said, "It's nice not to be debating a leftist for a change." My opponent took that to mean I though he was a leftists. Not at all. Anyone who believes in free markets, as libertarians do, is on the right. What's good is than we are not talking about redistribution of wealth. that alone is a breath of fresh air. Thanks to Con for a vigorous debate.

I made four contentions in this debate. I will discuss my opponents latest arguments along with summarizing the rest of the debate.

1. Socialism must be dismantled incrementally

I defined socialism as government control of economic decisions, and pointed out that neo-socialism accomplish control through tens of thousands of pages of rules, rather than through direct seizure of enterprise. I claimed that we arrived at the present state of socialism a bite at a time, each time claiming to solve a problem. I argued that asking for revolutionary change was not a viable strategy, and that libertarians who have to show, problem-by-problem, that freedom worked better than Big Brother. Consequently, a third Party strategy for libertarians is not the right approach.


Con did not contest this point. Con agreed to rule DR 4, which prevents him for making a new argument in his final round. I claim is effectively concedes the debate, because if a third party strategy is conceded to not work, then there is no alternative to supporting Romney.

2. This may be a tipping point election

My argument is that since we have reached the point where more than half of Americans are wholly or partially dependant on Government checks, and since Obama is expanding dependence rapidly, that this may be the last chance to stem the tide against socialism. A flaw in democracy is that once a majority believes they can vote themselves unlimited benefits that someone else will pay for, well, then we are cooked. Obama has enough power in the existing bureaucracy to push ahead with a socialist agenda, and he has recently learned that he can get away with nullifying laws that don't serve his purposes. I argued that in key states like Colorado, a Johnson vote could give the election to Obama.

Con did not dispute any of my contentions. In R3 he argued that the election was very close. Yes, of course, that was my point. He also argued, if I understand correctly, that the Johnson vote might not necessarily tip the whole election, even if it tipped Colorado. I agree, it's possible that might happen. That doesn't dispute my argument that since this election could be tipping point for the future of the Republic, the risk is too great for libertarians to take a chance of losing their future. con may not argument about the risks, only the possibilities.

3. Supporting Romney is not apostasy

"Apostasy" is something that absolutely cannot be said or believed, usually as a part of a religion. Since libertarianism is not akin to a religion, it is irrational for Libertarians to oppose someone for failure to subscribe completely to a doctrine.

I think the bulk of Con's arguments are along the lines of ideological purity. The idea is that death is better than voting some guy who wants voter IDs. Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration. My argument is that holding to litmus tests on issues of little relative importance is irrational. I pointed to arch-libertarian economist Milton Freedom who felt that the Republican Party was the best avenue for advancing libertarianism. Ron Paul appears to be getting ready to endorse Romney, and his website is arguing against strict ideological purity.

In the last round, my opponent argued that Senator Rand Paul was "fried" by ideological purists for supporting Romney. this proves there are ideological purist libertarians opposed to practical libertarians like Ron Paul, Rand Paul, and Milton Friedman. However, that some such purists exist does not argue that they are being rational. Con gives no reason why libertarians should have a doctrine of apostasy.

Some religious adherents believe that certain acts are forbidden because doing them endangers one's soul, no matter what. But there is no parallel reason for libertarians holding belief in apostasy. Moreover, if there were such a reason it wouldn't be relevant to this debate. This debate is about the practical goal of having libertarian ideas prevail. Failing in a state of libertarian purity may have some satisfaction, but failing is not success.

4. It's about the economy, and we're not stupid

I argued that President Obama favors government control of the economy through regulation, and I pointed to the advances of government control in energy, health care, banking, and other areas. I claimed, and pointed to Milton Friedman's book as support, that free markets are the fundamental precursor to all other rights and freedoms. I established that Romney is a capitalist and would derail the attempts for government to control the economy. As far as I can see, Con made no counter arguments to these points.

Con declared that Romney's record in Massachusetts showed the was a big government guy. I pointed out that Romney had a legislature that was 85% Democrats, and that Romney vetoed some 900 spending bills. to prove equivalence, Con would need to show President Obama's record of vetoing hundreds of spending bills. That didn't happen.

My main argument was that social legislation is subordinate to a free economy. I additionally argued that many of the social issues of concern were far less important than con contends. It's an interesting debate as to what extent the rules of war, as opposed to civilian rules, should apply in the war against terrorism, but it's a relative fine point. A guy who cut off heads on television was waterboarded and is now comfortably retired. Waterboarding is not, then, a good reason to risk the future of free markets. It's a legitimate concern, but not primary.

I pointed out that con's claims of violations of libertarian doctrine were not even shared by all libertarians. The libertarian argument against requiring voter ID is that it costs the government something to provide free IDs to he few people who don't have them. I cited libertarians unconvinced that's a good tradeoff against multiple voting and unqualified voting. Con did not respond.

-------------------------------

Con's sources supported his notions that some of Romney's positions were not in accordance with con's idea of libertarian doctrine. In general, I agree that Romney is not a strict Libertarian. However, Con provided virtually nothing authoritative contrary to my contentions. He would, for example, need evidence that a Johnson protest vote would be unlikely to affect the election or that Obama was not a socialist (as defined) or that Romney was a socialist and not a capitalist. I provided solid sources relative to the issues of the debate. It should count a lot that Friedman does not believe in a Libertarian theory of apostasy and that con could not find any prominent libertarian who does.

Under our agreed-upon rules, con cannot make new arguements in the las round.

I think Con's argument is that libertarianism is akin to a religion, with a substantial dogma that must be subscribed to completely, and that apostasy cannot be tolerated. I disagree. socialism was implemented piece by piece, and the only way to get rid of it is by dismantling it piece by piece. Dismantling will improve the nation, so the method can succeed. Demanding a revolution will not succeed in achieving libertarian goals, and another four years of Obama may well result in a majority so dependent on government that we cannot recover.

Libertarians should be practical. the resolution is affirmed.

Microsuck

Con

I have been unable to post my argument due to the problems I've had with DDO and for the fact that I've been super busy. I'll explain more in the comments but there is 2 hours left on the clock and don't have time to post an argument. I greatly apologize to Roy for forfeiting the final round. Voters, give Roy the conduct point.
Debate Round No. 4
28 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by babyy 4 years ago
babyy
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Posted by NextGenerationElephant 5 years ago
NextGenerationElephant
I'm just going to state my stance in two words: H*ll no! We are talking about people (including myself) who believe in small government, no income tax, no interventionalist policies, no patriot act, etc. Mitt Romney likes the size of our government, likes interventionalist polices and likes the patriot act. You are asking people to disregard all of their beliefs and vote for this guy. That is just not happening.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
I don't doubt people are willing to tax themselves to support poor people. Charity exists when there is no government involvement. However, the charitable instinct is not enough to build a socialist state. Socialism requires getting the non-poor to believe they are dependent upon government.
Posted by LaissezFaire 5 years ago
LaissezFaire
You misunderstand me. I don't think people 'rationally appraise the good of society', I'm saying they irrationally appraise the good of society. I think that the most important supporters of the welfare state aren't poor people on welfare, but middle class and rich people who think that taxing themselves to give to the poor is against their interests, but support it anyway. They can feel good about themselves for helping people without having to actually pay the costs of helping people themselves, since the act of voting for higher taxes doesn't actually sacrifice anything--their supposedly altruistic vote won't make a difference in the outcome.

And speaking of the attitude of government dependence, you might find this story amusing: http://news.yahoo.com...
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
@LF, "I think this paper ( http://econfaculty.gmu.edu...... ) makes a compelling case that people do not generally vote in what they think is their self-interest, they vote for what they think is best for society." That paper was written in 2002, based upon voting patterns in prior elections. The way that socialism wins is to convince each special interest group that their special benefits are truly deserved and are in the best interests of society as a whole. That's reinforced by eliminating all the alternatives to government control, so that people come to believe that if government stopped controlling things, society will fall apart. Try to make a cut in Social Security or Medicare and see if people rationally appraise the good of society.

Obama has made enormous progress in selling the state as the essential pillar of society. I took part in in phone-in "town hall" meeting with our local ultra-leftist Congressman, Pete Stark. Virtually every caller said they needed something (housing, education, a new kitchen, bus service, whatever). To each one Stark replied that Democrats were trying to get that for them, but Republicans were blocking it. The attitude of dependence on government was scary.
Posted by LaissezFaire 5 years ago
LaissezFaire
If only the resolution didn't specify that your strategy had to be supporting a 3rd party if you were Con--I would have liked to take this.
Posted by LaissezFaire 5 years ago
LaissezFaire
RFD, Part 2:

"Although I concede that the economy is the most important issue to this election, it misses the entire point of the debate." -Con
I don't think it does. Pro argued that Romney is better than Obama on economic issues, and that supporting Gary Johnson over Romney means it's more likely that Obama will win. Obviously Gary Johnson is better than either of them on economic and social issues, but he isn't going to win, so it doesn't matter. Con argues that Romney is bad on a bunch of trivial issues, from gay marriage to drug legalization. While this is true, I don't think it makes his case because A) He concedes that the economy is more important than these things and B) Gary Johnson isn't going to win.

I'm shocked that Con never thought to mention foreign policy. A case could easily be made that, from a libertarian perspective, foreign policy is the most important political issue, and Romney would be worse than Obama on foreign policy.

I don't think Con's conduct was poor enough to lose the conduct point--he made an honest mistake judging how much time he'd have to finish, and was courteous enough to post his concession before the clock ran out and the debate failed to get on the front page.
Posted by LaissezFaire 5 years ago
LaissezFaire
Clear win for Pro here.

Pro showed that there are significant differences in Obama/Romney's views on socialism and capitalism. I found the veto evidence from when Romney was the governor of Massachusetts particularly compelling on this point--concrete actions are more important than personal views.

I don't buy Pro's contention that voters will vote in what they think is their own self-interest--for a bunch more benefits paid for by other people. It sounds plausible, but I don't think there's much empirical evidence supporting the self-interested voter hypothesis. I think this paper ( http://econfaculty.gmu.edu... ) makes a compelling case that people do not generally vote in what they think is their self-interest, they vote for what they think is best for society. They vote for socialism and welfare because they don't understand economics, not because they're selfish. Con didn't make this argument though, and didn't really respond to Pro's tipping point idea at all, so it stands.

Pro soundly wins on his 'libertarianism is not a religion' argument. Con's response is that we shouldn't endorse Romney over the Libertarian Party's Gary Johnson--citing the Libertarian Party's website as justification. It's likely the case that the vast majority of libertarians feel the same way, not just the Libertarian Party, but that fact that they do think that hardly proves the case that they shouldn't change their minds.

I personally still won't be voting for Romney, or anyone else, because even if it makes sense for libertarians collectively to support Romney, it still doesn't make sense from an individual perspective, because one vote won't make a difference.
Posted by Microsuck 5 years ago
Microsuck
Please forgive me for forfeiting the final round. I've had issues with the DDO text editor and DDO in general lately with the bugs. I am aparently not the only one with the issue <http://www.debate.org... >. It should be fixed now. Again, greatly apologize!
Posted by KingOfTrolls1 5 years ago
KingOfTrolls1
no
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Vote Placed by BennyW 5 years ago
BennyW
RoyLathamMicrosuckTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con failed to fully address all of pro's points and then he forfeited.
Vote Placed by Contra 5 years ago
Contra
RoyLathamMicrosuckTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro had arguments that centered around the fact that Libertarians should vote for the lesser of "two" evils. Con argued more around the fact that but no, Romney is more big government than Johnson! Pro refuted this, and said that although Romney may be, Romney also supports unregulated Capitalism to a larger degree than Obama, and libertarians should get what they can get, to get representation at the table. Good arguments, Pro's arguments were more pragmatic, even if I disagree with them.
Vote Placed by Maedis 5 years ago
Maedis
RoyLathamMicrosuckTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro actually convinced me to consider Romney as a viable option. His argument was well developed. Con conceded so my vote goes to Roy - although I do wish I could read what would have been an even better debate.
Vote Placed by socialpinko 5 years ago
socialpinko
RoyLathamMicrosuckTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Though I think Pro's arguments were based on overstating differences between Romney and Obama and logically lead to never actually leaving the two-party system, Con failed to provide an argument in the last round. Dropped arguments therefore give the win to Pro.
Vote Placed by LaissezFaire 5 years ago
LaissezFaire
RoyLathamMicrosuckTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Comments.
Vote Placed by AlwaysMoreThanYou 5 years ago
AlwaysMoreThanYou
RoyLathamMicrosuckTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Good debate. Conduct because Con forfeited. Even before Con forfeited though, I thought Pro had stronger arguments because he pretty much showed supporting a libertarian wouldn't do any good, whereas supporting Romney could actually accomplish something.
Vote Placed by InVinoVeritas 5 years ago
InVinoVeritas
RoyLathamMicrosuckTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by FourTrouble 5 years ago
FourTrouble
RoyLathamMicrosuckTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Roy's arguments were stronger overall, even before Microsuck conceded. Roy effectively proved two things: one, that supporting Johnson would have detrimental effects because it would aid Obama's agenda; and second, that Romney represents a practical compromise for libertarians. Overall, an enjoyable read.