Libertarians should vote for Romney
Debate Rounds (4)
This will be a debate about whether libertarians should vote for Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
My opponent, who will be taking the Pro position, will argue that libertarians should vote for Romney. I will be taking the Con position, so I will be contending this.
First round for acceptance only.
Second round for intros.
Third round for response.
Fourth round for conclusion.
I thank my opponent for accepting.
Libertarianism can be described as a political philosophy that emphasizes personal liberty and protection from the government. In the United States, this often refers to economically conservative and socially liberal views. I will argue against the resolution that libertarians should vote for Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Mitt Romney is unworthy of libertarian vote
One of the most important aspects of libertarianism is the emphasis on the protection of civil liberty. Civil liberties are special freedoms protected by the United States constitution that outline a set of distinct "liberties" - things that the government cannot do to you. These include a right to due process, freedom of speech, and equal protection under the law.
Mitt Romney, as President, will not protect civil liberties. The ACLU ranked him last of all 2012 Presidential candidates in terms of civil liberties, getting a score of "zero" in every area. This is due to his pledge to "double Guantanamo", a support for torture, favoring an expansion of warrantless wiretapping under the PATRIOT ACT, and many other discriminatory positions on gay rights and women's freedom, sources of which can be seen in the ACLU report. Clearly, Romney does not favor personal liberty, and is fine with the government infringing on people's privacy. The fact that Romney scored worse than every other candidate included (tied with Rick Santorum) alone should make libertarians think twice about voting for this man.
Libertarians also favor a noninterventionist foreign policy, where the United States uses military force in other countries only in extreme situations. Romney has favored a use of military force on Iran. From his own website, he says "U.S. policy toward Iran must begin with an understanding on Iran’s part that a military option to deal with their nuclear program remains on the table. This message should not only be delivered through words, but through actions. The United States should restore the regular presence of aircraft carrier task forces in both the Eastern Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf region simultaneously." Romney's vice Presidential pick, Paul Ryan, has even called for Congress to authorize military force on Iran right now, which is basically equivilant to a declaration of war today, as Congress rarely makes formal "war" resolutions. As the current Obama administration's military advisers have noted, as concerning as Iran's nuclear program may seem, premature military force when we do not even know the full story would be irresponsible and dangerous. In short, Romney's policy would be directly contrary to the noninterventionist foreign policy libertarians favor.
There are more choices than Romney
As seen in the above ACLU report, many candidates currently running would be far better on civil liberties than Romney, including Obama and Gary Johnson. While libertarians sometimes claim that Obama and Romney are equivilant, Obama's pro-liberty positions on reproductive rights, gay rights, torture, voting rights, etc. As shown above, Obama's military advisers also oppose unilateral attack on Iran by Israel, and his current policy mainly relies on sanctions and diplomacy. Although some of Obama's domestic policy positions are contary to libertarian viewpoints, he is clearly more favorable to civil liberties than this opponent.
Gary Johnson is another choice. Gary Johnson in the ACLU report is given the highest overall score of any candidate. Gary Johnson is currently running as the Libertarian Party candidate for President. Johnson currently polls in double digits in some states. Should he reach 15% nationwide, he will be included in the Presidential debates, and the libertarian message points will be voiced to the entire nation. Should Johnson even get 5% of the vote, his party will be eligible for federal matching funds in 2012, possibly giving the Libertarian Party an even greater chance ov receiving national attention.
In short, Romney would be a poor choice for libertarians due to his anti-liberty positions on civil liberties and war, and both Barack Obama and Gary Johnson would be better choices.
In theory, it seems like Gary Johnson would be the best man to vote for in order to get the voices of Libertarians into government. In fact, I will agree that Gary Johnson is the best man for the job if you want a president that supports the policies that a Libertarian does. This debate, however, is not about who best embodies the Libertarian agenda. It is about who a Libertarian should vote for. And that man is Mitt Romney. Here's why:
1. Look at history.
Something very similar to what might happen if Gary Johnson gets a large following already happened in American history. The election of 1912. Theodore Roosevelt ran as a third party candidate and came in second place. Taft ran as a Republican and came in third place. Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat, won. He did not recieve a majority of the votes, 42 percent. The Progressive Party and the Republican Party recieved a combined total of 50% of the votes. Had Theodore Roosevelt not run, the Republican Party would have likely won the presidency. A third party candidate actually had a chance of winning one time, and that chance ruined the election for everyone who swayed Republican. I envision this happening again.
2. Mitt Romney is closer to Libertarian Ideas.
Here are just a few important issues to compare (I got the chart off of imperfectparent.com, my edits are in italics):
The final score is:
In the face of the fact that third parties have never won the presidency, and that Romney, while not perfect, is the more Libertarian of the two, I declare that Mitt Romney is, in fact, the best choice for a Libertarian for president.
M4sterDeb8er forfeited this round.
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