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Libertarians should vote for Romney

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/26/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,173 times Debate No: 25846
Debate Rounds (4)
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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 accept.
Debate Round No. 1


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[1]. 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[1].

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[3]. This is due to his pledge to "double Guantanamo"[4], a support for torture[5], favoring an expansion of warrantless wiretapping under the PATRIOT ACT[6], 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."[7] Romney's vice Presidential pick, Paul Ryan, has even called for Congress to authorize military force on Iran right now[8], which is basically equivilant to a declaration of war today, as Congress rarely makes formal "war" resolutions[9]. 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[10]. 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[11]. Should he reach 15% nationwide, he will be included in the Presidential debates[12], 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[13], 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, my edits are in italics):

The final score is:

Republicans: 10
Democrats: 6
Tie: 2

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.

Issue Republican Party Democratic Party Libertarian Party
Social Security

Social security should be privatized (not to be confused with private savings accounts, but rather, private investments).

Arguably closer to Libertarian.

Social security should remain a government sponsored insurance plan for retirees.

Believe in an "opt out" policy in which one can choose to privately invest (they believe this to be the better option) or go with a government sponsored social security plan.
Jobs Pro small business. Supports giving small businesses tax incentives so that more jobs can be created.

Encourage businesses to keep jobs here and not outsource them overseas. Supports unions and advocates for the rights of low income workers.

Free market should dictate the job market.
Economy Supports free market competition and entrepreneurship, corporate deregulation and cutting entitlement spending.

Closer to Libertarian.
Increase taxes to cut deficit. Believes large deficit negatively affects government services and that low deficits stimulate the economy. 100% Free Market.
Security/Defense Believe in a proactive military and defense. Supports building weapons and technology that serve to protect our nation. Believe that peace is achieved through strong defense. Increase defense and research budget. Believe in a limited missile defense. Oppose nuclear buildup in the U.S. Believe that peace is achieved through worldwide relationship building.

Closer to Libertarian.
Believe in reducing nuclear arms in the U.S. Military should be used to protect people's livery and property only.
Legal/Tort Reform Supports tort reform and limiting victims compensation, especially for frivolous lawsuits. Oppose tort reform and oppose limiting liability of doctors and/or businesses.

Closer to Libertarian.
Generally does not support tort reform.
Tax Reform Supports tax cuts, low interest rates and the repeal of the death tax penalty in effort to stimulate the economy.

Arguably closer to Libertarian.
Generally supports raising taxes on the wealthy, lowering taxes for the middle class. Stridently opposes all government imposed taxes and employer withdrawal of employees money for tax purposes.
Immigration Generally supports closed or tight borders and tracking system for foreign travelers. Support illegal alien's ability and right to become citizens and giving them more protections under the law.

Closer to Libertarian.
Support open borders.
Faith Religion strongly associated with Republican party. Advocate free exercise of religion. Strict adherence between the separation between church and state. Promote secular issues and a more secular nation.

Closer to Libertarian.
Strong belief in separation of church and state and by contrast, Libertarians hold a strong belief in freedom of religion.
Education Promote school choice/vouchers and homeschooling. Supports voluntary student supported prayer in school. Opposes gender and race quotes in colleges.

Closer to Libertarian.
Oppose vouchers. Increase NCLB federal funding. Enact new taxes to decrease class size and hire new teachers. End government financial support of public schools, believe that all public schools should be privatized with tax credit for tuition.
Abortion Generally pro-life with emphasis on promoting alternatives to abortion. Generally pro-choice owning the mantra, "Safe, legal, rare."

Closer to Libertarian.
Adamantly pro-choice but oppose any government financial aid to subsidize abortions.
Energy Oppose Kyoto treaty. Support tax incentives for energy production.

Closer to Libertarian.
Wish to find environmentally friendly energy sources and solutions. Oppose increased drilling, especially in the U.S. Supports deregulation and believes all government energy resources should be turned over to private ownership. Opposes government conservation of energy.
Heathcare Keep healthcare private. Would like to impose caps on malpractice suits. Supports reformed medicare to give seniors more choices.

Closer to Libertarian.
Supports more federally funded healthcare programs. Strongly supports a complete separation of healthcare and state. Supports the deregulation of the healthcare industry.
Foreign Policy Spread Democracy. Supports UN reform. Wants to stop WMD proliferation countries. Believe that nations who support terrorist are just as bad as the terrorist themselves.

Arguably closer to Libertarian.
Strongly supports worldwide coalitions and multi-national programs. Supports aid for disadvantaged countries. Supports the UN. End all foreign aid because it's the same as welfare for nations. Believes that aid perpetuates independence on your government.
Campaign Finance Reform Generally support soft money contributions from individuals but supports limiting it from corporations. Also supports full disclosure.

Closer to Libertarian.
Favor more regulation with spending limits on individuals and corporations. No restrictions on contributions form any legal resident. Believe that politicians holding an office should not be able to run for another seat until term is over.
Environment Supports privatizing federal land. Believe in cap and trade market based air pollution reductions and that the market should regulate itself.

Closer to Libertarian.
Generally puts the interest of the environment over business. Wants to maintain federal land under government control. Believes that land and animals should be sold to private organizations or ranchers and taken out of the hands of the government because private citizens will care for it better.
Guns Limited gun control.

Closer to Libertarian.
Strict gun control. No control whatsoever.
Gay Rights Oppose gay marriage. Supports constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Generally supports gay marriage although Democrats remain largely divided on the issue, as some only support civil unions.

Closer to Libertarian.
Pro private choice and equality including marriage.
Debate Round No. 2


Unfortunately, personal conflicts in schedule mean I will not be able to complete this debate. I apologize and congratulate my opponent.


M4sterDeb8er forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Extend all arguments.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by M4sterDeb8er 5 years ago
I agree 90% of the time with libertarians, so I hope I can debate from their point of view effectively.
Posted by Mr_Anon 5 years ago
I was hoping to debate an actual libertarian or Romney supporter (seeing as I am neither), but this will be fun nonetheless.
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