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What's a Libertarian to do?

innomen
Posts: 10,052
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9/21/2010 10:08:25 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I've heard libertarians here that range the political spectrum. To be honest i never knew there was such diversity within the Libertarian political philosophy. Here's the problem though: Who do you vote for? For a bunch of years i voted for Libertarian candidates and after a while my head began to bleed from hitting it against the wall over and over. I stopped voting libertarian because i accepted that this country is built around a 2 party system. The one thing both parties can agree on, and that is no more parties. So i figured i would go by a simple rule. Vote for the candidate that i believe will most likely reduce the size of government. If the size of government is reduced, many of the libertarian ideals should fall into place.

I am less convinced that this is an effective strategy today, but don't have one to take it's place. I don't care for the social agenda of many republicans, but like less the tendency, in both philosophy and practice, to increase the size and scope of government that the democrats hold. I'm more convinced that the free market will be free under republicans than democrats.

My hope is that young libertarians will inherit the republican party, but this may be a dream.
LaissezFaire
Posts: 2,050
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9/21/2010 10:13:24 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Republicans are not pro free market, they will not reduce the size of government. They always say they will, but they never have. There is no lesser evil, and you shouldn't believe anything either party says. Remember when Bush campaigned against nation building missions? Remember when the Democrats said they were going to get us out of Afghanistan and Iraq?

My plan is to write in mises.org for all of the candidates. The people counting the votes have to record every write-in vote, so hopefully they'll remember mine, go to the website, and learn a bit about economics and libertarianism. Unlikely to actually make a difference, but more likely to do so than voting for a politician.
Should we subsidize education?
http://www.debate.org...

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http://lewrockwell.com...

http://antiwar.com...

: At 6/22/2011 6:57:23 PM, el-badgero wrote:
: i didn't like [Obama]. he was the only black dude in moneygall yet he claimed to be home. obvious liar is obvious liar. i bet him and bin laden are bumfvcking right now.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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9/21/2010 10:16:57 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
If there's a libertarian you agree with in principle quite thoroughly (Ron Paul is not this man as far as I'm concerned), you should vote that way unless the freedom gap between the mainstream candidates is vast and the polls very narrow.

If there isn't, vote-- not necessarily for the one likely to shrink the size of government (unless, again, the gap is vast), but for the one whose effective likelihod of shrinking of the government is going to do the most clear good, and the one whose areas they want to increase state influence in are going to do the most clear bad, so as to make the effects clearer for everyone. At least, weigh those factors. It doesn't do any good if they take restraint as a sign that the government is limited enough-- opportunities for massive change only come if people are pissed off about something.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
I-am-a-panda
Posts: 15,380
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9/21/2010 10:18:38 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
When I can vote I'm going to do it on a per-candidate basis, and in local election attempt to write to candidates to get their views on specific issues. If one is lenient enough on social and\or economic issues I'll vote for them.
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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9/21/2010 10:24:20 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
Panda, you have multi parties, so the dynamics aren't the same. YOu have a better chance of getting the one you want because the votes are more diffused.

Laissez, that's the banging your head on the wall route, and it's no fun after a few years.

Rangnar seems to have the most practical answer, but he counts on faith of the candidate, and they tend to let us down over and over, but i am unsure of what else to do. Romney (for an example) might be a best direction, and i vowed i could never vote for him.
LaissezFaire
Posts: 2,050
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9/21/2010 10:27:33 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I don't think voting will change much. This country will have to shrink government substantially anyway when the debt crisis hits and the economy completely collapses, simply because we won't be able to borrow any more. It would be nice if the size of the government shrunk before then, but I wouldn't get my hopes up.
Should we subsidize education?
http://www.debate.org...

http://mises.org...

http://lewrockwell.com...

http://antiwar.com...

: At 6/22/2011 6:57:23 PM, el-badgero wrote:
: i didn't like [Obama]. he was the only black dude in moneygall yet he claimed to be home. obvious liar is obvious liar. i bet him and bin laden are bumfvcking right now.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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9/21/2010 10:28:44 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/21/2010 10:27:33 AM, LaissezFaire wrote:
I don't think voting will change much. This country will have to shrink government substantially anyway when the debt crisis hits and the economy completely collapses, simply because we won't be able to borrow any more. It would be nice if the size of the government shrunk before then, but I wouldn't get my hopes up.

Voting should remain pursued if nothing else, so that when alternate routes (Like conquering some totalitarian hellhole and starting from scratch with a new gov't) are tried, we can claim "Well, the ballot didn't work."
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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9/21/2010 10:38:39 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
I'm still thinking that infiltration of the republican party is the best route. THat's essentially what's happened to the democrat party.
Reasoning
Posts: 4,456
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9/21/2010 10:45:57 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal." - Emma Goldman

Voting isn't going to change anything, especially not one vote.
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
Reasoning
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9/21/2010 10:49:33 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Building a new world in the shell of the old
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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9/21/2010 10:51:01 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/21/2010 10:45:57 AM, Reasoning wrote:
"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal." - Emma Goldman

Voting isn't going to change anything, especially not one vote.

Reasoning, if you don't actually have anything worthwhile to stay on the matter, then don't bloody well say it.

Anyways... innomen, I've asked the question in reverse, and people have told me they tend to forget the parties themselves, because they're not going to present the right ideas and the right direction. However, individual candidates can and do offer that specific ideology, and that is with both Democrats and Republicans, or Liberals and Conservatives, etc. Most libertarians I know vote by which candidate they think will represent their views, even if their party affiliation doesn't. Hell, I know libertarians that vote for the out-and-out statist party in my country!
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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9/21/2010 10:52:07 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/21/2010 10:45:57 AM, Reasoning wrote:
"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal." - Emma Goldman

Voting isn't going to change anything, especially not one vote.

You keep saying that, and you are correct in that one vote will not change anything, that's why not only one person votes. I don't care for formalized parties, but i do think that a movement can create change, it has in the past.
Reasoning
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9/21/2010 10:52:51 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/21/2010 10:51:01 AM, Volkov wrote:
At 9/21/2010 10:45:57 AM, Reasoning wrote:
"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal." - Emma Goldman

Voting isn't going to change anything, especially not one vote.

Reasoning, if you don't actually have anything worthwhile to stay on the matter, then don't bloody well say it.

That was quite worthwhile. Think of all the time I've saved him from having to worry about these things and then take the time to vote. He can now spend his time doing more productive things, like buying lottery tickets.
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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9/21/2010 10:53:40 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/21/2010 10:52:51 AM, Reasoning wrote:
That was quite worthwhile. Think of all the time I've saved him from having to worry about these things and then take the time to vote. He can now spend his time doing more productive things, like buying lottery tickets.

Dude, he didn't, and never will, actually listen to you.
Reasoning
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9/21/2010 10:54:07 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/21/2010 10:52:07 AM, innomen wrote:
You keep saying that, and you are correct in that one vote will not change anything,

I'm glad you admit this.

that's why not only one person votes.

Non sequitur

I don't care for formalized parties, but i do think that a movement can create change, it has in the past.

Movements certainly can. A vote will not.
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
Reasoning
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9/21/2010 10:55:36 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/21/2010 10:53:40 AM, Volkov wrote:
At 9/21/2010 10:52:51 AM, Reasoning wrote:
That was quite worthwhile. Think of all the time I've saved him from having to worry about these things and then take the time to vote. He can now spend his time doing more productive things, like buying lottery tickets.

Dude, he didn't, and never will, actually listen to you.

If so, it's not due to lack of trying on my part. I disagree though, he's a smart man.

If you're right then, then my attempts are about as fruitful as voting.
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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9/21/2010 10:55:39 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/21/2010 10:51:01 AM, Volkov wrote:
At 9/21/2010 10:45:57 AM, Reasoning wrote:
"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal." - Emma Goldman

Voting isn't going to change anything, especially not one vote.

Reasoning, if you don't actually have anything worthwhile to stay on the matter, then don't bloody well say it.


Anyways... innomen, I've asked the question in reverse, and people have told me they tend to forget the parties themselves, because they're not going to present the right ideas and the right direction. However, individual candidates can and do offer that specific ideology, and that is with both Democrats and Republicans, or Liberals and Conservatives, etc. Most libertarians I know vote by which candidate they think will represent their views, even if their party affiliation doesn't. Hell, I know libertarians that vote for the out-and-out statist party in my country!

I generally do vote to the person, not the party. I don't belong to any party and i don't think i ever shall. However it always seems to work out that i'm voting for republicans, and i guess i just hope that someone will show up that's more in line with libertarian ideas, instead of the same old crap. More banging my head against a wall.
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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9/21/2010 10:59:59 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/21/2010 10:54:07 AM, Reasoning wrote:
At 9/21/2010 10:52:07 AM, innomen wrote:
You keep saying that, and you are correct in that one vote will not change anything,

I'm glad you admit this.

that's why not only one person votes.

Non sequitur

I don't care for formalized parties, but i do think that a movement can create change, it has in the past.

Movements certainly can. A vote will not.

The act of voting itself may be even just a little symbolic if nothing else, but the symbolic value to me is that i am a member of this society. By not voting and giving up that function i have in this society, i give more power to those who do vote by default.

Why don't you run for office, you will have far more power to implement change.
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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9/21/2010 11:08:29 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/21/2010 10:55:39 AM, innomen wrote:
I generally do vote to the person, not the party. I don't belong to any party and i don't think i ever shall. However it always seems to work out that i'm voting for republicans, and i guess i just hope that someone will show up that's more in line with libertarian ideas, instead of the same old crap. More banging my head against a wall.

I view your problem in two parts:

First, the fact is, there aren't very many successful libertarian politicians. You can point to Ron Paul, Barry Goldwater, Gary Johnson, and some others, but the fact is, they're not an overwhelming majority. A lot of libertarian candidates are out there, to be sure - but the question is, are they going to be successful? Most aren't that successful or suited to politics at all. Even if their ideas are popular, if they don't have the skill set to get the message out, they'll fall flat on their faces.

Secondly, if you can't get a successful libertarian candidate who has an actual chance, then your vote will end up being wasted, and if you actually want it to be productive, you need to find another candidate. That leads to people breaking with some of the principles they want in a candidate, to vote for someone who has some parts of the package, but not the whole. People rationalize it as getting some of what you want and actually getting those ideas into Congress, versus getting all of what you want yet never having a chance.

'Tis a predicament.
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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9/21/2010 11:18:39 AM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/21/2010 11:08:29 AM, Volkov wrote:
At 9/21/2010 10:55:39 AM, innomen wrote:
I generally do vote to the person, not the party. I don't belong to any party and i don't think i ever shall. However it always seems to work out that i'm voting for republicans, and i guess i just hope that someone will show up that's more in line with libertarian ideas, instead of the same old crap. More banging my head against a wall.

I view your problem in two parts:

First, the fact is, there aren't very many successful libertarian politicians. You can point to Ron Paul, Barry Goldwater, Gary Johnson, and some others, but the fact is, they're not an overwhelming majority. A lot of libertarian candidates are out there, to be sure - but the question is, are they going to be successful? Most aren't that successful or suited to politics at all. Even if their ideas are popular, if they don't have the skill set to get the message out, they'll fall flat on their faces.

Secondly, if you can't get a successful libertarian candidate who has an actual chance, then your vote will end up being wasted, and if you actually want it to be productive, you need to find another candidate. That leads to people breaking with some of the principles they want in a candidate, to vote for someone who has some parts of the package, but not the whole. People rationalize it as getting some of what you want and actually getting those ideas into Congress, versus getting all of what you want yet never having a chance.

'Tis a predicament.

Thanks for pointing that out.
Reasoning
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9/21/2010 1:29:30 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/21/2010 11:08:29 AM, Volkov wrote:
then your vote will end up being wasted

It's hard to waste something that isn't worth anything in the first place.
"What we really ought to ask the liberal, before we even begin addressing his agenda, is this: In what kind of society would he be a conservative?" - Joseph Sobran
innomen
Posts: 10,052
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9/21/2010 2:14:29 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/21/2010 1:29:30 PM, Reasoning wrote:
At 9/21/2010 11:08:29 AM, Volkov wrote:
then your vote will end up being wasted

It's hard to waste something that isn't worth anything in the first place.

Would you want to debate this? You believe that elections change nothing?
PARADIGM_L0ST
Posts: 6,958
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9/21/2010 3:53:47 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/21/2010 10:08:25 AM, innomen wrote:
I've heard libertarians here that range the political spectrum. To be honest i never knew there was such diversity within the Libertarian political philosophy. Here's the problem though: Who do you vote for? For a bunch of years i voted for Libertarian candidates and after a while my head began to bleed from hitting it against the wall over and over. I stopped voting libertarian because i accepted that this country is built around a 2 party system. The one thing both parties can agree on, and that is no more parties. So i figured i would go by a simple rule. Vote for the candidate that i believe will most likely reduce the size of government. If the size of government is reduced, many of the libertarian ideals should fall into place.:

I disagree. As long as we treat the country as a 2-party system, it will remain a 2-party system. The only way you can "throw your vote away" is by not voting at all.

Secondly, the Libertarian Party is not just an economic platform. Since they tend to be socially liberal and fiscally conservative, it seems that the candidate that gets my vote is the one is most closely aligned with my philosophies. I wouldn't brush aside Hitler's social record just because he could downsize the government. That's not the only presidential goal in life.

My hope is that young libertarians will inherit the republican party, but this may be a dream.:

When the hijackers of the Republican Party (neo-cons) give back the party to its rightful owners (true conservatives), and the hijackers of the Democrat Party (Progressives) give back the party to its rightful owners (small "l" liberals), I won't inherit them.

This rationale you have adopted I think is endemic of the overall problem... You're settling for the crumbs from the table.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
comoncents
Posts: 5,647
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9/21/2010 8:14:49 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
Libertarians are not with out flaw.
I understand the concept everyone here is attracted too, but "Libertarian" is not the greatest thing since sliced bread.

I think some of you need to hear it sometimes.
TPF
Posts: 98
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9/22/2010 4:32:25 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/21/2010 8:14:49 PM, comoncents wrote:
Libertarians are not with out flaw.
I understand the concept everyone here is attracted too, but "Libertarian" is not the greatest thing since sliced bread.

I think some of you need to hear it sometimes.

It does have its flaws, but it IS the greatest thing since sliced bread ;)
InsertNameHere
Posts: 15,699
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9/22/2010 4:37:08 PM
Posted: 6 years ago
At 9/22/2010 4:32:25 PM, TPF wrote:
At 9/21/2010 8:14:49 PM, comoncents wrote:
Libertarians are not with out flaw.
I understand the concept everyone here is attracted too, but "Libertarian" is not the greatest thing since sliced bread.

I think some of you need to hear it sometimes.

It does have its flaws, but it IS the greatest thing since sliced bread ;)

Exactly. Every ideology has flaws. :P