Libertarians Matter

To those in the Democratic Party that say derisively, “oooh, we could get the libertarian vote–both of them,” and to those in the Republican Party who similarly sneer at losing such support, consider this little passage from a piece in American Conservative on the breakup of the Cold War Consensus between the traditional conservatives and the libertarians: [via Libertarians for Dean]

The rift between conservatives and libertarians is not merely an esoteric debate between dueling pundits; it has also has concrete political ramifications. In one of the hardest-fought races of the 2002 campaign, Republican John Thune lost to incumbent Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) by just 524 votes. Libertarian Party candidate Kurt Evans won more than 3,000 votes�even though he dropped out of the race and endorsed Thune�more than enough to alter the outcome of the election. Small-l libertarians voting for Libertarian Party nominees rather than Republicans helped cost Republican Slade Gorton of Washington his Senate seat in 2000 and helped Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada hold onto his in 1998.

To quote another writer:

If you prick us, do we not bleed? […] and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?

Taste my vote, GOP.

3 thoughts on “Libertarians Matter

  1. I love the “taste my vote” line too… it reminds me of a play I wrote in high school, which ended with a climactic spatula fight and Our Hero exclaiming, as he runs through the Bad Guy with his trusty spatula, “Taste my steel, piglet!”

    I guess you had to be there 🙂


  2. Hmm. V. Postrel has a scary post on her blog, which may confirm a nervous set of hackles that have been raising themselves every time I’ve seen Dean speak.

    Basic gist, Dean is positioning himself as the ‘pro-regulation/anti-corporate’ candidate.

    Admittedly, he should at least be less nonchalant about ignoring the 4th, 5th, and 6th amendments, as with the Padilla case, the USA Patriot act, and others, than is Senor W. And W’s economic policies have been suspect, but suspect in all the same ways that Dean’s would naturally be as a left Democrat.

    He seems to have way to much belief in his righteous indignation NOT to interfere in all manner of things that he doesn’t know enough about. Add to that the impression that he really does believe he knows the answer to everything, and we’ve got a recipe for a worse trainwreck than W. might visit upon us.

    I’m startin’ to get the fear.


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