Free Markets, Free People

Libertarians break for Romney

CATO has the news:

The Reason-Rupe September 2012 poll includes our favorite ideological questions to differentiate libertarians from liberals and conservatives. Using three questions, we can define libertarians as respondents who believe “the less government the better,” who prefer the “free market” to handle problems, and who want government to “favor no particular set of values.” These fiscally conservative, socially liberal voters represent 20% of the public in the Reason-Rupe poll, in line with previous estimates.

Among these likely libertarian voters, the presidential horserace currently stands:

Romney 77%
Obama 20%
Other 3%

Romney’s share of the libertarian vote represents a high water mark for Republican presidential candidates in recent elections.

I find it difficult to believe 20% of the “libertarian” vote would go to Obama, but whatever.

Bush pulled 70% of the libertarian vote in 2000. But that percentage dropped to 59 in 2004.

So what if Gary Johnson is included?

Romney 70%
Obama 13%
Johnson 14%
Other 3%

A pretty even split between libertarians voting for Romney and Obama (7% each).

This is all interesting for a number of reasons.  One is that many libertarians like to argue that “true” libertarians would never vote for any Republican or Democrat.  Yet when you look at the numbers, and unless you’re willing to exclude about 97% of self-identified libertarians, that’s just not at all the case.  In fact, in the last two presidential elections (2004 and 2008), third party candidates have pulled a whopping 3% of the libertarian vote.  Yeah big “L” libertarian party types, it’s not selling.    A lot of that has to do with “principles” which simply aren’t realistic (you know, like isolationism and open borders?  Both have been overcome by events in case you haven’t noticed.).  Once the Libertarian party begins dealing with the problems and realities of the here and now, and not how they’d like it to be, you may see those numbers change.

Until then, the lesser of two evils prevails.  The reason for the record break this year?  Probably because most libertarians understand that Obama and the Democrats pose the biggest internal danger to freedom and liberty this country has faced in quite some time.   Is Romney/Ryan the panacea?  Are you kidding?  But first you have to remove the danger.  Then you can work on repairing the damage.

And it won’t be quickly done as all of us know.  I look for many “ones step forward, two steps back” days even after Obama is sent into retirement.

But one thing is for sure – this nation cannot afford another 4 years of Barack Obama.


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70 Responses to Libertarians break for Romney

  • “It’s not selling”
    Gee, I guess unreasonable Ballot restrictions, MSM that excludes them from coverage, and a corrupt debate commission have little to do with that?? Oh yeah, don’t forget an apathetic and ignorant electorate. I can count on one hand the number of people who I have met (and i have spoken with over a thousand) that disagree with Gov. Johnson’s policies. They all say, “yeah, I’d love for him to win, but this is a two party system so I gotta choose one of the other guys”
    That is not the same as “Big L isn’t selling”. Look at Johnson’s record as Governor (that is the chief executive of a state not a lone congressman, sorry Ron Paul) compared to Romney. Jobs – GJ – 1st, MR – 47th. GJ turned deficit into surplus. MR – debt, debt, debt. GJ also did this while rating 21/24 by the ACLU. (Obama – 18/24, Mitt Romney – 0/24) GJ also never introduced state run health care.
    Yeah, have fun with Mittens. But I will be the first one to comment when you complain that he didn’t repeal Obamacare, raises taxes and increases government more than Obama. Probably he will intervene in Syria as well.
    Have Fun!!

    • Well count me on that one hand. I’ve met Gary Johnson, I’ve interviewed Gary Johnson and while there are a lot of things I agree with him on, those little sticking points I mention plus his desire to gut the military left me less than enthused. And even with full ballot access, as some of our libertarian candidates have enjoyed, that 3% is still what they’ve gathered from the libertarian vote. Note that again – the LIBERTARIAN vote.

      • Note to mention the fact that Mr. Johnson was governor of a VERY different state than Massive-2-spits, making a lot of his comparisons specious.

    • “unreasonable Ballot restrictions”
      You haven’t lived until you try to get somebody on a ballot.  All the rules are against newbees; most are unwritten

  • I can’t feature anyone but exceptionally stupid people or doctrinaire Collectivists voting for Obama (but I repeat myself).
    I have never known a more crucial election than the one approaching.

  • I’d like to see a survey of self-identified libertarians to see how many actually agree with the libertarian creed.
    In my experience working elections, many people register in a third party simply to avoid being in the big two, without even realizing that it’s an actual party with ideology that they are registering in.

  • Couple of points –
    First, you forgot to mention the poll data from ’08 which had the libertarian vote for the Republican candidate at 71%.  Romney’s +6% swing amongst self-identified libertarians is not that significant.
    I find it interesting that the poll you cite has Obama’s job approval above water at 51%; for opinion, it shows a higher disapproval of Romney than approval at the same time it shows a higher approval for Obama;  if the election were held today, it would go for Obama; “if you do not choose a ticket” – yep, Obama’s got that one too; the “better off than four years ago” wins out; they favored raising taxes on those households making greater than $250k and think it would help the economy; and on… and on… and on…
    This poll is not good news for you.
    And it’s funny as hell that the poll is being derided by some on the Right as being “skewed” – not surprisingly.
    And second, this:

    I look for many “ones step forward, two steps back” days even after Obama is sent into retirement.

    … is delusional.  It’s more like two steps backwards, one step for- trip, fall.
    The notion that you guys are making any progress within the GOP is laughable.

  • Poll: 79% Say All Americans Should Pay Income Taxes. Even 71% of Democrats agree. #Reynolds2016. Related: The Fiscal Costs of Nontaxpayers. “Aside from the revenue impact of not having 58 million Americans pay income taxes, economists worry about the social and political effects of having so many people disconnected from the cost of government—a phenomenon known as fiscal illusion. The concern is that when people perceive the cost of government to be cheaper than it really is, they will demand ever more government benefits because they either don’t feel the cost directly or believe that others will be paying those costs.”

    Some delusional people think that, “The notion that you guys are making any progress…is laughable”.
    We are making progress every day, if you have the wit to see it.

    • I like how you ellipsis out the object of the statement.
      “The notion that you guys are making any progress within the GOP is laughable.”
      But whatever.
      I guess omission is the stock-in-trade necessary for Republicans these days.  Like your from your man Reynolds.

      Poll: 79% Say All Americans Should Pay Income Taxes.

      Actually, that’s not what the poll says.  Read it again, “A large majority of likely voters believes all Americans should pay some federal income tax.”
      But whatever.  I don’t know why you think that’s relevant to my claim that your not making progress within the GOP, or to the topic of the post.
      Oh, right.  You omitted the language making up your own argument to attack.
      That’s Ragspierre’s stock-in-trade.

      • Well, it really is simple, Poque.  The conservative movement is not the GOP.
        And I’m no more a Republican than you are sober.

  • “Gut the military”?? By taking it back to the year 2000 spending levels? Republicans would rather have too big a military that leads to bankruptcy and unnecessary wars than one that is equipped to protect our sovereignty.
    If we don’t cut military spending now (along with Medicare and Medicade) how good and safe will we be when we are living in a collapsed economy?? Guns are nice unless you are starving and bleeding because you spent all your money on them.
    Did invading Iraq make us safer? Did that accomplish a goal or just bleed our strength and resources? Mitt is a liberal with some business experience. He will raise your taxes, increase medicare, increase the size and scope of the executive branch, wiretap your phones, further regulate your Internet content and increase the war on drugs. How voting FOR that is better than for a guy who vetoed 750 bills, increased state savings while reducing state government, risked his popularity to address the ridiculous drug war and school choice AND is a self made millionaire who built a business from a one man handy man service to over 1,000 people, you cannot support with reason or logic.
    Oh yeah,the other thing GJ has going for him is that Gary was not one of only two chief executives ever in the history of the US to sign into law an individual mandate to force citizens to buy health insurance.

    • There’s another thing he has going for him, he might get, oh, 100,000 votes nationally.
      “guns are nice unless you are starving and bleeding because you spent all your money on them” – identical to spending your vote on a candidate that only in some remote corner of an alternate universe could get elected as President in 2012.
      It’s the same this time around.

  • Looker,
    You keep voting for them so you keep validating their behavior and tactics. I am least registering dissatisfaction by voting for someone other than them. You are saying “please, sir, may I have another” as they paddle you.
    Futility? You keep voting for them and they keep screwing you! Who is foolish here?

    • And you keep saying, “I’ll be the guy on the street with the sandwich-board, crying in the wilderness”.  Cheap sanctimony.

      • “Strange game.  The only winning move is not to play.”
        When you vote, you agree that if a majority of voters, populated heavily with abjectly ignorant dunces, select Barack Obama, you accept his continued trashing of the rights of Americans (by rational standards, or measured by the US Constitution).
        If, on the other hand, you reject the entire proposition, you’ve agreed to nothing of the sort and, unlike your voting neighbors, you have the right to complain about the result.

        • First…WTF…???  You sometimes don’t make sense.  If a majority of voters choose Obama, my “agreement” is moot.  And, if I vote AGAINST him, my statement is clear and in opposition.  YOURS, however, is NOT.  You are passive and quiescent.
          Second…STFW…???  Who’s gonna police my “unrightful complaining” (according to your assertion)…???

          • If there were a vote whether to put Jews in concentration camps, would you cast your ballot to save them?  Or, would you refuse to take part, insisting that their rights were not contingent upon any popularity contest?
            Participating in a vote means you agree to the outcome.  If your candidate wins, you tell the other side to accept their loss.  Likewise, if your side loses, you’ve agreed to peacefully accept the loss, to allow the winner to have the power for four years.  I don’t agree to this.
            Besides, even if I did agree to it, your rights are not mine to give away.  I don’t have the moral authority to take part of your paycheck to spend on things which I prefer but which you don’t.  I don’t have the authority to force you to buy things, to lock you up in a cage if you do things to your own body which don’t hurt anyone else.  How could I then transfer such authority to a “representative”?  But that is the premise behind a ballot.  It’s a permission slip for the “representative” to engage in activity which I, as an individual, have no right to do.
            Explain to me how multiplying zero authority times 100,000,000 gets you anything more than zero.
            It’s not about “policing” your complaining, either.  You can complain all you like if Obama wins.  And, I’ll just dismiss your complaint as hollow.
            It’s actually about calling bullsh!t on the lie: “If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain.”  I don’t agree to this and I have every right to call any and all voters on their complicity in this wholesale auction of the rights of Americans.

          • Elliot, what do you call your political philosophy?

          • I prefer “free market libertarian”, though too many people who are self-described libertarians have very different positions than I do, so sometimes I identify as simply an individualist.  Since I don’t join parties or other groups, it isn’t necessary to nail down something precise.

          • Thanks.  I doubt other libertarians have your animus to our Constitution, as evinced by your disdain of voting and elections.  But your answer was honest and I appreciate that.

          • I think I see the difference. If I vote and lose, my complaining is unjustified, sour grapes whining, while if you do not vote, your complaining is virtuous and principled commentary. Of course the resulting circumstances are the same. And, given the closeness of some elections, your small group of abstainers  prevents the possibility of even a small improvement.
            In the real world, though, your demands for total righteousness or no participation at all are doomed to perpetual failure. It’s really quite stupid. One expects such behavior from children, “If we don’t play by my rules I’m not playing!”, but most of us grow up and learn that sometimes we have to compromise and settle for a house without a pool, tennis court and sauna. It still keeps the rain and snow out.

        • Going with Rags on this.  There’s no justifiable complaint police.   Hell, if that were the case they’d be rounding up the people who whine they don’t get enough free stuff from government first, followed by the people who think we’re not taxed enough.  They’d be too busy to round me up for complaining about Barack Obama being re-elected.
          We are well and truly screwed, so you makes the best of what you have and keep working towards a better tomorrow.  But letting them re-elect Big Ears is something I can try and prevent.  Hell, I’d vote for a box of stale saltine crackers before I’d vote for Obama.   If I have to lie down with dogs, I select the ones that don’t bite as much, and have fewer fleas.  Of the two parties, assuming we HAD to work with one of the two, and for the moment, we do, which one would be easier to move in the direction you want to move?   It sure isn’t the Democratic party.

          • Very sound reasoning, I must say.  (And you agree with me…a decided bonus!)
            What is funny is that you ALWAYS vote for the lesser of evils.  We ARE dealing with people, after all.
            Even our Johnson loving friends here (no pun intended) would have to acknowledge him to be imperfect.  Their only argument is HE is the least of the evils.  (While being the LEAST of the electables, too.)

          • We are well and truly screwed, so you makes the best of what you have and keep working towards a better tomorrow.

            I don’t have your rights.  They are yours.  I cannot give Obama, Romney, or anyone else a permission slip to do with your rights as they see fit, because I don’t have that moral authority.
            Americans should make the best with what they have, which is to say their own values, not their neighbors’.

            But letting them re-elect Big Ears is something I can try and prevent.

            The only alternative is to give Romney your blessing to play janitorial socialist until the next time the Democrats regain power.  In the meantime, Romney will not stop the plunder.  He won’t stop the war on drugs (he’s explicitly rejected even the compassionate use of medical marijuana), the war on terror, most of ObamaCare, etc..  Romney won’t stop the debt crisis–at most he’ll postpone it a short while.
            I despise the Democrats more than the Republicans, but the Republicans are a bunch of wimps and sellouts.  As you continue the cycle of choosing the lesser of two evils, why are you surprised when the only choice you have is evil?

          • Elliot
            I know.  I already know there are things about Romney I don’t like.  Let’s start with Romney Care.   Actually, that’s enough in and of itself.   I suspect he may not ‘fix’ much, but hey, he could surprise me.    Obama is NOT going to surprise me in any positive way.
            This is like a cheap restaurant – we might want a decent steak, but the only things on the menu are crap sandwich made with 100% genuine marxist crap, and a faux crap sandwich made with 20 to 40$% compassionate conservative crap.  You really only have THOSE two choices, and men with guns are going to stand over your shoulder to make sure you eat whichever sandwich you take.    If you take the 100% genuine crap sandwich, based on the last dinner served here, you’re going to get three additional sides of genuine crap, a glass of liquified 100% crap, your salt and pepper shakers will shake white crap and speckled crap and your desert will be a double order of iced crap smothered in crap sauce.   We know this because that’s what the kitchen has been serving with this meal for 3 years.
            If we take the faux crap sandwich, I’m not sure what comes with it, but I figure it’s highly unlikely to be as bad as the alternative.  I may have to deal with what comes with it, and the next meal I may be faced with the same decision, I admit.
            I lied, there is steak, you can order it, but no matter what happens you will not get it.  Instead if you order it, they are likely to bring you the 100% genuine marxist crap sandwich, with all sides and complimentary items.  They WILL make you eat it.  All of it.
            I’m not HAPPY with Romney, but I’m really really really not happy about Obama.

          • Oh, I forgot to mention, if we get the 100% crap sandwich, we’ll be told over the pa system, constantly, that this is wonderful food, and it’s terrific and we should be grateful for it.  If our glass of liquid crap explodes all over us, we’ll be told that was caused by George Bush and the Republicans.  We’ll be told that if we’re patient, tomorrow we’ll have steak.   And the cost of the next crap sandwich will be double today’s price, but we’ll be told it won’t be.

          • “ut the Republicans are a bunch of wimps and sellouts.”   Amen – I don’t kid myself, they’re just almost as bad.  They’ll sell us out in a minute.  The dems in half a minute or less.  I’m not sure what I plan to do with the additional 30 seconds, but I’d like to have it.

          • Looker, I pretty much agree with the analogy.  South Park did an episode on choosing between a douche and a turd sandwich.  Same idea.  Of course, they lampooned the attitude that one must vote, even going so far as having a rapper famous for “Vote or Die” commercials actually threatening to shoot a kid who didn’t want to vote.
            I hope Obama loses.  And, I understand people voting for Romney purely as a defensive maneuver–I voted for Bob Dole (*retch*) for that reason.  And, I can understand people voting for Johnson to send a message.  I’ve cast third-party “message” votes, too.  So, I’m not condemning people who vote with good intentions.  But they are missing the big picture, just as I did in the past.

          • South Park – damn those guys hit it out of the park a lot.   Makes ya wonder what would happen if they went into politics.

    • It sucks, but sometimes you have to pick the lesser of two evils.  Maintain your purity if you like, other than making you feel okay with yourself, it won’t help.  We’re way beyond the point where your personal stand on this will make a difference.  There are 300 million others who ain’t listening and you don’t have a platform high enough for them to even know you exist.  And some of the platform is just plain silly.   The idea that we can turn our backs on the rest of the world is insanity, and that’s just for starters.

      • Maintain your purity if you like, other than making you feel okay with yourself, it won’t help.

        Help whom?  This isn’t about making me feel better.  It isn’t about feelings at all.  It’s about principles derived through rational thought.
        This is about me recognizing that your life belongs to you, not to me.  For me to participate in an election, I would be betraying you, agreeing to the outcome in which politicians will inevitably deny you what is rightfully yours.

        We’re way beyond the point where your personal stand on this will make a difference.

        It makes a difference to me that I don’t help others to violate your rights.

        The idea that we can turn our backs on the rest of the world is insanity, and that’s just for starters.”

        Where did you get that?

        • Turn our backs on the rest of the world – Not you, I’m thinking more of the Paulista/standard Libertarian view about what we should be doing with regard to our position in the world.   Sorry I wasn’t clear on that, it was meant more for supporting Richards.
          I’m not trying to attack you, hell, I’m not even trying to get you to vote for Romney.  I’m explaining why I’m doing it.

          • My criticism of Ron Paul isn’t that he’s isolationist.  One can engage with the world and still refrain from invading countries, engaging in nation building, and occupying countries which are rich enough to pay for their own defense for over half a century.  I fully agree with him that we should bring home American troops ASAP.
            My criticism of Ron Paul is that his explanations of his foreign policy positions are muddled, at least when he’s speaking about them in debates.  I haven’t read any statements of his on the subject.
            I’m not OK with Iran having a nuclear bomb and I find his answers on that subject to be too flippant.

  • Nope, sorry, voting for crap is still voting for crap. The most fiscally responsible administration we have had since LBJ was Clinton exactly because 19% of voters voted for a guy who railed against the deficit. Wasted votes are votes that get made because people are too chickenshit to vote for the best man for the job.

    • Yeah, because Congress who controls the budget particularly the House, had nothing to do with the Clinton years’ budget.
      Obama ends up re-elected, he and Democrats will take that as the stamp of approval by the public and scream that message for the next 4 years.

      • Oh, he’ll be a lot more flexible the second time around, don’t you know.  If you thought the Justice Department, the EPA, the TSA and DHS have been fun this time around, if you thought the economy was great, you’re REALLY going to like the next four years if he gets back in office.
        We’ve already done away with Habeas Corpus, we’ve just demonstrated you can make ‘voluntary’ visits after midnight for questioning.    That best man for the job vote sure is going to be a comfort in trying times.

  • “Obama 20%”

    There’s a variety of Libertarian that are really Democrats on most issues (legal drug use, open borders, isolationism, abortion, gay marriage) but are also small government types. 

    Libertarians inhabit the extreme right where there’s a thin line between exteme right and extreme Left (Anarchists).  Both want essentially no government.  The difference being the Libertarians value the Constitution and believe they can achieve their goals legally.  Anarchists want to destroy the government by violence.

    You can see this phenomenon in person at any Ron Paul event.  His base is an odd mix of mostly hard right Libertarians and extreme Left former Democrats.

  • Libertarians may manage to win more votes, statewide, than Democrats this year in Louisiana Congresional races.  The D’s are contesting only 3 of the 6 Congressional Districts, in the rest the Libertarian Party has replaced the Democrats as the opposition party.

    The D’s are likely to win one district in New Orleans (which was recently held by Republican Joseph Cao) and are only contesting 2 other districts, both of which they’ll lose badly.  They have no candidate in any of the others.

  • Romney will be even worse on civil Liberties! Holy Crap you have your head up your ass if you think Romney wouldn’t have passed NDAA, Patriot Act, war on whistle Blowers, ramp up on drug war, assassinating American Citizens, etc etc. he’ll, we will be in Iran, Syria and who knows where else.
    And, Clinton played ball with congress because he knew which way the wind was blowing. No Perot, much less incentive to reign in spending with congress.
    You all have been voting the lesser of two evils (LTE)  for 50 years and its the reason our country is as messed up as it is. R and D have NO reason to change – just change their rhetoric. This LTE BS is short sighted. Actual change takes guts and the willingness to lose short term to gain long term.
    Even if you are right and GJ gets 5%, that makes a difference and puts his name on people’s lips. If either the DemoPublicans take over, we move closer to bankruptcy and socialism then we have a chance in 4 years to win with an actual fiscal conservative who has reverence for the constitution.
    Romney win = Hillary Clinton in 4 years. Obama win prob get us GJ or even Chris Christie in 4 years. I like those odds much much better. That is actual change with actual leaders who will make the necessary cuts and unpopular decisions necessary for survival.

    • You have a vivid fantasy playing in you head.  But, as the bard said, “Play on…”.

    • I’ve only been allowed to vote for 37 years, but I assume you’ve voted for the Libertarian Presidential candidate all along.   How’s that plan been working out?
      And you think Obama winning might in that same universe I previously mentioned,  get you GJ in 4 years?  Wow, and you say I’ve got a cranial rectal inversion?  Why would I want Christie?  Have you listened to some of his positions?   I don’t want Christie, I don’t WANT Romney, but he’s all I have to work with.
      Subvert the GOP.

    • There has to be something left by 2016 to work with if you want a better candidate.  So it matters if Obama is far worse than Romney. 

      If we go down, we stay down.  I know there’s this light at the end of the tunnel mythology by some libertarians who feel it doesn’t matter anyway and after some pain everything gets set on the right track.  The light at the end of the tunnel is a freight train.  I’m in my 40’s, if we go down it won’t recover in my lifetime no matter who takes over.  There’s a chance we won’t make 2016 under Romney.  The chance is far bigger under Obama.  The longer it takes, the better the chance people will wake up before its too late. 

      I also see the, “it doesn’t matter argument because they’re the exact same.” argument.  Different doesn’t mean one is good.  But there’s difference enough that Obama has been far worse than Bush on all counts.  Spending, Individual Rights, Foreign Relations, etc.   But I suspect that the Democrats deceptively commiserated with Libertarians so effectively, some bought their BS.  Together they worked themselves up into an emotional state against republicans.  So much so, some libertarians supported the Democrats in 2006 and/or 2008.  And when the Democrats were worse, it was easier to declare they were the same and go into denial about how they had opted for the worse side. 

    • “You all have been voting the lesser of two evils (LTE)  for 50 years and its the reason our country is as messed up as it is.”
      No, the reason things are so messed up is because the greater of two evils won. It is a bit loony to blame the losers for the actions of the winners.

  • Regardless of the ideal definition of libertarianism (which should properly be called in the country, conservative libertarianism—to distinguish it from the French liberal movement from which it got its name) is a conservative ideology, and hence pro Romney.  As for those who would vote for Obama, they don’t understand that libertarianism is a conservative movement.

    • “This post the product of a random word generator”.  You should include the disclaimer, to be honest.

    • The so-called “left-libertarianism” is an oxymoron, like “gentle murderer” or “honest thief”.  Collectivist redistribution requires a strong, centralized government to enact its plunder and prohibitions on mutual, consensual exchanges which violate the socialist rules.
      Only an idiot sees the world as either “left” or “right”, either socialist/”liberal”/”progressive” or “conservative”.  Individualism–the rejection of all collectivism–falls into neither of those categories.  In the interminable Coke vs. Pepsi wars, individualism would be a non-carbonated beverage.  Only stupid people insist that all beverages have to be Coke or Pepsi.
      I agree that many self-described libertarians in the US are not consistent in their principles and often trend towards “conservatism”.  Which is why some of us are reluctant to use the term for ourselves.
      But when you start with the axiom that each individual owns his or her own life, the logical consequences are neither a “conservative” nor a “leftist” position.  To get from that axiom to either of those, one must employ logical fallacies.

  • “No, the reason things are so messed up is because the greater of two evils won. It is a bit loony to blame the losers for the actions of the winners.”
    Ummm, Reagan didn’t shrink Government. GWB had a GOP congress for 6 years – How did that work out?? Massive inflation and FED fueled bubble, Nation-Building galore, intelligence breakdowns that ignore terrorists who take flying lessons, Patriot Act, torture, Stimulus, Wall Street Bailouts…You’ll have to excuse me if I don’t find that to be acceptable – At all. The GOP is rotten to the core with big government cronyists, nep-con nation builders and Southern Conservative bigots and homophobes who would outlaw porn, expand the drug war and Blue laws, pass cohabitation and marriage restrictions etc etc etc. that is just as unacceptable as Dems who want profit limitations and socialized medicine.

    • “intelligence breakdowns that ignore terrorists who take flying lessons,”
      Ah, so you WANT a certain amount of government eavesdropping and domestic spying then, when it’s convenient huh?  You want freedoms and don’t want government finger poking on things except for when you do.  Just trying to be clear about the implications of realizing that terrorists were taking flying lessons and what that presumes as far as the government tracking things.  You think you get THAT and not all the other stuff eh?  Government ‘your way’ now?  Will that be no-ice with the coke and no lettuce tomato and pickle on the burger then?  Yeah, Libertarian principles, open borders, we’ll just have agents follow everyone around to make sure they’re not doing stuff we don’t like while they’re enjoying their slice of freedom.

      • “Ah, so you WANT a certain amount of government eavesdropping and domestic spying then”
        Ummm, when Law Enforcement secures a warrant with probable cause and a judge’s signature – yeah. Do you think that is unreasonable or are you just trying to spin up a straw man argument to pin to Libertarians. Also, the 9/11 terrorists were on the terrorist watch lists and had secured student visas under questionable circumstances.
        Perhaps our government should be spending its time and resources on useful intelligence gathering rather than fomenting revolutions and toppling far away dictators. It could, you know, be safer for us then trying to stamp out evil and people who don’t agree with us all across the globe.
        AND…Perhaps, republicans should be blamed for creating the TSA, Dept Homeland Security, and the expansion of executive war powers they are responsible for. Wait, but then it would be harder to make the case that they should ever be trusted with power again since they do all the same things the “Big Bad Democrats” do…yeah, stupid Libertarians we care about the constitution and Government limitations no matter what party is in charge. Pretty “unreasonable” of us, huh, Looker???

        • Ah, going to play a game with it?   Probable cause – which is achieved by gathering information, which in the case of “intelligence” is frequently achieved by poking around into people’s business looking for possible leads and information.
          You want to jump to the point where they have snooped enough, eavesdropped enough, listened enough, gathered enough, to hand to a judge to say “here’s proof”.  The problem is all the listening, gathering, snooping.  But go ahead and pretend that’s not how it has to happen, pretend that one day they’re walking by an aircraft hanger while they’re headed to Passadena and they notice a large number of foreign looking dudes sitting at simulators yelling ” I don’t need to learn to land!  Just show me how I must take off!”
          Intelligence gathering virtually ensures electronic surveillance, and it pretty much ensures it across a broad spectrum to pick up leads, and that means they’re gathering and scanning and probably keeping lots and lots of data.   I’m just sayin, you’re a Libertarian who’s okay with a lot of government observation then.  I’m not being unreasonable, I’m trying to square a Libertarian who’s keen on massive government eavesdropping to accomplish his goals of being ‘free’ under a government that’s less intrusive.   Or was that offered up only as a reason to beat the snot, justifiably I might add, out of the Republicans (it was WELL into their watch, not like it happened the day after Bill and Hillary left with the White House silver service).
          I’m fully willing to blame the Republicans, I blame them for DHS, TSA.  I’ll bet they were right handy in waging the war on drugs too, which I strongly disagree with.  But dude, based on your direction here, I’d say you’re a democrat in Libertarian clothes.  You seem much more worried about Romney and the Republicans than a guy who’s already demonstrated he’d feel comfortable declaring himself Barack the First.

    • that is just as unacceptable as Dems who want profit limitations and socialized medicine.

      I’m far more concerned with redistribution, cronyism, rent seeking, licensing, and regulations which hit people economically than “social conservatism”.
      Blue laws get overturned.  Taxes and onerous regulations don’t.

  • “Blue laws get overturned.  Taxes and onerous regulations don’t.”
    Yeah those National Security Letters and warrant-less wiretaps are a thing of the past. Marriage restrictions, gone too. TSA, history. Department of Homeland Security, thing of the past. Illegal wars, bye bye. Medical Marijuana crackdowns, what are they?
    “redistribution, cronyism, rent seeking, licensing, and regulations” I’m sorry when did the GOP get rid of the FED and purge itself and the Federal Government of Goldman Sachs flunkies?? And, boy oh boy, Mitt Romney promising to maintain Medicare and punish China for “taking” all of the below minimum wage jobs that no one here actually wants is really a great sign of that dedication to capitalism.
    DOESN’T PASS THE SMELL TEST…not one bit.

    • Yeah those National Security Letters and warrant-less wiretaps are a thing of the past.

      Those aren’t blue laws, are they?  Neither are the TSA, DHS, foreign wars.  You need to read for comprehension.

      Marriage restrictions, gone too.

      Miscegenation laws are gone.  You have any examples of a locale considering reinstating such laws?
      The fight over same-sex marriage is underway.  In 20 years, do you think there will be more places or fewer places in which same-sex marriage is legal?  Shall we make a wager?

      Medical Marijuana crackdowns, what are they?

      While more places are legalizing medical marijuana, all big government types buy into the prohibition.  Obama made promises, then broke them.  Romney promised to keep the prohibition in place.  Big government status quo.

      …when did the GOP get rid…

      I’m not interested in Coke vs. Pepsi.
      The point is that, regardless of whether a politician is on Team Coke or Team Pepsi, the argument that he is too “socially conservative” and so worse than his “fiscally collectivist/progressive/liberal/leftist” opponent is an idiotic one.
      Start with economic liberty.  Once you’ve lost that, you don’t have the resources to fight “social” restrictions.
      And, note that those who promise to be “socially liberal” often lie, to get your support.  Like, Obama.

    • “Write that in, it is GUARANTEED to have exactly the same effect.”
      Look at the polls. Romney is a dud. He is going down – John McCain/Bob Dole style. So, we are both voting for guys that aren’t going to win. The difference is that my guy actually represents my views of a less onerous and dangerous government. You will be voting for a Rockefeller Republican in favor of strong gun regulations, socialized medicine, high regulations, and budget busting spending. He also is willing to change his views at a whim for political gain.

      • Yep, this is probably true.  The difference is Johnson doesn’t have a snowflake’s chance in hell from the get go.   And Lord bless poor Barack, the eastern world is lining up to see who can screw his pooch first.  Turkey/Syria/Iran/Egypt/Libya/China/Russia/Pakistan/Afghanistan/Israel.  Romney still has 30+ days to profit from a Barack class CF like Libya that even the press can’t hide (shooting wars are difficult to disguise).  Johnson could have the next 5 years and probably wouldn’t gain any significant ground.

  • “I’m far more concerned with…than social conservatism”
    Of course, you are. Probably because you are socially conservative. It does, however, preclude you from calling yourself a libertarian, classical liberal, or champion of small constitutional government. Freedom cannot be parceled up into economic and personal. Liberty and personal freedom are essential to all aspects of our lives. You cannot claim to defend it if you only do so when it is convenient or pertinent to you and your personal likes and dislikes.
    Example, I am a married heterosexual man, but I am active in fighting for marriage equality. I am not religious, but I am active in supporting Catholic Church’s right to not offer contraceptives in their health plan. I don’t smoke weed, but I am gathering signatures to put MJ legalization referendum on the ballot. I don’t own a business, but I attend city council meetings to rail against business regulations. That is the heart of Libertarianism. Tolerance and a desire for personal freedom. Mitt Romney, like Barak Obama, is an anathema to that. Anyone who takes a reason look at their records and their governing histories of their parties will see that.

  • My point about National Security Letters is that they were enacted by Republicans, hence it is not just “blue laws” that you need to worry about when discussing non-economic erosion of liberties. You say if you lose economic freedom you have no resources to fight “social” tyrnanny. I say if you can be thrown into jail in a Kafka-esque fashion, less business regulation is little consolation. They insepsrable. So, as my original argument, there is no merit, no nobility, no good damned reason to vote for tyranny. “Less” is subjective and impossible to predict. So, it is not idealistic or “pure” to vote for someone like Gary Johnson over Obamney. It is a refusal to vote for someone who will expand the state’s intrusion into my life and freedom.

    • I say if you can be thrown into jail in a Kafka-esque fashion, less business regulation is little consolation. They insepsrable.

      My argument was over blue laws vs. fiscal strangulation (taxation, regulation).  I don’t put surveillance and elimination of due process into either of those categories.  You tell me that Team Coke is worse on those things, but plenty of Team Pepsi voted for such things, too, and when Team Pepsi has the power, those things aren’t overturned.
      My point is that you can’t scare me by saying that Team Coke wants blue laws, so they’re worse for freedom than Team Pepsi, which has passed laws and regulations which have strangled business.  There are self-described libertarians, like Radley Balko, who trashed McCain and gave Obama a pass because of such stupid arguments.  And, they didn’t get the transparency or the rolling back of civil rights infringements they expected from Barry.

      So, as my original argument, there is no merit, no nobility, no good damned reason to vote for tyranny.

      I agree.  I don’t vote.  Not for any of them.  If you cast a ballot, it doesn’t matter for whom you vote, because you’re participating in a public auction of the rights of your neighbors.  Even if you pick the LP guy, you’ve agreed that whoever gets the most EC votes gets to set the agenda.  You’ve agreed to allow tyranny.
      I respect your rights too much to agree to such a prospect.

      ‘Less’ is subjective and impossible to predict.”

      Putting a value on different categories is an individual matter.  Just because I don’t get to set your values doesn’t mean that your values are arbitrary.
      Plenty of people were skeptical of Obama’s promises in 2008 and tried to talk seemingly sensible people out of drinking the koolaid.  Predicting how things will go down, in broad strokes, isn’t impossible.  It just requires paying attention to what is important and ignoring the fluff.

      So, it is not idealistic or ‘pure’ to vote for someone like Gary Johnson over Obamney. It is a refusal to vote for someone who will expand the state’s intrusion into my life and freedom.”

      Not voting for any of them is also a refusal.  Furthermore, it is a refusal to even give consent to the outcome.
      Besides, I don’t find fault with doing something for idealistic reasons.  That’s otherwise known as sticking to principles.  I just disagree that participating in an election at all conforms with my principles of liberty.

  • Probably because you are socially conservative.

    I have no problem with same-sex marriage, polygamy, polyandry, legalizing all drugs without restrictions on hours of operation, sexual activities involving consenting adults (free or for purchase), etc..  Also, I don’t believe in anything supernatural.
    So, clearly you don’t know what you’re talking about.  The remainder of your rant is irrelevant, being based upon false and stupid assumptions.

    Freedom cannot be parceled up into economic and personal.

    We can categorize them, bearing in mind that both are, at root, human activity (praxeology).  Thus, it is correct to say that  true freedom requires both, but also rational to make a value judgment that losing economic freedom is worse, in the near term, because economic power enables you to fight for other freedoms.
    Similarly, the RKBA is more important than the freedom of speech, for the simple reason that government can more easily silence unarmed people.
    I don’t disagree about Romney being awful.  But Obama is worse.
    I expect Romney will be an utter failure in his attempts to avert economic disaster.  But I don’t suspect that he would do so purposely.

  • “And, note that those who promise to be “socially liberal” often lie, to get your support.  Like, Obama.”
    See my previous comment: “Mitt Romney, like Barak Obama, is an anathema to that. ”
    Where do I indicate disagreement that Obama is bad on civil liberties? I just don’t think Romney will be any better. He’ll just be bad in slightly different ways.

    • Right, so vote for the box of stale saltines.  Write that in, it is GUARANTEED to have exactly the same effect.   In fact, perhaps it will be so comic, someone will note it, and you’ll start a trend for 2016.

      • You are dealing with a set-in-stone fantasist.  He thinks, therefore Romney is…whatever he thinks.  There’s plenty about Romney you can look at with objectivity and find to like…and which MASSIVELY distinguishes him from Obama.
        Dunnt matter.  Nope.  Gary Johnson is the savior in that fantasy, and NOTHING is going to shake his particular faith.

    • Again, I’m principally opposed to settling moral questions by a vote and don’t plan to participate in the election.
      That said, if you put a gun to my head, I’d pick Romney for the simple reason that I don’t think he hates America and I don’t think he wants to intentionally scuttle American enterprise in pursuit of some ideological goal.
      Yes, he’s awful for a number of reasons and even if he tries his best to save the federal budget from disaster, he will fail.  But he isn’t fundamentally opposed to some of the cornerstones of what make America great.

  • The best thing I can say about hard-core Libertarians is that they are naive, inexperienced, and a bit myopic. I hold out the hope that when they grow up and see the world as it is they will become conservatives.

  • No, naive is picking out the guy who designed socialized healthcare in America to run against a guy because he implemented the same system on a larger scale.
    Naive is thinking more defense spending is better than balancing the budget even when the fallout of bankruptcy and monetary collapse will be far worse than relinquishing our role as world’s policemen.
    Naive is thinking you are “small government” when you are willing to use the force of government to limit the freedoms of others on strictly religious and christian moral grounds.
    Naive is claiming you can reduce the deficit without reducing Medicare, Medicade and increasing military spending.

    • And, when the US government increases defense spending, as Mitt puts it, they’ll be doing it with money borrowed from China.

  • Exactly, that’s the most ridiculous part of this desire to increase military spending by the GOP. Every ship we buy and build comes from borrowed money from China and so actually  finances a bigger piece of equipment for China’s military.

  • Also, I realize it is not just the GOP that wants to increase military spending as there are plenty of hawks in the Democratic Party as well. It is just that the GOP demagogues the defense spending issue the way the Dems do this “fair share” tax BS.