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Am I a real "swing voter?" - A Suburbs Boy Living a Country Life [Pete and Pam's pages (photos and some commentary)] [Pam's journal] [Our company] [My Flickr Photos] [Arisia]
October 20th, 2006
09:10 pm

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Am I a real "swing voter?"
I've always shied away from the "lesser of two evils" argument in voting, and gone my own way.  More often than not, that has been a libertarian.

The country needs libertarian ideals of non-aggression, fiscal restraint, individual freedom and responsibility, more than ever before.

Neither Loudoun County nor Virginia are going to be electing any Libertarians in partisan races this year.

The Republicans have appalled, repulsed, and frightened me more than they ever have before in my life.

They have, quite literally, gone too far.

In the LWV voter guide, my only independent ("Green") choice for Senate calls first for fiscal restraint and a balanced budget...and then proposes in quick succession three expensive initiatives.

So, for the first time I might vote for a Democrat.  My only problem with voting for a Democrat is that I was foolish enough to ask the question:  "How could he be worse than what we have right now?"  Never ask a question if you aren't prepared to at least contemplate the answer.

Current Mood: scaredscared
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From:unquietsoul5
Date:October 21st, 2006 01:18 am (UTC)
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In the current state of affairs, there is little chance for anything worse than a Republican running for any office in the Country.

If the democrats actually get power in the senate or the house they'll be using it to try to cut back the losses of liberty that the Republicans have taken from us at this point. It's doubtful they will get both house and senate, so there is no threat from them gaining office and everything to gain.

The Libertarians, at least in this state (MA), have again become invisible. Maybe they're backing the Independent for the Governor's race, not any word has made it to the press, but they have fielded very few candidates in any state races here. The Greens have been more visible than they have.

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From:bikergeek
Date:October 21st, 2006 01:31 am (UTC)
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yeah. I'm with you. I'm a small-l libertarian and generally vote for big-L Libertarians when I can. Problem is, there aren't any running in competitive races in my district. In fact, there are no major contested races in my district except for Governor. Rep. Markey is running unopposed. The Republicans put up a candidate to run against Ted Kennedy (currently the best argument for term limits after the retirements of Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms), but I can't bring myself to vote for *any* Republican these days and the Libertarians aren't running anybody.

Sometimes, in decades past, if no Libertarian was running, I used to hold my nose and vote for Republicans. I appreciated the fact that they were, until fairly recently, advocates of fiscal restraint, and that they were generally pro-RTKBA, giving me two things in common with them. I don't think I've ever done that for President, although I have done it in elections at the state level in Delaware. Given the policies and goals of current Republican party leadership, I really cannot do that this time around...and haven't been able to do that for some time.

Further complicating matters is the fact that I live in what is essentially a one-party state; the outcome of the Democratic primary essentially decides the election, in many cases. The Republican party functionally does not exist in Massachusetts. They've had the Governor's office for about a decade and a half now (Weld, Cellucci, Swift, Romney) as a sort of consolation prize--it doesn't mean anything because the Leg is 85% Democratic and can override any gubernatorial veto.

Bleah.
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From:happypete
Date:October 21st, 2006 01:46 am (UTC)

I'm somewhat hoping...

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for a ridiculous, unprecedented demooratic landslide...

something that just turns the country on its ear and makes it clear to the current cast of crooks that we are really "Mad As Hell And We're Not Going To Take It Any More."
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From:bikergeek
Date:October 21st, 2006 05:17 am (UTC)

Re: I'm somewhat hoping...

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I'm hoping so too. *sigh*
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From:wolfger
Date:October 21st, 2006 11:12 am (UTC)

Re: I'm somewhat hoping...

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Unfortunately, that will also "make it clear" to the incoming cast of crooks that we like them, and they can get away with just about anything. That's the sad bit of politics. So many people vote for somebody they dislike to avoid being governed by somebody they hate, and the person elected takes that as genuine approval. And the rate of re-election of incumbents tends to bear that out (when really that's just plain old human fear of change at work).

My greatest dream is that Mickey Mouse will win by a landslide of ballots where "other" is checked, and they fill in the blank. THEN, the powers that be will know we are fed up with their shit.

...but with Mickey Mouse in charge, the world will go to hell. Copyrights will last forever, the DMCA will be strengthened, DRM will be required on all media and media playing devices.... No way in hell am I voting for the mouse.
From:mtn_hermit
Date:October 21st, 2006 04:56 pm (UTC)

Re: I'm somewhat hoping...

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Perhaps something like this?
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From:kitwench
Date:October 21st, 2006 02:08 am (UTC)
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No, you're not a swing voter :)
The Dems can almost always count on Liberatarians to vote Dem when they have to choose between D and R.
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From:happypete
Date:October 21st, 2006 12:10 pm (UTC)

* snort *

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that's the exact opposite of what everyone else has said to me--usually trying to convince me that libertarians are just closet republicans who don't care whether or not you smoke pot..
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From:teddywolf
Date:October 21st, 2006 09:35 pm (UTC)
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I find that Libertarians tend to vote more Republican when they want to support a major-party candidate, myself.

I have voted for a very few Republicans in my life, a few Greens, a Libertarian or two, and a number of Democrats. *wry smile* I think a Green Secretary of the Interior and a Libertarian in charge of the GAO would be a great combo.

I don't view the government as the source of evil, although it can be when its power is corrupted. I view it as powerful, and the power can be used either way. If I have to choose governments, a strong evil government is my last choice, while a strong good government is my first. Weak ones are in the middle. Note that strong does *not* equate to meddling.
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From:dcseain
Date:October 21st, 2006 02:28 am (UTC)
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I voted R for the very first time when i cast a ballot for Mitt Romney in 1993. It was really hard to pull the lever next to that R, even knowing that a Mass R had no relationship whatsoever to a VA R. When i lived in DC, i voted however the hell i wanted, including R, Green, Statehood-Green, Progressive, Libertarian, Indepent Party, and True Independent in various races.
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From:coleoptera
Date:October 21st, 2006 05:01 am (UTC)
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Not defending someone I don't know at all, but sometimes people use 'fiscal restraint' or similar terms to mean 'we shouldn't spend money on things that we don't need as badly as other things, and here are the things I think we should be spending that money on rather than other things, but it's politically foolish for me to line up things I'd want to cut, because not mentioning them potentially makes me fewer enemies'.

I don't know if it's accurate to call that fiscal restraint, I would most likely argue not, but it seems a rational explanation for using the phrase for those actions. When you get down to it, we do have things we collect money to do that it's good to do in a centralized fashion, and a lot of those things need to be done better.
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From:puskunk
Date:October 21st, 2006 05:02 am (UTC)
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I agree with ya on the libertarian ideals. Unfortunately, the Libertarian candidate here might actually win and is batshit crazy and completely pro life. No exceptions for ANYTHING, no morning after pill, nothing. He accuses the republican imcumbent of being liberal. Yes.
http://www.cobinforcongress.com
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From:gonzy317
Date:October 21st, 2006 05:20 am (UTC)
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Run. Run far. Run fast.
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From:happypete
Date:October 21st, 2006 12:02 pm (UTC)

Just so you know...

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He may call himself a libertarian--it's a free country--but he is way off the reservation when compared to the platform:


I.8 Reproductive Rights

The Issue: The tragedies caused by unplanned, unwanted pregnancies are aggravated and sometimes created by government policies of censorship, restriction, regulation and prohibition.
Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on both sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.

The Principle: Individual rights should not be denied nor abridged on the basis of sex, age, dependency, or location. Taxpayers should not be forced to pay for other people's abortions, nor should any government or individual force a woman to have an abortion. It is the right and obligation of the pregnant woman regardless of age, not the state, to decide the desirability or appropriateness of prenatal testing, Caesarean births, fetal surgery, voluntary surrogacy arrangements and/or home births.

Solutions: We oppose government actions that either compel or prohibit abortion, sterilization or any other form of birth control. Specifically we condemn the practice of forced sterilization of welfare recipients, or of mentally retarded or "genetically defective" individual. We support the voluntary exchange of goods, services or information regarding human sexuality, reproduction, birth control or related medical or biological technologies. We oppose government laws and policies that restrict the opportunity to choose alternatives to abortion.

Transitional Action: We support an end to all subsidies for childbearing or child prevention built into our present laws.
[User Picture]
From:gundo
Date:October 22nd, 2006 01:14 am (UTC)

Re: Just so you know...

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To the platform, yes, but check out Libertarians for Life. Which IMO is consistent with a Libertarian philosophy.

I'm pro-life and also consider myself Libertarian. The two are not inherently inconsistent. But then "pro-life" can also mean different things to different people. For instance, just because I'm "pro-life" doesn't mean I'm anti-birth-control.
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From:happypete
Date:October 22nd, 2006 03:19 pm (UTC)

Re: Just so you know...

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Right...the problem is that this guy says that he takes--quoting from his own platform--"an uncompromising pro-life position."

He would probably hear you saying that you are "pro-life" but support non-coercive access to birth control as a "complomise."
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From:schizobovine
Date:October 21st, 2006 06:38 am (UTC)
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Pro-life libertarian? I guess I can see it, but it sure does strike me as weird. That he has a chance of winning is even weirder.

At least in GA this year we have another choice besides the two Republicrats running for governor.
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From:happypete
Date:October 21st, 2006 12:07 pm (UTC)

see my notes

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...up-thread...
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From:happypete
Date:October 21st, 2006 12:26 pm (UTC)

right under the banner

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"Fiscally Conservative and Socially Tolerant" the LP SC has this guy's smiling mug...

are thoy off their rockers?
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From:puskunk
Date:October 21st, 2006 12:53 pm (UTC)

Re: right under the banner

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Yes, he is. But this state is so red, it almost goes off the visible spectrum into infrared. That's why he has a chance.
From:jcfarris
Date:October 21st, 2006 01:27 pm (UTC)
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From:happypete
Date:October 22nd, 2006 03:45 pm (UTC)

Let's see, with some recasting:

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Here's my order, with an explanatory taxonomy of how I choes it.
Unalienable rights:
o Emiment Domain
o Habeas Corpus
Enumerated rights:
o Freedom of speech
o Right to bear arms
o [specifically, the Tenth amendment] Spending cuts [both reductionist reform and tax cuts]
Implied rights of the people:
o The three other rights listed above, in no particular order
o School choice

The hard one for me to place is military commissions and waterboarding. The constitution clearly places signing international treaties in the purview of the Federal government. That said, I think this one is an ephemeral issue--if we get our heads screwed back on straight with respect to the rest of this list, a lot of our other problems will either go away or be much easier to address.

Fighting the Global War on Terror is not on my list, as I can't tell whether you mean successfully prosecuting the war to a conclusion, or fighting to end the "War on Terror." I have mixed feelings on this--there is no doubt in my mind that we must use diplomatic, military, and covert means to seek out and eliminate those who would kill and terrorize to impose their will on others. There is a great deal of doubt in my mind that we are doing this the best way we can.
From:manatee_x
Date:October 22nd, 2006 05:49 pm (UTC)

The chickens have come home to roost.

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"The Republicans have appalled, repulsed, and frightened me more than they ever have before in my life."

Yep. Which is why neither party should ever have all the power unchecked. The republicans have had congress, the white house, the supreme court, and a majority of state governors. And it has made them arrogant.

And you stood by and helped to let it happen.

"I've always shied away from the "lesser of two evils" argument in voting"

That's because at your core you didn't understand just how bad the worst of two evils can be. And you're not alone. Most of the non red/blue voters suffer from the same short sightedness. And so here we are.

"So, for the first time I might vote for a Democrat. My only problem with voting for a Democrat is that I was foolish enough to ask the question: "How could he be worse than what we have right now?" Never ask a question if you aren't prepared to at least contemplate the answer."

What's the worst they could do, anyhow? The republicans will STILL control the Presidency, The Supreme Court, and most state governments. If anything, it will force both parties to come to some sort of concensus. And the extreme elements of both parties will have to tame themselves.

-Chris
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From:happypete
Date:October 22nd, 2006 06:08 pm (UTC)

Re: The chickens have come home to roost.

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I'll take my share of the blame--but don't try to pin this on Libertarian and other minority party voters.

The Republicrat "base" in this county has failed to tame their own extremists and tolerated far too much.

I hardly "stood by," especially inasmuch as most of "politics" happens between elections. "Pulling the lever" in the booth is just one--actually relatively small--way that we can influence the government.
From:manatee_x
Date:October 22nd, 2006 09:52 pm (UTC)

Re: The chickens have come home to roost.

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"I'll take my share of the blame--but don't try to pin this on Libertarian and other minority party voters."

I'm not trying to pin it on them. It IS on them. "I'm not going to vote for the lesser of two evils"....this attitude runs RAMPANT through independent voters. Which is all fine and good until the greater of two evils keeps getting elected.

The fact that you use the phrase "republicrat" speaks volumes about you. I don't presume that Libertarians, Greens, Communists, Reform Party, and other independent voters are "all the same". It is obnoxious of you to do so with the two major parties.

Hmm, what would the contraction of that be? Greenliformitarians?

Really, all you need to do is include the phrase "sheeple" and you'd have the libertarian dogma down pat.

Okay, I'm coming off very very bitter here. And my anger really isn't at you.

-Chris
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From:happypete
Date:October 23rd, 2006 01:10 pm (UTC)

Re: The chickens have come home to roost.

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Chris, I love and respect you--and I disagree with you wholeheartedly.

The problem is that the two wings of the Republicrat party each talk a different game...then, regardless of who is in power, the answers out of the legislature always seem to be more laws, more programs, more spending, more debt, more intrusion into people's lives.

An ordinary citizen should have to have direct interaction with the federal government a couple of times in their lives--not with every single paycheck, every single fill-up, every single bank loan, every day their child goes to school...It's out of control, and our bifurcated single ruling party is to blame. Perhaps now that the Republicans have earned such a lopsided share of control, we see the pathology of the system more clearly. If it was the reverse we'd have, at the minimum, a hideously expensive, bankrupt, bureacratic socialized medicine system. That's how it could be worse under the democrats. If we don't do something to reign in the two parties, and if there's a swing to the left in our government like the swing right in 1994, then come back and re-read this thread in ten years and try to tell me I was wrong.

The fault lies not with voters who are independent of the two parties--it lies directly at the feet of the governing.
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