Vote against the aristocracy and the elite,Vote For Truth and Integrity,Vote Harry Browne,Libertarian.greenspun.com : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread
The following article appears on Time.com's iCampaign2000 web site:
Throwing Your Vote Away?
The Case For the Libertarians
The third party that really is for smaller government is based on principle, not personality, and it's no fly-by-night operation either
BY FRANK PELLEGRINI
Tired of the politics of personality, with debates like beauty contests? Craving a Washington based on principle?
Want to throw your vote away like a true idealist?
Consider the Libertarians.
Note the lack of a candidate's name. From Teddy Roosevelt to Ross Perot to Jesse Ventura to Ralph Nader, American third parties have appeared on the national radar screen and then faded from it, with equal alacrity,for one main reason: They are cults of personality.
When Perot won 19 percent of the vote in 1992, when Ventura won the governorship of Minnesota in 1998, how many of those voters were trying to elect the Reform party? In 2000, how many Naderites would miss a beat if he were running as the presidential candidate of, say, the Blue party?
Harry Browne, by the way, is the Libertarian candidate for president in 2000, just as he was in 1996. Ring a bell? He's sort of a big guy, gray hair, a tanned-and-rested aging businessman's quality about him. He's participated in a third-party debate or two, and shows up on the occasional wonk-leaning talk show, usually amid great condescension.
The Libertarians would love it if everybody knew Harry Browne's name. But they'd much rather you knew theirs. They've been occupying a calm, studied place on the fringe of American politics since 1972, and they're not going anywhere - mainly because their candidates are interchangeable.
With the Libertarians, it's the philosophy that counts. Small government. Really small government. Microscopic government. No income taxes, no war on drugs, no gun control, no public schools. Thomas "The government that governs best governs least" Jefferson to the extreme. A "constitutional" government, which means turning the clock back 200 years on Washington and letting the free market do the rest.
Quoth Browne on the Libertarian party web site: "I want to get the federal government completely out of every area where it's made such a mess - health care, education, law enforcement, welfare, foreign aid, corporate welfare, highway boondoggles, farm subsidies. Not only are these programs unconstitutional, they do tremendous damage to our lives."
Extreme? Definitely. Scary? Let's just say that for the average, thoroughly mainstreamed voter, libertarianism poses some intuitive problems. (The party has placed candidates at the state level, but is nearly invisible on the national polls.) The environment, for instance -the founding fathers didn't have to worry about toxic waste. Or highwaymaintenance. Or, more broadly, what is known as "the public good" isn't there at least a mediator's role for the government in some domestic matters?
The Libertarians probably have an answer to concerns like those, and part of that answer, the really intriguing part, is that the individual,classically self-interested human beings in the private sector, truly left to their own devices, will find a way. And if there are problems,they'll be no worse than the problems we've got now, and at least we won't be able to blame them on Washington.
The Libertarians call themselves "the party of principle." They don't respond to voters; they want voters to respond to them. They're purists,and intellectuals. Their answer to the cranky and fractious hodgepodge that is America is to leave it to its own devices. And you'll never hear them telling you what to do in your bedroom.
Which Al Gore were you going to vote for, the environmentalist or the populist? Which George W. Bush, the tax-cutter or the anti-abortionist? Which Ralph Nader, the government reformer or the economic isolationist?
Harry Browne makes it easy. A Libertarian government would hardly seem like government at all.
Third parties, since the 1850s at least, have mostly served one function: to stand for something, and force the Democratic or Republican parties (usually both) to co-opt it. No major party will ever co-opt the Libertarian party stance, and arguably, no major party ever should. But the Libertarians make an excellent magnet for both.
Ralph Nader has tapped into something, yes - but what? Vague dissatisfaction? Radical environmentalism? Some Naderites just like the guy, and when he goes, so will the Green party's place at the zeitgeist table. Vote for the Libertarians (the name, again, is Harry Browne) and the message Democrats and Republicans hear will be precise, and unmistakable. Smaller government. And if you're for that - and most folks are, to judge by the way Bush and Gore are falling all over themselves to grab the issue - consider the Libertarians a decent way to say so.
In the words of Harry Browne:
"No matter what your reason for voting for Mr. Bush or Mr. Gore - to keep Al Gore out of the White House or to ward off the Religious Right your vote will be interpreted as an endorsement of every big-government proposal your candidate has made... Every vote I get will be an endorsement, a statement, a declaration on behalf of smaller government.No one can misinterpret a vote for me as a vote for more government."
At least you know he won't win.
-- capnfun (email@example.com), November 07, 2000
Vote for a hairy brown what???
-- dinosaur (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 07, 2000.
Leaving in about 10 minutes to go do that very thing, Capn.
-- Uncle Deedah (email@example.com), November 07, 2000.
I'd just like to see folks vote.
-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), November 07, 2000.
Vote, and vote often.
-- CD (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 07, 2000.
"Yes, vote often, and when you are done voting in one place, go to another and use someone else's name"
It IS the american way.
PS to capn: I voted for Gore, i KNOW he wont win. :-)
-- consumer\ (email@example.com), November 07, 2000.
Funny story with my two girls and voting. My #2 daughter called yesterday. We'd never talked politics this election. I asked her if she was going to vote tomorrow. She said, "Yes." I said, "For who?" She gave the wrong answer. [grin] I said, "How did you come to that decision?" She said, "Well, I saw the debates and I thought Gore was best, but I don't know much about politics, so I asked dad and he told me I should vote for Bush." I explained how this should be her PERSONAL decision [wondering why she even listened to a parent at 19]. Daughter #1 called a while later and I related the story. She said, "Mom...we stop listening to our parents when we're 17. I was listening to you again when I was 19." D'OH!
I sent daughter #2 an E-mail this morning that said, "One final word on voting: LIE! If you choose to vote for Bush, lie and tell me you voted for Gore. If you choose to vote for Gore, lie and tell dad you voted for Bush. These things NEVER go beyond that little booth. No one will EVER know." How's THAT for encouraging honesty in my children? [grin] No sense, IMO, getting one parent riled up over something that should be a kid's decision.
-- Anita (Anita_S3@hotmail.com), November 07, 2000.
Anita: TOO funny....
Read my latest Post...My son the turncoat...talk about timing, I just had posted that and then came across this one :-)
You make my day. (EG)
Lie, yeah, that was the ticket...hee hee
-- consumer (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 07, 2000.