Defensive Voting.

Two-party system pretty much guarantees defensive voting by informed people. Most Republicans I know hold their noses when voting got GOP. The most common positive view of McCain I heard was “He’s old, maybe he’ll die soon after the election.” Others merely thought he was less horrible than Obama, not much of an endorsement.

I suspect that plenty of well-informed voters consider a Republican president to be a greater threat. Economic reasons aside, let’s talk about privacy. While Roe-vs-Wade is an established legal precedent for personal privacy, we do have a government that violates everybody’s financial and personal privacy routinely in pursuit of the “war on drugs”. We also have a government that’s entirely willing to murder people over a couple hundred dollars of tax revenue. As John Ross pointed out, the kind of draconian enforcement necessary to effectively restrict abortions would make the USSR look benign by comparison.

So, on the one hand, we had an authoritarian socialist representing a party that is perceived as anti-gay (the vocal opponents of equitable legal treatment of gays basically tarred the rest with guilt by association) and anti-privacy (via repeal or blocking of Roe-vs-Wade). On the other hand, we have an authoritarian socialist anti-gun party with an even more harmful economic program than the first, but with less manifested intent to mistreate certain segments of the population. Those segments, along with their friends and family, might view that alternative as less immediately harmful. Most people are offended by the government efforts to stick their noses into private gun safes. How do you think people feel about equally official efforts to pry into their wombs or sniffing up their asses? And I speak in generalities here, as some members of each party would not fit the typical molds.

I view Republicans as a lesser threat: I feel that I am more likely to have necessary funds and guns with them in control of government. With lawyers, guns and money, I can resist their other bright ideas. Other people feel that Democrats are a lesser threat because of the above-mentioned factors. I can’t think of anyone from my social circle who have any enthusiasm for either, but most hold their nose and vote for the less aggressive evil as perceived at the time.  That’s were this concept of a “left libertarian” comes from — someone who agrees with me on pretty much everything but gives different weight to specific concerns.

In the end, Democrats will probably continue to run around screaming for gun control and punitive taxes against anyone not on welfare, and the Republicans will shove their pet religion where it doesn’t belong, with armed enforcers of virtue jackbooting around. And the Libertarians will continue to have the organizational capabilities of autistic cats, getting the same 1% in every election.

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25 Responses to Defensive Voting.

  1. says:

    I see it as a toss-up:

    Republicans in Congress will occasionally vote in favor of the Constitution and smaller government when a Democrat is in the White House, but will happily toe the party line and trample the Constitution when a Republican president is steering the ship.

    But on the other hand, a Democrat president can get away with assassinations of Americans, expanding the war on terror, killing thousands of innocents in drone strikes, increasing prosecution of legal marijuana growers/dealers in states where it’s been legalized, facilitate Fast and Furious, and allow a diplomat and several special forces soldiers get slaughtered in a terrorist attack and pretend it didn’t happen, all without the media even raising an eyebrow or asking a hard question… whereas if it was a Republican doing that, the press would be all over it.

    And the Republicans voted to continue the PATRIOT act with Obama in the house, so… is there really any difference?

    It’s too bad the libertarians don’t really want to be in charge.

    • Totenglocke says:

      “It’s too bad the libertarians don’t really want to be in charge.”

      What do you mean by that comment?

      • TheIrishman says:

        “What do you mean by that comment?”
        Part of it, I believe, is that the “adults” of the party(big L libertarians/the actual party, not just those who lean that way) allow their voice to be talked over by the pot heads or the “Everything is a conspiracy” kooks.

        Now, for the record, I have no problem with marijuana or those who use it. It can be a fun and relatively harmless recreational drug but it DOES cause paranoia, if even only when using it.

        These are not the people you want that big fat portion of the voting populous(swing voters) to see as your representatives. The libertarian party needs to get serious or, better yet, co-opt one of the other parties and turn it around from the inside.

  2. Jeff Jenkins says:


  3. Totenglocke says:

    “And the Libertarians will continue to have the organizational capabilities of autistic cats, getting the same 1% in every election.”

    Considering the fact that they had almost no funding and what little funding they had was almost entirely spent just petitioning to get the the ballot in different states, I’d say their 1.3% was pretty good.

  4. larry weeks says:

    It was proven under Prohibition that you can’t legislate morality. Why not let it go, like the libertarians, and just concentrate on “the economy, stupid”. Don’t know why Republicans keep chosing the middle of the road. The last time they ran a real conservative they won by a landslide.

  5. Redleg says:

    The thing is, the libertarian position should be that both DOMA and Roe v. Wade should be overturned as overreaches of Federal power and return both questions to the states, as they should be. Combined with an true, Jeffersoniannon-interventionist foreign policy, securing the borders (Ask yourself why Ft Bliss is where it is?) and an end to the “war on drugs” libertarians might just be able to build a coalition that understood that personal beliefs can be separated from how you vote on things. Adhering to the Constitution does not mean that you can’t vote to repeal DOMA while at the same time believing that homosexuality is wrong and a sin. You can vote to repeal Roe v. Wade, while believing that abortion is a woman’s choice and the only person that she should discuss it with is her doctor. Both of those are FULLY in line with the Constitution and a belief in liberty.

  6. .454 says:

    As a libertarian, I have always thought wrestling someone out of bed while they were sleeping, crushing their skull and then tossing them in a dumpster was the antithesis of liberty.

    It has nothing to do with privacy or religion, and everything to do with how we treat human beings.

  7. docjim505 says:

    Very good analysis.

  8. LarryArnold says:

    Oleg hit the nail on the head. Look at the state ballot initiatives: pro-gun, pro-gay, anti-WoD.

    Unfortunately neither party seems able to learn anything from that.

  9. Every study I’ve seen shows that democrats are *better* for the economy, business, and the stock market than republicans. Also, we produce smaller deficits, and almost the only surpluses on record.

    So, basically, the *only* base the republican party has is the repressive social wing. Which explains a lot when you think about it.

    Obama is disgusting in plenty of ways; the drone strikes, targeted killing of American citizens, and so forth. He’s also been MORE active in opposing state marijuana laws than his predecessor (who knows what the republican would have done the same years though). Anyway, nowhere NEAR perfect — but very strongly better on a broad front. Nowhere close to equivalent.

    • LarryArnold says:

      “Every study I’ve seen shows that democrats are *better* for the economy, business, and the stock market than republicans.”

      [snark]It’s hard to argue with their results. [/snark]

      Maybe I’ll feel differently if I ever find a job.

    • Totenglocke says:

      As someone with two degrees in Economics, I’d love to see these studies. Yes, Clinton was lucky and happened to be President while pretty much the entire world’s economy was going at breakneck speed in the 90’s, but that wasn’t caused by Clinton (nor was it caused by George H. Bush).

      There’s a reason that you almost never find a Democrat majoring or working in Economics – because their economic policies are almost always anti-business, anti-investment, and redistribution of wealth – all of which harm the economy.

  10. Lyle says:

    Frankly, I believe that gay marrage is a fake issue, made up by leftist radicals as a weapon for whipping stupid, marshmallow Republicans and to piss off the so-called religious right. Abortion isn’t much different in that regard.

    If government didn’t “recognise” my hetro marrage, I wouldn’t be out in the streets demanding it did. What happened to the idea of leaving people alone?

    And can anyone point to the article in the constitution that recognizes a right to an abortion? The SCOTUS said it was there. So where is it? I’m not indicating my position on the matter, but where is the right to an abortion asserted in the constitution?

    Just sayin’; if all we had to argue over were federal abortion (a reversal of Roe v Wade would merely kick the issue back down to the states) and “gay marrage” I figure we’d be in great shape as a country.

    • TheIrishman says:

      “I believe that gay marriage is a fake issue, made up by leftist radicals as a weapon for whipping stupid, marshmallow Republicans…if all we had to argue over were federal abortion… and “gay marriage” I figure we’d be in great shape as a country”

      Gay marriage is a very real issue, it ensures a locked voting block for liberals. If we just got the government out of the “marriage business” we’d be fine. Not hard to do really. Want to spend the rest of your life(or until your sick of them) with someone? Share property rights? Power of attorney? Death benefits?…Just write up a damn legal contract. Want to have a ceremony on the beach, on a roof, on a bus, with a band, with a buffet, with a barbecue? Then just do it. The only role government should play is enforcing said contracts and mediating their nullification in the court(at the cost of the contractors) as with any other contract.

      The problem arises because government stuck their nose in “traditional” marriage. Get them(and the IRS) out of ALL marriage, and we can move on. No more separate tax rules for married vs single, equal protection under the law and all…

      The other problem is that there are some(and I mean a very small few, but they are very vocal) gays who think that if the federal government “legalizes gay marriage”, that they can force churches to marry them. They “think” that if it was to be federal law that they could no longer be “discriminated” by the church. It is a mistake in thinking that restricting someones beliefs=acceptance. You can force a store owner to serve blacks/asians/latinos/women, but he may still be a bigot or sexist(I’m not equating the church with klan members or clinton, just making a point).

  11. Usagi says:

    Autistic Cat, checking in.

    I held my nose to vote for the last time in 2008 when I pushed the button for McCain. I will actually admit that I was hoping he would croak soon into his presidential term, thus paving the way for Palin. If he had been elected, that clearly would not have happened.

    No more. I’ve sworn off voting against anybody. I will vote for somebody I agree with, period.

  12. Henry says:

    What saddens me is that most voters (myself included) aren’t voting FOR a candidate:we’re voting AGAINST the other guy.
    Issues are a joke: “A smoked dope in college!” “B had an affair!” “I’m pro-___/anti-___ now;never mind my voting record on the issue!”
    The news media is another joke.Used to be facts were presented as facts & editorials as editorials:forget that!
    Nevertheless I will continue to vote:to not do so dishonors those who have died to assure me that right.And if nothing else if I don’t vote I can’t really bitch about where our country goes(God help us!).

  13. Jake Dorsey says:

    “Autistic cat” made me mrowl with laughter. Perfect word choice that aptly describes them.

    Political parties in general need more discipline.

  14. Wait, What? says:

    I misread the title as Defensive Volking…….coffee, nose, ooooch!

    As always, an intelligent read. Thanks.

  15. Eric F. in Tucson says:

    Well said .454.

  16. MondoDestructo says:

    Autistic cats. This might jump in to my lexicon of statements that piss off my wife.

  17. April says:

    Autistic cats | “anti-social, communication-challenged” “independent, ferral, free-spirits.”

    It’s close. Except many libertarians wouldn’t delight in torturing captured prey.

    Libertarians simply lack the bank and the professional services it can buy (commercials, coaches, top of the line digital design, photographers, name-recognition.)

    In 2012, Romney and Obama each spent roughly $850 million per campaign, and the Libertarian party $2m. If examined as a simple business analysis of advertising budget vs. sold products (votes,) then RomObam spent $15 per vote, and Libertarians $1.75. What could they have done with an $850 million budget, if they’re capable of spending intelligently enough to nab 8 votes for every 1 vote our Presidential Wastefuls were pocketing?

    People who “vote the lesser evil” rather than “vote the guy you actually identify with” are doing a disservice to everyone, including themselves, by perpetuating a system TODAY that could easily abolished by an overall snowball of accumulated dedication over multiple elections.

    I would rather vote Libertarian today, not win, but know I’m counting towards building a Libertarian win in a future my children will be living in, rather than try to “win” a left head vs a right head of the same beast (drones, entitlements, commie !&*@ing healthcare.)

  18. grindle1972 says:

    Libertarians will always loose on their own. America is a two party system. You have to change the party from within. The tea party is a good example of how you influence without creating an entire new party. The Democratic Party has been hijacked by the left-over radicals from the late sixties. So yes it is possible to infiltrate and change the Democratic Party from within.

  19. itor says:

    “The tea party is a good example of how you influence without creating an entire new party.”

    HAHA! Now that is funny!

  20. Sean says:

    and in all the hoopla this one is missed. was released BEFORE the election and during all the “OMG! OMG! we’re all gonna diiiiiee” in the Progressive Propaganda Ministry over Sandy. Look at the freakin steering committee.

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