Libertarian Perspective: Voting for, not againstWritten by Kenneth Sharp | | firstname.lastname@example.org
I knew that after the final tally one of two men would be president. I knew it would not be Gary Johnson. The work of Libertarians and all minor parties is the same as it was the day before the election. For the Republican Party and many of its supporters, the defeat has been a powerful personal blow. Do not blame Libertarians, though it may be tempting. Blame falls squarely on the Republican Party.
In Tampa, at the Republican National Convention, the party elite decided to disenfranchise Ron Paul Republicans and Tea Party conservatives. These voters, millions in numbers, did not all flock to the Libertarian or other parties. An overwhelming number of Ron Paul supporters were the highly desirable youth vote. I have had personal conversations with a few of these young new voters, and their experiences have led them to decide that they will never vote for a Republican. Some refuse to vote at all. You only get one chance at a first impression. Among older Tea Partiers it is probably different. But many of these voters will also not return. This does not mean Libertarians or other parties automatically get them. Your party elite decided they did not need every voter. Also do not blame certain local media that gave a voice to Libertarian candidates and ideas, specifically WSPD and Toledo Free Press. Both where very fair in their coverage. Both gave credit to all candidates when and where it was due. No one told you or anyone else how to vote. Allowing free and full debate is to be desired not denigrated.
Libertarians will continue to fight Big Government and the rapid erosion of civil liberties under this and future administrations. We continue to represent the majority of Americans’ views on issues as diverse as the war on terror, the domestic wars on drugs and poverty (which have become wars on the poor and minorities), civil rights for the LGBTQA community, repeal of the NDAA, an audit and review of the Federal Reserve and drastic and immediate debt reduction in part by eliminating unnecessary military spending and ending the wars. For the past four years the current administration has expanded or failed to address these issues.
There is good news nationally and locally. Six states voted to nullify federal law. Montana, Alabama and Wyoming all voted to nullify the health care mandate, and Colorado, Massachusetts and Washington state all voted to nullify some aspect of federal marijuana prohibitions. I do not expect President Obama to respect the rights of the citizens of these states on either issue.
Locally, the numbers of people willing to break free of “fear and revenge” voting to vote Libertarian more than doubled from the 2008 presidential election and more than quintupled from the 2011 primary election. While we did not reach the number of votes nationally to directly break the monopoly of the two party system, we have loosened the hold. There is a lot to do before the next election, not even considering the next presidential election. The Libertarian Party considers itself right of the left and left of the right. That places us in the middle for the majority of Americans. The issue has been meeting more of the voting public to expand our base. The Lucas County Libertarian Party is, logically, most concerned about Lucas County. Expect us to reach out more, and we hope that you will reach out to us even if you are unsure where you fall with your political beliefs.
We seem to be a divided nation. The numbers between Democrat and Republican votes are close. Americans seem to enjoy a specific form of Schadenfreude, or the enjoyment of other people’s misery. I have seen in the Bush and Obama eras the delight taken at the expense of others in our society over election results. This creates in voters an “us versus them” mentality. Lost in any discussion is an honest debate about policy and the effects on us all. A large number of the electorate vote to watch the anguish of others even if it is detrimental to them.
I am very content, even though my candidate failed to win, even though he failed to surpass a threshold to break the monopoly, because I voted for a candidate I believed in and not against anyone.