Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Libertarianism on the Rise?

I essentially abandoned the Republican Party in favor of the libertarians back in the late 1990s, as I had become so disgusted with their relentless move leftward fiscally that I just couldn't take it anymore. I cast my presidential vote for Harry Browne in the 2000 election, and have never once regretted having done so. The obscene spending spree the Republicans later embarked on in the first half of this decade served to only reinforce the belief that my decision to abandon the party was the correct one.

I have long believed that the majority of Americans are basically libertarians at heart, it is just one or two pet issues that hang them up, thus preventing them from making the full leap. I have only one real disagreement with the libertarians, and that is with those who are such staunch, no-matter-what isolationists, which I believe is a totally unworkable concept in this day and age.

Isolationism may have worked out okay once upon a time, but consider the kind of world we might now be residing in had the isolationists held sway in the late 1930s.

Yeah, same here.

Anyhow, Cato@Liberty has taken a look at a Gallup poll released this past Monday, and points out the number of libertarians is at its highest point in a decade:

The word “libertarian” isn’t well known, so pollsters don’t find many people claiming to be libertarian. And usually they don’t ask. But a large portion of Americans hold generally libertarian views — views that might be described as fiscally conservative and socially liberal, or as Gov. William Weld told the 1992 Republican National Convention, “I want the government out of your pocketbook and out of your bedroom.” They don’t fit the red-blue paradigm, and they have their doubts about both conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats. They’re potentially a swing vote in elections. Background on the libertarian vote here.
You will find the entire article here.

The Democrats are an utter lost cause, as far as I am concerned, and like most of my libertarian-minded fellow travelers, and probably many Americans who perhaps aren't, I have little confidence in the Republicans. I seriously question the GOP's will to not just merely stop Obama and his hideous, relentless transformation of America, but to actually reverse it, should they be elected in sufficient numbers to do so.

They are, after all, the only political party that has any chance to stop Obama, as I believe a break-away third party now would be completely nonviable in the near-term, and would most likely ensure Obama will have enough congressional support to bring his "plan" to its logical conclusion. That outcome would not be conducive to freedom and liberty in this country.

However, the fiscal transgressions they committed while in control of congress under George W. Bush are just too fresh in my mind for me to trust them to any real degree right now. They controlled congress for 12 years, six of which were under a "Republican" president, and yet they failed to reverse any of the fiscally-irresponsible policies that had been previously put into place.

Why should I now believe they will reverse any of the serious damage Obama is currently wantonly wreaking on our country, particularly given that party's "leadership" is, as I write this, supporting free-spending RINOs like Dede Scozzafava?

Fool me once, shame on you... as they say.

I may change my mind between now and the election next November, but unless true fiscal conservatism once again rises to the fore within the Republican Party, I will continue to hold them at arms length, and will continue voting for libertarians in my state and local elections.

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When liberty is taken away by force it can be restored by force. When it is relinquished voluntarily by default it can never be recovered. -Dorothy Thompson