It's Hard Out There For a Libertarian

I like Clayton Cramer's sixteen-word description of his political position:

Broadly speaking, I'm a conservative with libertarian sympathies (getting more conservative as my children get older).
That's pretty close to where I am, although I might go for "libertarian with conservative sympathies" instead. So I find conservative/libertarian takes on the election interesting. A collection of links to such follows:
  • Here is the roundup from The American Conservative. They tend to be a little more "out there". Obama wins 5 of their 18 votes; "not voting" comes in second with 4, followed by McCain (3 votes), Chuck Baldwin (2), Barr (2), and one write-in each for Ron Paul and Ward Connerly. (You will have to click around to find out who the hell Chuck Baldwin is, because I have not the slightest.)

  • Ryan Sager at Reason vents his spleen on the McCain campaign and the entire current GOP:
    Two years ago, I wrote a book imploring the Republican Party not to follow its worst elements off a cliff—not to evolve, in short, into an insular party with little-to-no appeal outside of the rural, the southern, the Evangelical. As the McCain campaign flames out in a ball of Rovian disgrace, scorching the center in an attempt to fire up the base, it's difficult to reach any other conclusion than that the battle for the soul of the Republican Party has been lost.
    Sager makes arguments that I don't find particularly compelling (Palin is icky, McCain is "divisive", his supporters are troglodytes—the usual.) I think he's mainly mad because his book went nowhere, though.

  • Reason is probably the premiere libertarian-ish magazine; they polled a bunch of their associates here. It's a fun read, but if you just want the raw numbers (and I don't promise to have counted all those hanging chads correctly): Obama wins there with 13 votes, followed by Barr with 11. "Nobody/No Answer" got 10, McCain 3, "Anybody but McCain/Palin" got one, and Sarah all by herself got one.

    I enjoyed Michael Shermer's answer most:

    I’m voting Democrat because I think lawyers should run the country, because the last two years under their control has gone so well, because the government has done such a great job with FEMA that they should also be in charge of our school choices, health care choices, and retirement choices, because they protect me from crime so well that I don’t need a gun, because I want to pay more taxes (especially Capital Gains), because unions need to be stronger against evil corporations, because trade with foreign corporations is anti-American and we need to protect American jobs, and mostly because I’m tired of having so many choices and want someone else to make them for me.
    So for libertarians looking for an excuse to vote Democrat: there you go.

  • Todd Zywicki at the Volokh Conspiracy quotes someone with whom I'm usually in tune:
    Thomas Sowell described the choice the other day as "a choice between disaster and catastrophe" which doesn't seem that far off for someone who believes in limited government and individual liberty.
    Indeed! Nevertheless, Todd puts forth a decent argument to go with catastrophe in preference to disaster. Or maybe vice-versa.

  • Also at Volokh, Jonathan Adler puts in a very grudging, very hedged, vote for McCain.

  • And finally, Tom Smith of the Right Coast pulls a fast one and announces for Obama. Conclusion:
    Some may say, and you call yourself a libertarian. But I have decided I can be a kind of statist, big government, expansive regulation, high taxing, low investing, industrial policy, aggressive PC enforcing sort of libertarian. If you look at libertarians for Obama, I would hardly be the first. Besides, I never listen to Rush anymore and Fox I could even do without. I have hundreds of books in my library I have yet to read, and this would give me the chance. All that conflict in the media is a huge time suck anyway.

    So think of it as kind of the rather bearable lightness of being for Obama. It's not so bad really. It feels kind of like when you wake up in the morning and your mind is kind of blank, but in a peaceful sort of way. Rather nice, really. You know, healing.

    In conclusion, I would like, instead of saying God Bless America, which is divisive, to wish everyone a really nice next four to whatever years. (If anyone connected with the forthcoming government is reading this post, and would would like an address to send my money to, please just email me and I will let you know.)

    Tom Smith, meet Michael Shermer.


Last Modified 2010-05-05 12:30 PM EST