McCain better for libertarians
I have been a lifetime Libertarian Party activist, for over 25 years. I've served in numerous capacities, including on the Libertarian National Committee, as a Libertarian State Rep. candidate, and as Ron Paul's Personal Travel Aide in his 1988 Libertarian Presidential campaign. I've also served as Ron Paul's Congressional Campaign Coordinator and as his Senior Congressional Aide for 7 years, 1997-2004.
This election year, I've been supporting Libertarian Presidential candidate Bob Barr. As a matter of fact, I'm the very guy who recruited his running mate Wayne Root into the race. Since the Spring, I've been the Party's lead petitioner around the Nation. I've collected tens of thousands of signatures to get Barr/Root on the ballot in Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine and Rhode Island.
However, I was greatly encouraged by McCain's pick of Sarah Palin for his VP. Palin has a solid libertarian background. In 2005/06 she was the guest speaker at two Libertarian Party meetings in Anchorage. She has been called a "libertarian" by many in Alaska politics and in the Anchorage media. She even received the last minute backing of the Libertarian Party leadership in the State for her successful gubernatorial race, and today, she is the most popular governor in America.
Up until now, I've encouraged my fellow Libertarians to follow their conscience and vote for either McCain/Palin or for Barr/Root, if it suits them better. I now believe, two days before Election Day, that this campaign is just too critical to risk on such a strategy, and if Libertarians won't put the liberty of our country ahead of our party ambitions, who else in this country will?
Obama is fundamentally opposed to virtually all libertarian stances on all issues. From taxes, to freedom of speech, to protecting property rights, to putting a halt to the ever-encroaching Nanny-state, and 4 years of an Obama Presidency will have disastrous results for liberty, and supporters of the limited government view. As evidence of this, Obama has taken to lodge a full frontal assault on the libertarian movement within the last couple days. In two separate speeches Obama accused McCain/Palin of supporting tax cuts because they believed in the "Virtue of Selfishness." ABC News confirmed that the phrase was most likely a direct hit at libertarian icon Philosopher Ayn Rand. By attacking Rand, and her Individualist philosophy, in essence, Obama has declared war on libertarians and the libertarian movement in these closing days of Election '08.
Don't Rock the Vote, Baby!
Voter registration drives have been ubiquitous this election cycle. These efforts, however, could have a pernicious effect on the country and Americans' understanding of the duties of citizenship. Consider the `Rock the Vote' campaign. Begun in 1992, Rock the Vote "uses music, popular culture and new technologies to engage and incite young people to register and vote in every election." If you visit the Rock the Vote website, DJ Diplo will e-mail you a copy of your state's voter registration form. Bloggers rave about Diplo's work at registration events, noting that his music is so loud that groupies "can still feel the dull throb of the speakers blasting full force" 24 hours later.
Not to be outdone by Diplo, Bothervoting.org offers prospective voters maps to the polling places and runs an aggressive advertising campaign. One of the ads features a blond bombshell salaciously whispering "I just can't picture myself sleeping with a non-voter." Not only can you help solve the country's problems by voting, you might get lucky too.
With all the commotion about voter registration, one would think that barriers to registration abound. This is not the case. Since 1995, state governments have been required to provide uniform registration services through drivers' license registration centers and government offices offering public assistance benefits. The states also must permit citizens to register using mail-in forms. Or they can choose the old fashioned way and go to the local voter registration office to fill out the necessary paperwork.
Participation in local, state, and national elections is not something Americans should take lightly. In our system of government, the people are recognized as the ultimate sovereigns and exercise their power in special conventions (such as the conventions that ratified the Constitution) or during elections when they vote for representatives, and, in some states, for various ballot initiatives. In 1776, the General Court of Massachusetts summed up popular sovereignty as follows: "It is a maxim, that, in every government, there must exist, somewhere, a supreme, sovereign, absolute, and uncontrollable power; But this power resides, always in the body of the people, and it never was, or can be delegated, to one man, or a few." Thus, elections should be viewed as bulwarks of our Republic.
But for elections to serve this lofty purpose, the people must be informed. In recognition of this, the First Amendment was added to the Constitution, in part, to ensure the free flow and availability of information regarding public concerns. Because an informed electorate is a prerequisite to an intelligent exercise of the franchise, the Founding Fathers, in the words of James Madison, viewed the dissemination of information as "the only effectual guardian of every other right." An ignorant public exercising the franchise was seen as inimical to a free society.
Today's mass voter drives stand this notion on its head. Because it is already so easy to register without the aid of Rock the Vote or Bothervoting.org, one must wonder what sort of person the mass voter-registration drives are reaching. Obviously not people who take their citizenship seriously enough to register without the assistance of DJ Diplo or the enticement of a "party-on" atmosphere.
Although the First Amendment is still in place and information is readily available, an intellectual laziness has crept into much of society. Recent polls show that when asked to name two of Snow White's Seven Dwarfs and two of the nine U.S. Supreme Court Justices, 77 percent of those polled were able to identify two dwarfs, while only 24 percent could name two Supreme Court Justices. Regarding the basic structure of our government, only 42 percent of Americans could name the three branches, whereas 73 percent could name all of the Three Stooges.
If Rock the Vote and Bothervoting really wanted to contribute to solving the problems facing our country, they would focus less on numbers and more on knowledge. An ignorant voter is more dangerous to the Republic than a non-voter. Unfortunately, the registration movement teaches citizens that an uneducated vote is better than no vote at all. Such a lesson is pernicious and could have lasting effects on the electorate.
Exit poll warning
We all remember how far off the exit polls were in 2004. But we don't recall how far off some of the leaked exit poll results were in 2006. In the races were expected blowouts - Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island - the exit polls were pretty accurate. But on some of the close ones - the ones where race-watchers want reliable data the most - they managed to botch it pretty badly.
Virginia Exit Poll Result: D: 52 R: 47. Actual result: Webb 49.59 percent, Allen 49.2 percent. The exit poll margin was 5 percent; the actual margin was less than one percent.
Montana Exit Poll Result: D: 53 R: 46. Actual result: Tester 49.16, Burns 48.29. The exit poll margin was 7 percent; the actual margin was less than one percent.
Arizona Exit Poll Result: R: 50 D: 46. Actual result: Kyl 53, Pederson 44. The exit poll margin was 2 percent, the actual margin was 9 percent.
Because they correctly predicted the ultimate winner, no one remembers these poll results as being egregiously off-base. But a few thousand votes here and there, and they would have had the wrong winner in Virginia and Montana. And you notice which direction these results skew.
NOTE: Suitably Flip and Jim Geraghty have been looking closely at the public opinion polls and predict a McCain win.
For more postings from me, see OBAMA WATCH, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)