I know I talked a bunch about this yesterday, but I’m going to talk a bunch about it today, as well. Well, not so much talk about it but quote other people. There is a buzz on the Libertarian effect on the nation’s election results, as is evidenced by an Economist article today:
In two of the seats where control looks likely to switch, Missouri and Montana, the Libertarian party pulled more votes than the Democratic margin of victory. Considerably more, in Montana. If the Libertarian party hadn’t been on the ballot, and the three percent of voters who pulled the “Libertarian” lever had broken only moderately Republican, Mr Burns would now be in office.
Does this mean that the libertarians are becoming a force in national elections, much as Ralph Nader managed to cost Al Gore a victory in 2000?
Similarly, the Dallas Morning News today made an interesting note on the Libertarian vs. Democratic presence in Texas elections:
Campaign officials said Mr. Perry won as much as 37 percent of the Hispanic vote, which they attributed to his working with local officials – oftentimes Democratic – along the border. Several Democratic sheriffs made TV commercials with the governor. In addition, his win was attributed to the lack of grass-roots organization on behalf of the other candidates.
Independents Kinky Friedman and Carole Keeton Strayhorn had to cobble together a constituency, and Democrat Chris Bell was left with a “hand-to-mouth” existence, with few resources.
The senior campaign officials likened the state Democratic Party to a car that has been left in the garage for years and has difficulty getting down the road – it did not have the organization and focus to promote a statewide Democratic candidate.
In fact, the Libertarian Party had more candidates in state races than the Democratic Party.
Frank Gonzalez, the man with whom I’m constantly butting heads with, who ran a LP campaign on the Democratic ticket down in Florida this year actually made some points today that I had to agree with:
I had very high hopes for Badnarik as the savior for the Libertarian Party on Election Night too. I watched for his results but noticed his two opponents took over 95% of all votes.
This left me with the very disappointing feeling that most of his campaign’s missives were based on fluff and completely void of real hope. This hope is what motivated supporters everywhere, including myself, to contribute to his campaign and I now I feel deceived.
Think of the long term damage this will do to the LP. Did he not think this would be exposed for all to see later?
I want the LP to be successful, but until you address these screaming inefficiencies and self-delusions, you will always remain a social club of ideologues not much more effective than a large Dungeons & Dragons campaign–no offense to D&D player as I’ve loved the game myself.
Now is the time for the Libertarian party to separate themselves publicly and create a real third party movement like the one that has been so effective in Texas. The base exists for them to capture a new seats in the House. They lack the universal support for the Presidency but there is no reason they can’t make themselves a strong but small unified front against Democratic Socialism and Republican Extremism.
The Republicans and Democrats have become so corrupt because there is no one to tell them apart. A Democrat can make a case with many reasons why they won this election but ultimately it comes down to this: in practice what real difference is there between Republicans and Democrats anymore? Except their stance on religious matters, where Republicans have taken a decidedly pro-religious stance, they are more or less the same.
Simply put the Democrats won because the Republicans have abandoned their traditional platform of smaller government, less government spending, and strong national security, not to mention that have sold the party to the fringe elements of the Christian Coalition.
Where has all this gotten them? It elected Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House, that’s what. The public on the whole has lost faith in George W Bush, so the question becomes: “What harm was there in voting for a Democrat it’s basically the same person only with a more flashy tie?”
Democrats have claim a mandate but look at all the races they won. Almost everyone of the ended with a slim margin of victory of less than 5,000 votes and many of them were hovering around the 2,000 mark. This is hardly an overwhelming show of support – basically they won by a thread but that thread was just enough in every important race for them to win. The people still believe and want these old school Republican values – they simply couldn’t find them anywhere.
I seriously doubt the Republicans will see this as a moment of truth, there are no Newt Gingrich’s in Congress anymore, there is a monumental leadership void across the board in Congress on both sides of the isle. Now is the time for Republicans to go back their roots – but they won’t. They much like their Democratic bretherin, they have found out that there are riches to be had in manipulating the government to their own needs, not to mention it’s easier to be a populist as opposed to making a stance on an issue. Currently, practically all politicians in America are populists both parties are littered with them.
The public wants someone of substance someone who actually stands for something and isn’t out for themselves. They want principal. The LP is, if nothing else, a party of principal.
Update: Read this post here. It’s mostly quoting an article from a paper called the “News Democrat.” But it talks about disenfranchised conservatives new port of harbor.