Monday, April 21, 2008

Libertarians for Conformity

The web site Join or Die '08 is an effort to get Ron Paul supporters to abandon every piece of ideology their candidate has - non-interventionism, civil liberties, privacy, personal freedom, etc., etc. - and rally around John McCain for the good of ... what exactly? Paul has never been the most die hard Republican - remember 1988? - and the Republicans have been happy to return the favor (read the full history of Republican attempts to defeat Paul here). So why should libertarians care about Republican unity, especially when the party's standard bearer is John McCain?

The site was apparently started by a 14-year-old from Georgia who has raised a total of $320 for Paul's campaign. So I'll try not to bash its collectivist, conformist, rally-around-the-leader sentiments too much. But what are Join or Die's adult supporters thinking? And why is the site getting coverage in everything from Wired to Daily Kos? This is pretty embarrassing for Paul supporters.


LibertyRepublican said...

As a libertarian Republican and diehard Ron Paul supporter, I find this Join or Die effort to be rediculous. Count me as one Ron Paul Republican who will not "Join."

That said, I'm sorry to inform you that I can't follow you to the Obama category. He's just dead wrong to me on way too many issues, and I think he makes it pretty clear that his aims are not libertarian. I just don't see how Obama's election helps our cause for less government, free markets, scrapping the income tax and IRS, scrapping drug laws, or protection of civil liberties when he is actively pushing for socialized medicine (or at the very least a transition to it), a slew of new regulations, socialized financial risk, increasing income taxes (and doubling the capital gains tax? WTF?), "decriminalization" of marijuana (instead of full legalization, as should be the case; never mind he's refused to call for an end to the drug war), and has voted for the reauthorization of the Patriot Act and for the Real ID Act. At the very least, while he's better than Clinton, I just don't trust him or the people around him.

I'm going to support the Libertarian Party nominee, whoever it is. I'm supporting Bob Barr for the nomination. Sure, he doesn't have a perfect past as a libertarian, but he is surely a free market proponent and he did have a great record on civil liberties issues while in Congress. His stance on drugs is unfortunate, but his Federalist position is acceptable and is the way that libertarians are going to have to go about the issues in a way consistent with the Constitution. Bob Barr is just too good of an opportunity politically for the LP. However, I would be happy with Ruwart as the nominee, as well. I will be thoroughly disappointed if WAR is the nominee, but I would probably still vote for him over the other two choices.

I have a blog up myself called Liberty Republicans. Check it out:

Mark said...

Liberty Republican:
It sounds like you're a libertarian purist. You're right, Obama is not going to eliminate the income tax or legalize drugs. He has even promised to take some non-libertarian actions like increasing government involvement in health care.

But I believe that, on the whole, Obama will move the country in a libertarian direction by ending foreign interventionism, restoring civil liberties and bringing transparency and accountability to government programs.

It's not often that Americans get the chance to vote for a candidate who will do so much good (even though I don't agree with all of his positions) and who can also win.


P.S. - Nice blog.