Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Obama Puts it Away

Forget all of Hillary Clinton's spin tonight - the Democratic presidential nomination is over. Barack Obama has won. I doubt many libertarians were considering supporting Clinton, but now that things are all but wrapped up, November's choice is coming into sharper focus: Obama, McCain, the Libertarian Party or stay home.

Let's wait to see what happens at the LP convention, but it's pretty safe to say that whoever gets the Libertarian nomination isn't going to be sleeping in the Lincoln bedroom in January. And if Bob Barr or Wayne Allyn Root gets the nod, then there isn't even going to be a true libertarian on the ballot.

If you're one of those people who call yourself a libertarian but love war and torture and an imperial presidency, by all means vote for John McCain.

If you don't think that this election is important - despite the war in Iraq, impending war with Iran, vanishing civil liberties and the emboldened theocratic religious right - go ahead and stay home. But I don't think Americans are going to stay home this year.

Judging by the results in North Carolina and Indiana tonight, Obama did well because young people and African-Americans - two groups that have historically voted in low numbers - turned out in large numbers. Could it be that these groups didn't stay home in the past because they were undecided or unmotivated or uninformed? Could it be that young people and African-Americans and all of the other groups that historically haven't voted (libertarians included) have been staying home for a good reason? Maybe they haven't voted because there hasn't been a reason for them to vote. Because there hasn't been an honest candidate out there who would be straight with voters and occasionally tell them what they don't want to hear. Someone who would run the federal government with integrity and transparency and respect for political opponents and their views. Someone who people can vote for even if they don't agree with all of his stances on issues. Let's hope so.

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