Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bruce Ramsey and More Libertarians Supporting Obama

Every year, Liberty magazine prints several endorsements, one for each candidate that libertarians might be interested in voting for. This year there are endorsements for John McCain ("I don’t like him. Actually, I detest him," but he'll lower taxes, argues Stephen Cox), Bob Barr and None of the Above (No endorsement for Chuck Baldwin. Go figure.).

Bruce Ramsey wrote the Barack Obama endorsement. Here's an excerpt:

"McCain was for starting a war with Iraq. Obama was against it. When the occupation went bad, Obama talked about taking soldiers out. McCain talked about bringing them in. McCain, having been a prisoner, was sensitive to the issue of torture, and that is to his credit. But a vote for McCain is a validation of Bush on war and the other things, financial, legal, and cultural, that come with war. And on this issue, McCain is worse than Bush. Military service has defined McCain’s heritage and his life. His moral touchstone is honor. He’s got war written all over him.

"That is why some libertarians will cast their vote this year for the nominee of a party that libertarians do not usually support."

Read the whole thing at Liberty Unbound. What was interesting to me about the endorsement was all of the references that Ramsey made to other libertarians who have written in favor of Obama. I knew about Camile Paglia, Scott Flanders and David Friedman.

But Ramsey also points out that libertarian blogger Megan McArdle has said she'll "probably vote for Obama." And he goes the extra step of calling up Brink Lindsey and Gene Healy, who both tepidly support Obama (at least to the extent that he is better than McCain and the other options).

Lindsey: "My sense of fundamental democratic accountability says that when the party in power messes up royally, it should be thrown out on its ear. For Republicans to be rewarded with another term in the White House after eight years of Bush seems really wrong to me."

I'm adding McArdle and Healy to my blogroll. Unfortunately, Lindsey's blog hasn't been updated for almost a year, when he had this interesting post about why he doesn't support Ron Paul.


Marcus said...

I realize McCain isn't much better, but a libertarian who would vote for someone with such massive socialist tendencies is only a libertarian in name. Obama wants:

-a tax credit for people who don't pay taxes. Pure and simple wealth redistribution, also known as welfare

-to give even more money to failing nationalized education

-socialized health care (private corporations can only compete with "free" government health care for long and when they can't, what's left?)

-huge government farm subsidies

-increased regulation on financial markets when it is regulation that encouraged them to get where they are today.

It's ridiculous to say you're going to punish the Republican party with four years of Obama's huge government growth because they elected Bush. It's like making a child smoke crack just to show them how bad they were for trying cigarettes.

If you buy into the message that change is good because it's change you've been owned by Obama's marketing. The man is for increasing the size of government on almost every level which is in polar opposition to every libertarian ideal.

Brian said...


I read where you used to work for the Cato Institute.

"The mission of the Cato Institute is to increase the understanding of public policies based on the principles of limited government, free markets, individual liberty, and peace."

Maybe I missed it on your blog, but what happened to make you no longer believe in those ideas?

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