Sunday, November 2, 2008

Reason Goes for Obama

Every presidential election year Reason magazine takes the pulse of the libertarian world - academics, celebrities, Reason editors. Here are this year's results:
Twelve votes for Obama (and two more deciding between Obama and someone else)
Ten for Bob Barr (and four considering Barr)
Ten for none of the above or didn't answer (and three considering that option)
Four for McCain (one possible McCain)
One Ralph Nader

The Obama voters are Ronald Bailey, Bruce Bartlett, David Brin, Tim Cavanaugh, Steve Chapman, Craig Newmark, Steven Pinker, Ryan Sager, John Scalzi, RU Sirius, Doug Stanhope, David Weigel and possibly Peter Bagge and Julian Sanchez.

Here are some of the best answers to Reason's questions:

Who are you voting for in November? Barack Obama, because he most exemplifies Reason and Free Minds (sorry, the country is in no mood for Freer Markets). The contrast between his discernment and eclecticism and the Republican ticket’s impulsiveness and idiot populism is vastly more important than any differences in their adherence to libertarian first principles.
- Steven Pinker, Harvard professor and author

Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? I could tell that the neocons were mad in 2000 and that their allies were fanatics or thieves. It was blatant in 2004. Those who act shocked (shocked!) and betrayed today were fools then and are likely fools now.
- David Brin, science fiction author

Who did you vote for in 2004 and 2000? Gore in 2000; Kerry in 2004. In 2000 I suspected Bush might have the intellectual depth of a custard; in 2004, sadly, I knew it all too well.
-John Scalzi, science fiction author

What will you miss about the Bush administration? Nothing. Worst president ever. The damage his administration has done to this country is mind-boggling.
- Peter Bagge, Reason contributing editor

What will you miss about the Bush administration? Their perfect purity of purpose. I have looked for a single example of their acting in the best interests of the American people, the republic, or even decent conservatism. There are no examples, whatsoever. Such perfection belies the "Standard Model" that they were merely venal morons. Such uniformity of accomplishment smacks of deliberate intelligence.
- Brin

What will you miss about the Bush administration? The idea that $438 billion is a big budget deficit.
- Jacob Sullum, Reason editor

Is this the most important election in your lifetime? I'm not convinced that many elections in the United States are that important, but the tragicomedy of American life is that we have a generally representative government, which is a damning comment on us.
-Nick Gillespie, editor of Reason Online

Is this the most important election in your lifetime? This election probably is the most important. Obama appears to be against wars of aggression, while McCain is clearly a war-monger. More generally, Obama is clearly deliberative and thoughtful and—while he won't often reach the same conclusions as I or other libertarians would reach—he's preferable to McCain, who relies on "gut feelings" and is as intellectually non-curious as George W. Bush.
- Rob Campia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project

Leaving George W. Bush out of consideration, what former U.S. president would you most like to have waterboarded? None of them. The sooner we stop coming up with lists of people to waterboard, the better.
- Drew Carey, host of The Price is Right


TC Fenstermaker said...

Your title is misleading. More people voted for someone other than Obama rather than Obama. And those that did, gave less than stellar praise of the man--most seemed resigned to "he's the lesser of two evils," and so forth.

Anyway what I found more interesting was the number of people who responded they'd like to waterboard Woodrow Wilson. He gets my vote as this past century's most overrated president; glad to see I'm not alone. (The woman who wanted to waterboard Gerald Ford is just a sick and ignorant mofo though...ugh.)

Thanks for a link to an interesting article, in any case.

Anonymous said...

When intelligent Libertarians examine Barack Obama, they see his high intelligence and intellect as an asset for rational [libertarian] thinking.

Combined this with his background as a civil rights lawyer and constitutional law professor who's favorable to voluntary, free community organization, and who as a Senator, took a daring stand against the Iraq War -- it becomes easy to see that Barack Obama is more "libertarian" than not.

Libertarians living in the real world know that Bob Barr is an ex-CIA Republican and on that basis he is questionable as a true “Libertarian”.

Because Bob Barr spend most of his political career as a rather right-wing conservative Republican, many long-time Libertarians don’t see him as a “real” Libertarian.

But also gangs of these hostile right-wing conservative Republicans have infiltrated the Libertarian Party over the years pushing out long-time Libertarians and founders.

This hostile LP take-over by conservative Republicans is not easily forgotten -- and well, as a backlash -- I can see a lot of Libertarians wanting to get Republicans out of power.

And the best way to do this is by voting for Obama and a straight Democratic ticket.

TC Fenstermaker said...

Well, I daresay that's what happened. And I have no regrets that the Republicans lost. It's the only way to purge the party of that weird mish-mash of crap they called "conservatism." I think it would be nice if all the big-L Libertarians came back to the Republican party now and helped turn it into something useful.