Elizabeth Nolan Brown // Blog

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About that McCain spoiler business …

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So Pam Spaulding ventured into Free Republic territory to see what some real live Republicans had to say about the Libertarian Party nominating Bob Barr as its presidential candidate this weekend:

If the Libertarian Party ever decided to get rid of its pro-drug, open border, weak national defense, and pro-abortion platforms, then it would become a significant force in American politics overnight. Otherwise, it’ll never be more than a Third Party. Regardless, I’ll vote for Barr before I vote for McCain.

I suppose if we can get a pro-drug-war, closed-borders, war-mongering, anti-choice Freeper to pledge a vote for Barr over McCain … well, that’s not bad, but … it’s not exactly the kind of glowing crossover support that sends my heart aflutter, either. If you libertarians would just kindly give up half the things you stand for …Then we could have the tepid support of disgruntled Republicans? Oh, neat!

Still, as an electoral strategy, I suppose it’s much better for the LP to be appealing to disgruntled Republicans and conservative-leaning independents in this election, since Obama seems to have the more liberal-leaning independents that the LP could sometimes appeal to locked up. The more I read about Barr’s conversion from all of his social conservatism in the 90s, the more convinced I get (that’s what they want me to think, I know), and it’s fun to see the press Barr has been getting. The idea that he could “draw non-trivial numbers away from McCain” and keep the media momentum libertarians have scored with Ron Paul running is kind of exciting. Even if it is all hype, it’s the kind of hype that gets the base motivated, which can’t be bad. Besides, being the sort of anomalous liberaltarian character that I am, I’d rather Barr be a spoiler for the GOP than the Democrats.

Someday, I dream of libertarians exploiting more of the ideological similarities they share with liberals (yes, I’m a Brink Lindsay fan) instead of repeatedly only aligning themselves with conservatives, but I guess, for once, I’m kinda glad that day is not now.

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Written by Elizabeth

May 28, 2008 at 12:58 am

Posted in Culture, Misc.

Tagged with ,

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