Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

The Reverse of the “Spoiler Effect”

leverage, politics, Virginia, Libertarian, influence

“Voter surveys have found the GOP-controlled Congress,” I wrote last weekend at Townhall, “to be more popular among self-described Democrats than self-described Republicans.”

Why? Because Republican politicians are proving themselves unable — even unwilling — to legislate as they have promised. One word: Obamacare. And few dare actually cut spending on anything . . . though they campaign on something (mythical?) called “fiscal responsibility.”

This leaves the GOP open to challenge. By the party I mentioned yesterday on this page.

And that can prove disastrous for the Republicans, for our elections in these United States are not run, on the whole, on reasonable grounds. They are “first past the post” elections, where, if enough people vote for their most favorite candidate it ensures that their least favorite candidate wins.

In those races where allegedly “small government”/“fiscally responsible” Republicans are challenged by serious budget-slashing Libertarians, the Libertarian candidacy can have the effect of electing a Big Government/Pro-Debt Democrat.*

Yet the actual political outcome of these challenges could be positive — yes, for the GOP. As I wrote yesterday, the Virginia Libertarian gubernatorial candidate seems to be influencing the Republican to be less of a “jail ’em all” Drug Warrior.

When Republicans adopt pro-freedom positions they’ll win more votes.

Moreover, this influence need not be ad hoc.

State Libertarian Party officials could identify the most critical issues and negotiate directly with state GOP officials: “These are our issues — if your incumbents vote correctly on these issues, we will not challenge them. But if not, we will take them out.

“And if we help elect Democrats, that’s on your head.”

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.


* There may be cases where the Libertarians — when focusing on issues such as drug legalization and peace — have cost Democrats elections. If so, Libertarians ought similarly leverage Democrats in those areas to improve their positions on those issues.

PDF for printing


By: CS Admin


  1. John F Brennan says:

    The disgust of the Libertarians and libertarian leaning with the Republicans is a rational response, and the Rupublicans must respond or destroy themselves upon proving all the really support is an unsustainable status quo. 
    The Trump election was not a Republican win, it was a revolution against the status quo. 

  2. Doug H says:

    The pivotal issue in Virginia is the Atlantic Coast PIpeline. A majority of Virginians oppose it, but neither mainstream gubernatorial candidate dares to speak against it. (The Libertarian, for whom I will vote, is opposed.) Staying neutral probably won’t affect either of the mainstream candidates, but the first one to come out against the pipeline will win. It’s that simple.

  3. Rocketman says:

    I think that the Republican party was absolutely stunned that Trump won the election and got so many other Republicans into office on his coattails. They had no idea that they were actually going to have to vote on the Obamacare elimination bill. Since there is no really difference between the Republicans and the Democrats as long as the Neo-Cons are in charge of the Republicans then this strategy will have a minimal effect of advancing the LP but it will start to get our name out AS SOMETHING DIFFERENT FROM THE OTHER PARTIES to advance the LP vote totals. I’ve long thought that the Libertarian would replace the Democrats but now I can start to see the party that it would replace might be the Republicans.

  4. Tjohn says:

    Sometimes common sense and courage are two very different things. Right now the Republican Party is using common sense. I don’t expect to see them around much longer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2020 Common Sense with Paul Jacob, All Rights Reserved. Back to top