The place of minor parties — challenger parties — in American politics needs to be rethought. This weekend at Townhall.com, I considers what the Libertarian Party challenge means to limited-government folks in the Republican Party. Click on over, then back here for a little more reading. And thinking?
Voting is a tricky business, with one’s choices very limited. Voting for the lesser of evils might (a) prevent an awful lot of extra evil, or (b) endorse, as a self-fulfilling prophecy, an outcome that guarantees a certain degree of malevolence.
Since I believe most of us are making the best choices we can to protect ourselves from an oppressive government when we cast a ballot, I’m not quick to find fault – either with those voting against the worst evil or those opting for the candidate best representing their principles, regardless of the chance to win.
But I do find fault in the attitude that says folks are foolish if they don’t vote for a candidate with whom they have major disagreements, your preferred candidate, instead of a candidate they enthusiastically endorse, because they should despise the other guy even more. If Republicans want Libertarian, or small-l libertarian votes, they’ll have to actually earn them.
“I get that libertarianism is not Republicanism,” writes Carrie Sheffield at Forbes. “But in a two-party, winner-take-all system (for better or worse, that’s just the reality), it begs the question why someone committed to a small-government philosophy would knowingly generate a big-government winner.”
But aren’t those who nominate a Republican candidate unable to win the libertarian votes needed to prevail in the election just as culpable in generating “a big-government winner” as the libertarians who decline to vote for that GOP candidate?
- Cato Institute: Examining the Libertarian Vote in Depth
- Forbes: Who Will Be The Next Libertarian Spoiler? By Carrie Sheffield
- Townhall: Who Can You Trust, Virginia? by me
- Brian Carnell: Did Libertarians Help Elect Maria Cantwell to the Senate?
- Seattle PI: Libertarian may have helped Rossi, experts agree
- Wikipedia: G.K Chesterton entry