I took the time to go out and vote today, just like I always do. I generally ignore the comments from some of my Anarcho-Capitalists friends, the types of comments that amount to “Voting is two wolves and a sheep deciding on what’s for dinner.” Not that I disagree with the sentiment concerning voting. It’s just that I’m a realist (unlike most of them) and I play the hand that has been dealt to me. Part of playing that hand is participation in the process. If you don’t participate, you really don’t have any room to bitch about the outcome.
Case in point: These Anarcho-Capitalists who don’t vote, who go to great pains to not vote, who spend a lot of energy convincing others of the futility of voting; these self same Anarcho-Capitalists will proceed to laugh at the sorry returns for Libertarian candidates (or mainstream candidates and issues that they might be in agreement with) and say, “see how pointless it all is.” It’s a self fulfilling prophecy.
I’m sorry, but that minuscule return is there to ridicule because people like me haul our sorry butts out on election day and cast ballots for the candidates and issues that conscience dictates we support. If we relied on your holier-than-thou selves, there wouldn’t be any candidates, or any numbers to ridicule, at all. The truism “All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing” can’t be shown any clearer.
Not that I want to force them to vote. I just wish they’d think before spouting off about how pointless it all is. It’s real easy to sit on your hands and moan about how helpless you are; it’s another thing to expend your best effort in defiance of the naysayers, committing yourself to an effort that you essentially know is hopeless, but you would kick yourself if you didn’t at least try.
My hat goes off to all the Libertarian Party (and other third party) candidates and their staff tonight, for putting themselves through hell, and then some, for nothing more than the simple need to see something better than “politics as usual” on the ballot. For supporting people that they believed in, no matter what the odds were.
And the odds were pretty insurmountable. I can say, in Texas, that we didn’t win any major victories, although it looks like we may have squeaked out the percentage needed to stay on the ballot for another 4 years. That, in itself, is quite a victory. Getting back on the ballot is an expensive process that should be avoided if possible.
Someone noted, during the last election, that the Libertarian candidates in most races had vote totals larger than the number of votes separating the winner and the looser of that race; the observation still seems to be true. More than that can be said, though. The Republicans lost the house and Senate because they betrayed the small government conservatives who make up a good portion of the libertarians out there. And many of the small government social liberals consciously shifted their votes to Democratic candidates (there was a lot of talk about this on the CATO unbound and CATO podcast recently, as well as on Daily Kos) as the founding of Democratic Freedom Caucus (the Democratic version of the Republican Liberty Caucus) should have signaled to anyone who was paying attention. (For more on this, check out the Op. Ed. Examining the Libertarian Vote in Depth by David Boaz and David Kirby -ed.) So there were a few beacons of hope out there, if you were looking.
However, property owners in Austin (the sheep in the scenario above) once again were shafted on all 7 propositions put before voters this year; all of which passed, and all of which will raise property taxes.
Those of us who were cheering for a return to divided government have reason to celebrate. The two parties will at least have to pretend to hate each other’s ideas for the next two years. It should slow down the juggernaut that the federal deficit has become. I doubt that anything is going to save the economy, though. And if the economy goes South, there’s only one possible outcome. Hillary in 2008. Now that’s a nightmare.
That nightmare is two years away. Now is the time to get back to building the Libertarian party, fixing the defaced platform and the hundred other thankless tasks that need to be done behind the scenes; just so that our erstwhile brothers in the libertarian movement can cast aspersions on our (in their very vocal opinion) hopeless efforts. Here’s to making them eat their words next time around.
I have eaten a Big Bowl of Crow since publishing this and other thoughts on many subjects. The wife of the blowjob president (That would be Hillary) was the nominee for the Democratic party in 2016 and I even voted for her. Donald Trump held the office of president for four years. Too many Americans wanted to live a different kind of nightmare than those of us who realized that Hillary wasn’t that bad in comparison to Donald Trump. I referred to him as His Electoral Highness, The Orange Hate-Monkey for the entire four years he was in office. He lost because he made sure government couldn’t work while he was in office, stole everything he could get his hands on while there, plunged the world into a pandemic the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the 1918 flu pandemic, and is supposedly going to be running for the Presidency again in 2024 against Barack Obama’s former Vice President, Joe Biden. Barack Obama, the first black President of the United States, who I was quite proud to vote for in the general in 2012. I wish I had done it in 2008 too. It is a weird world we live in. I still have libertarian delusions but I have medications that keep those in check.
I have become a supporter of mandatory voting and mandatory service. I blame the people who delude themselves into thinking they are sovereign and don’t need other people to survive for the mess we are in today. Sociopathy appears to be running rampant on the internet.
For some reason (and by some method I can’t even begin to fathom) this post was flagged by Blogger in the purely ritualistic (currently, but occasionally necessary) archive that I maintain at my old address on Blogspot. I have no idea why this innocuous set of observations about the general election for the 2006 midterms was deemed in violation of Blogger’s (clearly arbitrarily enforced) codes. Nor do I care. I simply deleted the original post in the interface and then duplicated it for the archive, giving it my now ubiquitous timestamp of 4:04 in the process. Time not found when it comes to dealing with persnickety algorithms with their panties constantly in a wad. The delete button is mine to arbitrarily wield and retract. Beware the delete button lest it come for you, algorithm!