Should Libertarian Republicans Just Swallow Their Pride And Vote McCain ?by Doug Mataconis
That’s the argument that Steven Maloney makes at the Libertarian Republican blog:
If you listen to Barack Obama (and Hillary Clinton) on the campaign trail, you hear some scary things. They portray “too many Americans’ as one step away from economic and social disaster. They see as people badly in need of major assistance – their assistance.
John McCain, imperfect as he may be, sees a very different America. It’s the same country whose liberties he was willing to give his life for in Viet Nam. We may not agree with him on every issue, but we can’t disagree that a love for liberty is at the central core of this man’s being.
Even Bill Clinton has said of McCain: “He’s given everything he has to his country – except his life.” President Clinton has never spoken truer words.
In contrast to McCain, Obama essentially portrays America as something resembling Matthew Arnold’s “Dover Beach,” where “ignorant armies clash by night.” As “Lexington describes Obama’s world-view, America is “a coalition of groups that define themselves as victims of social and economic forces, and . . . [where] its leaders encourage people to feel helpless and aggrieved . . .”
If Obama becomes President, we would become a society of “victims,” all of us clamoring for the government to bail us out of our misery. That would be a disaster not only for libertarians, but for all Americans.
I hope all libertarians do the right thing: voting for John McCain. Also, ask your friends and family members to do the same thing. The future of liberty in this society depends on free people standing up and supporting a man who has devoted his entire life to defending American values and liberties. John McCain is the right man for our cause.
But there’s another side of the story.
The election of John McCain as President would effectively destroy the Republican Party as an avenue to achieve any reduction in the size, scope, or power of the state.
Whatever he might be, it is fairly clear that John McCain is no libertarian. He was the chief sponsor of a law that eviscerated the First Amendment in a political campaign contest. He supported the Patriot Act. His one saving grave is that, unlike George W. Bush, he recognizes that torture is not a legitimate tool in the War on Terror.
Beyond that, though, there’s no reason to believe that a McCain Presidency would be any better than a George W. Bush Presidency. And no reason to believe that John McCain has any greater respect for civil liberties.
No, I’m not going to vote for John McCain. And I’m not going to urge anyone else to vote for him.
And I’m not going to vote for Barack Obama either.
My vote won’t change the election, but, unlike 2000 and 2004, at least I won’t have to spend four years rationalizing to myself why I voted for someone who stands for everything I disagree with.