Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute or common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back.”     Robert A. Heinlein,    Life Line

October 21, 2008

A slight profundity

by Chris

A question was asked of me recently: “Why don’t libertarians and real conservatives win elections”.

Simple really.

True libertarians and conservatives share the same electoral disadvantage:

True libertarians and real conservatives, CANNOT win electorally, in a climate where everyone is allowed to vote; and that “everyone” includes the huge politically created classes (both underclass, and “elite”) that exists because of governments meddling, and live at government sufferance.

True libertarians and conservatives only have answers that make those folks, and those who “support” or worship them, feel bad about themselves; and solutions that are against their short term interests.

Until these permanent classes of government dependents are eliminated (or at the least, politically neutered); government will continue, with the active support of these people (and those who “support” and worship them); to vote in the GOVERNMENTS interest:

That is, to increase the size, scope, reach, and power of the government, and to use that power to redistribute ever more wealth; making the class of government dependents ever larger, and reinforcing that dependency ever more.

“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” — Alexis de Tocqueville

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  1. Bread and circuses sound a lot more appetizing to most voters than personal responsibility and the messiness associated with liberty.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — October 21, 2008 @ 9:44 pm
  2. Maybe the framers were on to something when many thought land ownership should be a requirement for voting.

    Comment by Adam — October 22, 2008 @ 12:23 pm
  3. If land ownership were a requirment for voting (since the country’s beginnings”), I have a feeling government would’ve been helped kept in check on the personal level, as the vital concept of private property (& subsequently, the alien & sedition acts) would’ve influenced the way in which people view their government. I would say gov’t would’ve been viewed as a much more internal thing, rather than an external abstraction best left up to the rule of “representatives”.

    If a said family wanted to vote, and only one or two (the parent’s, assumingly) could do the voting, being that they owned the property of the house (again, hypothetically), the parents or heads of the property might engage in more political dialouge concerning “who to vote for this year’, instead of the somewhat cold & distant (as well as vacuous) nature politics sometimes has in households today.

    Yup, things would’ve been different. Too bad if they instilled that today, gov’t would be buying up more land & make voting illegal by way of not owning land: once again, blaming the victim for gov’t own coercive acts.

    Comment by Nitroadict — October 22, 2008 @ 4:12 pm
  4. [...] Libertarians and true conservatives don’t win elections. [...]

    Pingback by I Don’t Feel Like Writing | Hear ItFrom.Us — October 22, 2008 @ 6:39 pm
  5. Geez, why don’t you have the voters count jellybeans?

    Comment by VRB — October 23, 2008 @ 3:11 am
  6. Actually, my idea has always been that the only people voting should be those who pay more into the federal government than they get in benefits from it.

    I know, some people will cry racism and discrimination, but there’s a fundamental conflict of interest in being a dependent on the federal government and voting for representatives of the people who aren’t.

    Comment by Quincy — October 23, 2008 @ 9:48 am
  7. Quincy

    That sounds good but how do you determine what benefits they get from it. Some benefits are pretty indirect. Do you only count it if you get a check directly from the gov’t? How about laws/regulations that keep out competitors but help you, but no direct money was tied to it (licensing, etc.). There was a benefit from the law that can’t be determined very easily. You could go on and on about these indirect benefits or non-cash benefits making it very difficult for your idea to work.

    Comment by TerryP — October 23, 2008 @ 9:59 am
  8. TerryP –

    Yeah, that’s true, but I can live with it. Indirect enrichment from the Federal Government tends to favor those already connected to the system, so even if they couldn’t vote, they’d still exert a large amount of influence.

    OTOH, there are millions of people in America who get more in benefits than they pay in, and are therefore inclined to vote themselves *even more*. Likewise, there are those right near the middle who would be encouraged to stay on the independent side by something like this.

    I’m not claiming this is a magic bullet solution. There will always be rent seeking and influence peddling so long as there are rents to seek and influence to peddle. What this does is very directly cuts off people whose vote would be captured by their dependence on the federal government since they have a fundamental interest in using the ballot box to enlarge the size of government.

    Comment by Quincy — October 24, 2008 @ 12:22 am

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