Yes, There Are Reasons Why Libertarians Should Vote Democratic

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It’s no secret that there are very few issues that Democrats and libertarians can align on. The modern Democratic party is awful once they have a position of power. The Democratic party is reflexively hostile to free enterprise, embraces crony capitalism, has a strong nanny state component, is awful on civil liberties, have proven themselves to be even worse on foreign policy than neocons, and have contributed the current state of affairs which has created a Federal government that is highly dysfunctional. If you’re looking for a policy alignment between Democrats and libertarians, you won’t find it outside of very few social issues.

Having said all that, there are still some reasons why libertarians should consider voting Democrat, although I won’t be taking my own advice.

The Republicans are running on nothing:

What are the Republicans running on this year? Where is this year’s Contract With America?  The GOP released something last month called the Principles for American Renewal, which are essentially talking points. The only concrete pledge the GOP is making is to try and pass a balanced budget amendment. Why should a party running on nothing but “Obama sucks” be rewarded with control of the Senate?

The GOP Contains The Most Useless Politician In America:

The Republican Party is home to the most useless politician in America. That man is none other than Senator Ted Cruz. A vote for the Republican Party is a vote for Ted Cruz and to allow him to increase his power. Ted Cruz released his own set of talking points in October which reads like a reactionary manifesto. If you want to reform the Republican Party, you have to defeat Ted Cruz. The only way to defeat Ted Cruz is for him to lose power, which can only happen if the GOP loses the midterms. Just an illustration of how powerful Ted Cruz is, last year he shutdown the government in order to promote himself. As long as Cruz is in a position of influence, he can sell conservatives and Republicans on false hopes that Obamacare will be repealed, gay marriage can be stopped, and everything will go back the way they used to be. A vote for Democrats will help marginalize Ted Cruz.

If Republicans Fail, Maybe They’ll Have To Change:

Doug Mataconis wrote a good article over at Outside The Beltway about a what might happen if Republicans don’t take the Senate. Mataconis argues that it would the beginnings of a no holds barred civil between the hard-right Ted Cruz/Tea Party wing of the GOP and the establishment and more moderate conservatives. Unlike many liberty Republicans, I don’t view Ted Cruz and the Tea Party as allies because they’re pursuing a hard-right, exclusionary agenda. Perhaps this would make Republicans acknowledge the need to reach out and broaden the party’s appeal to more than just old white males.

Long story short, libertarians should vote Democratic to force the Republican Party into the 21st century and punish it for its lack of an agenda. At least with Democrats, you know what you’re getting.

I’m one of the original co-founders of The Liberty Papers all the way back in 2005. Since then, I wound up doing this blogging thing professionally. Now I’m running the site now. You can find my other work at The Hayride.com and Rare. You can also find me over at the R Street Institute.
  • KingWulfgar

    It’s a lot less impactful when you lead with the fact you won’t be taking your own advice.

  • Adam

    I support his decision to not vote if you feel inclined to vote for a democrat.

  • http://www.fija.org Jake Witmer

    This article misses the best reasons for libertarians to vote Democrat. Also, this article very stupidly places hopes in the Republican brand. Aside from a few rare individuals, such as Rand Paul, the GOP is a 100% sociopathic organization.

    1) Best reasons to vote Democrat are because of what type of limit on government the name implies. Networked brain-based limits (limits based on the feedbacked ability of the people) are the primary cause of civilization. Republican limits do nothing but “inform the government about when they can hope to encounter resistance.” (Lysander Spooner) However, the democratic limits on government power directly limit government power, in and of themselves. (Some democratic mechanisms that limit government power: proper jury trial to the extent it is proper; proper elections to the extent they are proper; widespread private gun ownership; freedom of speech and assembly).

    2) There is no legitimate historical or logical reason to call oneself a “conservative” if one is not evil, socially-intolerant, and bigoted. When people call themselves “conservatives” but then claim they are fiscally conservative but socially tolerant, what they are telling you is that they are bigoted in some way, or they are stupid or uninformed in someway. Othewise, they’d already call themselves libertarians, so as to avoid the onerous stench of social intolerance.

    3) Both of the major parties have ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with their root definitions at this point. It’s as easy to run for state legislature as a libertarian Democrat as it is to run as a libertarian Republican (probably easier). The Libertarian Party reached its high water mark in 1978 when Dick Randolph got elected as a Republican. Then, he helped get Andre Marrou and Ken Fanning elected as big-L Libertarians. Nothing says the same can’t be done in the Democratic Party by focusing on a return to principles within the Democrats, and campaigning on a democratic, limited government platform.

    4) Mainstream Democrats and Republicans both have a tendency to be totally illiterate in the areas of History, Philosophy, Economics, and Law. However, most people are not “emotionally invested in” or “passionate about” Economics, which is the only legitimate area where one might consider themselves a “Republican.” So, because people tend to “vote their emotions,” the passionless subject of Economics won’t get them to vote against their perceived cultural identity (who their parents told them to vote for, when they were children). However, people occasionally break with the authorities on moral issues, especially when one can demonstrate that innocent people are being harmed. Showing bleeding heart Democrats will elicit an emotional “empathy” response, by causing mirror neurons to be fired. This may generate some legitimate feelings of resentment against the government in them. Show the same harm to a hard-nosed “Republican,” and he will react with all the social conditioning that has caused him to thus-far reject libertarianism. (Milgram’s experiment did a great job of revealing this reaction, but every Libertarian Party petitioner, such as myself, has witnessed it thousands of times.)

    In any event, thanks for reading.

    -Jake