Libertarian is not “Conservative”

Why have these two often been mixed up together. Why they should not. And what we (Libertarians) can do about it.

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Ridicule On the Road to Victory

First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. Then they fight you. Then you win.

I have two new pieces of evidence that we are in the “ridicule you” or “fight you” stage. Last week I came across a video entitled “The Religion of Libertarians” by a youtube channel called Newsbroke. It’s snarky, not completely inaccurate, and I would even say witty. Yes, it is chock full of mischaracterizations of libertarians and Straw Man arguments against our philosophy, but it does portray the basic principles of Libertarianism. That being self ownership, nonaggression, and freedom – for All, socially AND economically. Many people who are leaning our way will be inclined to look into the Libertarian Party after watching that video. So thanks for the promo! But the main point is that someone took the time to make that video in the first place. They must be getting scared. We are being taken seriously. When you are enough of a threat that they don’t just ignore you, but they (attempt to) make fun of and attack you, then you are doing something right!

Ridicule to Victory

The other recent attack comes from Robert Reich in a video he published  on April 19th. He asks, “Should You Vote for a Third Party?” ** SPOILER ALERT ** His answer is NO. This longtime friend/advisor to the Clintons, and champion of BIG government, BIG banks, and BIG cronyism, is scared of the little third parties. Enough so that he’s decided to lecture us against the folly of trying to go outside the prescribed two party box. He blames people who voted third party for the loss of Hillary Clinton and the disastrous election of Donald Trump in 2016. Even though the biggest third party vote total was by far for Libertarian Gary Johnson. And most of those voters certainly would not have chosen Clinton as their second choice. In other words, third party candidates “stole” more votes from Trump. Although instead of saying it that way, I describe it as the exact opposite. The Democrats and Republicans actually tend to “steal” votes from the Libertarian, Green, and other parties. Those candidates, such as Jill Stein of the Green Party would be many voters’ first choice. But because they are afraid of wasting their vote they are often shamed into voting for the establishment status quo candidate whom they really don’t want but fear slightly less than the other establishment status quo candidate. Thus the establishment LOVES keeping the Red Team Vs Blue team animosity at full boil.

Which is why it shocked me to hear Robert Reich endorsing something new. In that “Should You Vote for a Third Party” video he advocated for ranked-choice voting. Instead of voting for a single candidate, ranked-choice voting has you put the candidates in order of your preference. If there is no clear winner from the first choice votes the other preferred choices get factored in. As Reich says this allows you to vote your conscience. (So I guess he realizes voting for R’s and D’s goes AGAINST your conscience.) What I don’t get is how he could possibly think ranked-choice voting would be good for the Democratic Party and the system he has fought so consistently to defend.

Personally, I love exploring new possibilities such as ranked-choice voting, and also proportional representation as another alternative. In proportional representation the legislature is made up of candidates from ALL parties in proportion to the vote total they received. If the House is made up of 50 representatives and the Green Party got 10% of the vote total in an election then the Green Party would have five representatives in the House.

I applaud any new system which allows for more choice and enables people to break free from old paradigms. I also encourage you on your journey (be it your political, spiritual, artistic journey, or all of the above) NOT to fear criticisms of your beliefs. Welcome those criticisms, explore and play with them. If someone goes to the trouble of trying to keep you down then you are probably on your way up!