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Pick your evil/crazy

Prompted by pompe, I ask my readers: given a choice between four more years of the Republicans or (somehow) Libertarian rule, how would you vote? I think I'd take my chances with the Libertarians.

On the one hand, the Republicans seem unlikely to actually dismantle government. They've had their golden opportunity and shown that in Congress at least they don't really want to -- though Bush has done his best to pick at and mismanage it. On the other hand: torture, creationism, deficit spending, and war.

I'd worry about the environment and sudden shocks to the economy, but at the moment feel like taking a chance to avoid further slow decline and decay would be worth it.

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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
countrycousin
Nov. 13th, 2007 04:55 am (UTC)
So, you give me a choice between greed and greed? Bah. I voted for McGovern, but if we had to vote again, I might vote for Nixon - not because he is a good man, but because he could run the damn country. Not the way I wanted it run. But he ran it. McGovern couldn't run his campaign. But I liked his stance.

OK, suppose you allowed me a Democratic candidate. But, you say, the choice now is between greed, greed, and greed. I have a hard time arguing. But the Republicans are working very hard to fill the pockets of a few. The Libertarians are worse. The Democrats at least return some resources to the people. I will not vote for any national Republican under their current makeup. So I hope that the Democrats can put up a good candidate.
mindstalk
Nov. 13th, 2007 05:21 am (UTC)
Meh. Some libertarians may be about greed ("my taxes! mine!") but I wasn't, when I was one, and I have no reason to think I'm alone. The idea that no one should be *forced* to do anything is a burning and compelling ideal, at least to some of us. No or minimal taxes, yes, and thus no welfare, but also no corporate welfare, no foreign expeditions. Little in the way of business regulations (though you might get some to bend on pre-empting fraud and pollution) but no moral regulations (save the abortion split, and Ron Paul's thing about gays) or War on Some Drugs.

I know people who see libertarians as just plain crazy; I see them as a mix of really good ideas, really compelling but probably flawed ideas, and probably radically wrong ideas. So while I've swung more to the social democratic side of things this decade, fueled largely by apparent evidence, I've still got sympathy for them.
pompe
Nov. 13th, 2007 05:41 am (UTC)
I must admit I'd consider a step from libertarian to social democracy to be a rather big step. ,-)

But arguably not unique. Part of our currently biggest leading party were rather neoliberal/libertarian in their younger days and now sound virtually like the right wing of the Social Democrats.
mindstalk
Nov. 13th, 2007 05:55 am (UTC)
A common shorthand for that variety of libertarian is "socially liberal, fiscally conservative". On the World's Smallest Political Quiz I always pegged the political freedoms side at 100%, but was more of a waffler on the economic side -- 90-100% as a kid but with doubts, now down to 50% as I hit "Maybe" on everything, or something like that.

(Of course, they keep changing the quiz. The one they sent me at age 13 had a Personal question on gun rights -- which would throw things off, since supporting them would make you more 'liberal' -- and the one I took just now replaces that with opposition to a national ID card. I'm pretty sure I've seen other versions.)

So, while there's a big economic flip, it's in the area I was never certain about, and still am not from the other side (maybe minimum wages do destroy jobs, maybe the US is subsidizing drug development for y'all, maybe y'all do have crappier health care systems but live longer due to lifestyle). And even in the social democratic area I'd prefer policies which preserve or magnify choice, where possible (schools, doctors.)
pompe
Nov. 13th, 2007 06:15 am (UTC)
Yeah, I keep forgetting that in Swedish terms almost all parties are rather socially liberal when it comes to personal issues, our differences in political spectrum are generally speaking regarding economical issues and large-structure management, further subdivided into what interest groups the exact party tends to cater to.

That is, to what degree the state controls the redistribution of resources, to what extent the services are socialized and to what degree the state controls the means of production.

Thus, a social democrat is very far from a libertarian on the political spectrum for me.
countrycousin
Nov. 13th, 2007 02:29 pm (UTC)
OK. No personal slight intended, and I also know many Republicans and Democrats who are outstanding citizens with somewhat different aims. I was alluding to the tendency of political power attracting people (whomever I get to vote for) who abuse it, and the desire of some who dislike regulation wanting the freedom to fleece their less careful fellows, or simply to make a living without worrying about the consequences to the rest of us. I admit that giving a bunch of bureaucrats authority to regulate such consequences often goes astray and is another source of power that can be abused.

And I don't want to malign all elected officials (I am one, and know several excellent others) - I'm just saying that the power tends to attract and/or create abusers, across the spectrum, and I tend to make voting decisions based on what I think the best current counter-balance might be. ;<}
countrycousin
Nov. 13th, 2007 02:32 pm (UTC)
p.s.
And currently I am really disgusted about the increasing spread of the salary spectrum - that was the principal source of "greed".
heron61
Nov. 13th, 2007 06:39 am (UTC)
You have nicely summed up everything I was going to say in response. Libertarians horrify me and so do Republicans. If these two parties were ever the alternatives in an election, the only good answer is to leave the nation, preferably to a destination that does no share a border with the US.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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