I was all set to fill out my absentee ballot and vote for, among other things, the Libertarian candidate for President, Michael Badnarik.
Then I read his statement in the Voters’ Pamphlet.
It said some reasonable things about problems with both Kerry and Bush, runaway spending, the War on Drugs, voting for the “lesser of two evils”, etc. But, it also said this:
If we leave Iraq now, bad things will happen and people will get killed. But if we stay, bad things will happen to Americans and more American kids will get killed. The proper role of government is to protect American lives and property, not to squander both on adventures abroad. We can bring the troops home safely in ninety days; voting for me is the only way to show you want a quick end to this war.[emphasis mine]
Now, I’m actually sympathetic to the argument that we should strongly limit the use of our armed forces to missions important to our own national defense. But I disagree with Badnarik about the wisdom of a quick withdrawal, about what actions will get more Americans killed in the long run, and about whether or not the Iraq conflict constitutes “squander[ing]” or “adventures”.
I was willing to accept these differences with Badnarik and the Libertarian Party leadership and proceed to vote Libertarian as way of expressing my desire for more libertarian domestic policies. My rationale was that everyone would expect Kerry or Nader (and some other leftist wacko candidates) to get the anti-war votes, so people analyzing the election results would understand that Libertarian voters were expressing dissatisfaction with the way the major parties were dealing with taxes, and spending, and regulation, and civil liberties, etc. If enough people voted Libertarian to be the balance of power in several state elections, then perhaps both major parties would see the wisdom of moving in a libertarian direction to attract such voters and win more elections.
But then Badnarik had to go and undercut my expression by declaring, in a voice louder than mine, that a vote for him shows that I want a quick end to this war!
What an idiot!
I have many disagreements with Bush, but I support his approach to the war on terror, as well as many aspects of his Ownership Society plans.
If the Libertarians won’t let me express my support for libertarianism by voting for them, then expressing my support for the Bush policies that I agree with is getting more attractive all the time.