Will the GOP Learn from This?, by Michael D. Tanner of the Cato Institute.
This article appeared in the Orange County Register on November 4, 2008.
A similar article could be written about Libertarians. Most people can't give a coherent explanation of what the Republican Party or the Libertarian Party stands for. That's probably because the two parties don't promote a coherent program.
The Republican Party is criticized for not empowering government, but it actually expands government power when in office.
Libertarians are supposed to be for smaller government, but one poll suggests they support Obama:
compare this 2000 poll:
Bob Barr did not get the support of a large number of libertarian voters, who didn't feel Barr was truly libertarian.
Notice in the first poll that the largest demographic is "socially conservative and fiscally conservative." I guess that's the Constitution Party.
The problem is, a person can be "socially conservative" but politically liberal, that is, homosexuality may be wrong, but should't be the government's business. ("Socially liberal" would say homosexuality is good.)
The answer is to convince that large socially conservative bloc that government promotes social liberalism (homosexuality, abortion, drugs, etc) by its policies, and that abolishing government programs will make it harder for homosexuality, abortion, drugs, etc., to gain a foothold in society.
(As a libertarian candidate, I'm trying to learn something from these polls and election results. I don't think the GOP is going to learn anything, and I don't particularly care if they do.)
Richard Winger points out,
The Libertarian Party polled over 1,000,000 votes for its candidates for US House, for the 4th time, in 2008. Breaking the 1,000,000 vote for US House candidates is something that no other party (other than the Dems & Reps) has done since 1914. This was achieved in 2008 despite the fact that we had candidates in only 126 districts.
The Libertarian Party is now ballot-qualified in over half the states. No other parties, except the Dems & Reps, can say that. Our presidential total has gone up 3 elections in a row, something that was never true before, except in the series 1972-1976-1980. Barr’s vote has topped 500,000; no other Libertarian running for president except Ed Clark did that.