That's the question Karen poses. My answer is no (I'm not telling you to vote Republican either). I'll give my brief reasons in a follow up post. Now, I'll just let you read her question and see if any commenters react. Tonight, I'll post this over at Positive Liberty and see how they react. Then I'll give a brief response.
I don't often see you write on current political stuff so much - or current Constitutional legal questions (like the NSA spying and 4th amendment issues) But I’ve got sort of a side-line question for you (and not in a particular hurry for an answer – As IF I do not realize how busy you are!) But, since you are a self-described “Libertarian” I am curious about the governing philosophy and what it would mean to have such a theory running our government. If one imagined a true multi-party system where independents or libertarians could become a plausible and challenging alternate to the two-party system of Dems and Reps currently in our political system – what and how would libertarianism function?
And not intended to be insulting – but most self-described libertarians and independents (not you) I’ve come across don’t seem to be really be so “independent” or truly as libertarian as they say It seems to me many other libertarians are more like closet GOPers based on a dislike and distrust of any Government and paying Taxes to support it. And many independents are not really so independent either (but wish to *appear so* for what ever reasons.)
I tend to identify with the DEMs political philosophy more than libertarianism on the basis of both seeing the Government as necessary to perform the type of Top-Down governance required in a country as large and diverse as the U.S. - and taxes as the necessary evil to pay for those requirements. There is a legitimate purpose for government, and a function it should perform for the benefit of those governed. And it’s important to say that it must (MUST) function both Effectively and Competently to address the nationwide issues we face in a Top-Down governing fashion.
I see libertarianism as more suited or suitable for a bottom-up type governance – but not for the kind of intensive Top-down management needed to address both short term and long term issues facing our nation. And secondly, there really is not (as of yet) any real hope for a third party or multi-party system to challenge the dominance of the GOP. Without gaining Dem seats in the Congress and at the state and local levels, there is no way to make the political changes necessary to get back to proper oversight and checks-and-balances appallingly missing from this one-party dominance over these branches of government.
And what do I mean by Top-Down and Bottom-Up governance? Well, if you recall going that set of posts over at DBV – one in particular - explaining this issue from “Collapse” by Jared Diamond – if you haven’t yet read that book.
Top down Governance - http://www.cleavelin.net/archives001/00002068.html
But what I am really concerned about is both the political threats of Collapse to our Constitutional system of government as demonstrated by the reactions to the NSA spying and the Republican Congress’ failure to either check Executive political abuses or provide required oversight to it’s own party Executive. But, equally and as importantly, is the threat of Collapse to our environmental and geo-political world from these ill-conceived and poorly executed GOP policies and failed ventures and unwillingness to countenance facts or science on serious issues affecting our world and country.
As kind of a multi-pronged question: Is libertarianism, in your opinion, suited to be a good governing philosophy for this modern U.S. and could it provide the much needed and coordinated and effective Top-Down governance? And even if it is - we are currently in a two-party only dominated system. Alternate parties have demonstrated no chance to succeed - But what would or should a libertarian or independent DO when they do not identify with the GOP or the DEMs?
Should they support the best alternate? (That lesser of two evils?)
Abstain? But the problem with abstention is that it does not contribute to any good governance choices being made.
Stick to principles and Vote for libertarian or independent candidates (even those with no hope of succeeding)? This may actually have helped the GOP to win in these last election cycles by siphoning off much needed support to challenge the GOP candidates.
Cheers again, Karen McLauchlan