Election time is here and I must say that it is a serious disappointment to me, all in all. The numbers of people out there worthy of a vote are few and shrinking by the day and it is becoming painfully obvious to me that there is virtually no hope that libertarians are going to find themselves in positions where they can affect anything approaching change. Add in the fact that across the country libertarians have been disqualified from running for political minutiae by the powers that be and you can see why so many people are looking at routes other than the political to obtain their freedom and make the state irrelevant.
Needless to say I don't even look at political candidates from the BOYN Party, only at "libertarian" candidates and, with a few exceptions I find that most either do nothing for me or they make me wonder if these folks are actually libertarians in some cases. I've seen candidates endorse staying the course in Iraq, say they'd support a Constitutional amendment denying equal rights to homosexual Americans, vote the Republican line and in one notable case a candidate even said he'd consider joining the Republican Party if Libertarians gave him the go ahead. Sheesh, what a slap in the face to people who've worked so hard to do something with the political arm of libertarianism for so many years. (Here's my OK, for it. Don't let the door hit ya in the butt on the way out).
As far as I can see there are a large number of candidates who are running as Republican Lite and a handful of notables who are running true to their core principles. A recurring theme this round seems to be "let us in the boys club and we'll fall in line behind the Republican banner" all in an attempt to allow Republicrats to retain their dominance over the Democrats. This truly flies in the face of all reason, especially since most of these candidates are making small government a big running issue. The Republicrats, at all levels have been increasing the size of government, decreasing liberty, spending like drunks on a binge, taxing and indenturing our children and there are "libertarians" who would align themselves with these people? So much for principles.
This year, in an election cycle with the highest level of voter discontent with the Boot On Your Neck Party I have seen more candidates disqualified for minor things than ever before and frankly, I'm not that surprised by it. Those who currently hold the reins of political power are loath to surrender them and even more reticent to surrender even a few votes to a potential spoiler. Since so many locales have already done this and seen that they can get away with it, I suspect this will become the accepted practice in voting offices nationwide. Where ever there are third parties running look for the bar to be raised again and again by those in power.
Sadly, the day after Election Day 2006 will see a repeat of the all the other post election days in past years. There will be the disappointment, defections, resolutions to do things differently and renewed resolve that next time things will be different and nothing will really change. Somewhere along the political path we have lost the battle for hearts and minds. The people in this country have no desire to be free of government and its thieving power mongers. Those who have elected to pursue political office as libertarians are, more often than not sending out the message that we are just like the "other guys" and they shouldn't be afraid to replace them with us. Where's the incentive in that?
If libertarians are to do anything they need to re-engage in the battle for hearts and minds before they tackle the political aims. Until folks finally have the desire for change and the wish to be free then we will continue to see the same results election cycle after election cycle. If "our" candidates are just Lite versions of those already enjoying power there is no incentive to vote for us, nor should they if change is what people truly seek. Moderates cannot effect radical change...and that's what we so desperately need. What's type of victory is it if "our" candidates are just watered down versions of the current rulers begging for a chance to get into the club house? Victory at any cost is not a good strategy, especially if it means becoming what you say you detest.
Libertarian, Politics, Election 2006