Thursday, December 01, 2005

New Libertarians?

Bartleby happens to be the first known person other than me to refer to me by name in a blog. It seems that he is accusing us of being too much like Republicans for the purposes of winning elections and that the "new Libertarians" are nothing like the "old Libertarians".

The only thing that makes me "new" is that I was born after the founding of the LP. If you want to know what an "old Libertarian" thinks, ask John Hospers, the first Libertarian ever to run for president.

Last year, John Hospers endorsed George W. Bush for president, on the ground that he felt that a Kerry administration would be too horrible to contemplate. I disagree with that, and I voted for Badnarik. I have heard from Libertarians who said that had they lived just a few miles east of here on the other side of the Ohio border, inside the belly of the battleground state, that they would have voted for Bush or Kerry because the other one was so much. If I lived in Ohio in 2004, the first thing I would have done is move back to Indiana and failing that, vote for Badnarik anyway. But it illustrates that even by the standards of those who first joined this party that its still too weak to win elections. We need to include, attract, and invite those who aren't pure. We have hawks and doves, prolifers and prochoicers, but we all agree on many principles. The current conflict will be over soon, and the abortion rate has been steadily declining. We need to look forward to the future.

For your convenience, I have posted a link to the only online copy of Mr Hospers's statement that I could find. It is not meant as an endorsement of that blog or the statement itself.


  1. Wow- I didn't know Hospers endorsed Bush. I guess that means us "new" Libertarians are more "pure" still than the "old" Libertarians. I voted for Badnarik, too.

  2. I am sorry, but I voted for Bush. But in my defense, I am a recent "convert", having only happened upon the TRUE wonders of this system. I think the two party system is now like big business and needs to be gotten rid of ASAP. I am tired of trying to vote for the "lesser of two evils."

  3. John Hospers is probably as ideologically pure as anyone else, its just that his voting strategy is different. (Its why we need instant runoff voting.)

    IT Chick, you don't have to apologize. If you were sincerely worried about the effects of a Kerry victory, and you were worried that Kerry was going to take the state you reside in, then voting for Bush probably looked like a good option for you. Indiana has been going Republican in presidential elections for so long that neither party bothers to do much campaigning in this state. You might see fundraising here, but that's it. (In that case, you might have made a protest vote for Badnarik, since Bush would have won this state no matter what, but contributed money to the Bush campaign so to prevent a Kerry victory.)

    I consistently vote and contribute Libertarian however. If there is going to be one person waving a plywood sword at the giant windmill called big government, then let it be me. I'm simply trying to illustrate the thinking of people who do not vote for their first choice.

  4. It's funny, Robert. Hospers used strategy? That's exactly what us 'new Libertarians' do. We use strategy. And yet, we get grief for it by our purists here at home.