Showing posts with label election. Show all posts
Showing posts with label election. Show all posts

Friday, November 09, 2012

The Election

What I have to say about the presidential election I said here. So I will leave it at that.

I do wish to recognize four good outcomes: the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington, and the legalization of same-sex marriage in Maine and Maryland. Of course, these are not pure libertarian solutions--none of these things should require the voters' approval--but some people in those states will be freer as a result of the election.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Send a Message: Don’t Vote in November

Only a super low turnout at the polls would send a message that we are fed up. So stop agonizing over whom to vote for, and resolve not to vote. (Your vote certainly will not decide the election under any circumstances.)

Stop playing their game. Send a real message.

Don’t Vote on Nov. 6!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Don't Hold Your Breath for the Spending Cuts

Republicans last night made it clear that there will be no spending cuts to write home about. Various GOP members of Congress said they would like an across-the-board cut in "discretionary spending." This is spending that is explicitly authorized each year, as opposed to so-called mandatory (entitlement) spending that is on automatic pilot and whose level depends on how many people become eligible for Social Security, Medicare, and food stamps.

Discretionary spending constitutes just one-third of the federal budget, so the Republican sights are fixed on only that much spending ... except that the party vows not to touch military and "homeland security" spending.

With so much spending off limits, the potential for cuts is not great.

Therefore I ask: Except for those expecting new patronage and consulting jobs, why is anyone excited about last night's election results?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


The foreign occupations and threats to civil liberties played no role in the elections. That's a disgrace.
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Monday, October 25, 2010

Op-Ed: Hypocrisy’s Coming Election-Day Triumph

By nearly all accounts, Republicans are poised for a big win, even by historical midterm standards, in the November 2 congressional elections. Many candidates backed by the Tea Party should have a big day.

But what will these victories mean for people who are alarmed by the growth of the welfare-warfare state? Not much, I’m sorry to say.

Read the rest of my op-ed here.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Day After

"Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master."

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Depressing Day

Not only because one of those presumptuous scoundrels will fulfill his dream of being "commander in chief," but because the airwaves and cable channels are rife with media talking heads discharging their self-appointed duty of re-legitimizing the state. The last few days especially have been devoted less to partisanship than to praise of both "courageous" candidates for their service and dedication. In the end, for these windbag commentators what counts most is the process, i.e., the state's continued legitimacy. Nothing disturbs them more than discussion that undermines The Consensus. All underhanded campaigning can be forgiven in light of the larger mission, the collective choosing of a Leader, which can be used ultimately to absolve the state of its crimes. Nothing, therefore, is more sacred than the ritual of voting. Or so the media talkers would have us believe, as they rhapsodize about "caring" and "participation." In truth, getting out the vote is a way to get everyone's hands dirty enough that they can't regard the state as an external villain, an occupying power.

Anyone who points out that this process is based on fraud and coercion would be dismissed as a cynic or a nihilist. But no need to worry. No one who would point this out will be invited to comment in the first place. Can't have the purity of the moment sullied by the truth. The media are safe for Peggy Noonan, David Gergen, and the rest of the state's cheerleaders. No one will say what should already be obvious to any thinking person: the electoral process is a distraction, a massive effort in misdirection to keep our minds off what is really going on. The illusion of popular power hides the fact that real power is securely beyond the people's reach.

"If voting could change things, it would be against the law." No wiser words ever graced a wall.

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Crazy Arithmetic of Voting

The hoopla over Super Tuesday reminded me of an essay I read long ago by Bruno Leoni (1913-1967), an Italian legal scholar and great champion of liberty. I've been meaning to discuss the many important themes in his book, Freedom and the Law (expanded third edition), and will surely return to it in the near future. But for now I'll focus on the final chapter, "Voting Versus the Market."
The rest of this week's TGIF, "The Crazy Arithmetic of Voting," is at the Foundation for Economic Education website.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Go, Obama!

Since the presidential campaign began, I have felt myself favoring Obama over Clinton. I wasn't exactly sure why. Yes, Obama has opposed the Iraq war all along, while Clinton voted for it and would keep troops there. But Obama's foreign policy is distinctly not noninterventionist. He's ready to invade Pakistan with or without Musharraf's permission. (I'm against it either way.) And he obviously does not plan to withdraw from the Middle East. Domestically, I can't see any important distinction between him and Clinton.

So it may come down to more ethereal things. Unlike Obama, Clinton acts like a woman driven by power lust. (Obama may lust for power too, but he doesn't come across that way.) Clinton displayed this the day after she humiliatingly lost Iowa. "I am ready to lead!" she shouted to her supporters.

Yes, that is the problem.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The "Debate"

Antiwar libertarians (in one sense that's redundant; in another it's not) are upset that Ron Paul is getting such short shrift from the news media following his participation in the Republican "debate." This was inevitable. In fact, the very format of the "debate" guaranteed that only the anointed top-tier candidates would get any respect. I use quote marks around "debate" because it was not a debate. It was a joint softball news conference with unequally allocated time. There were barely any follow-up questions, and the candidates were not permitted to question each other. What kind of debate is that?

Moreover, with ten candidates on the stage, we knew going in there would be no time for any positions to be developed. The whole thing was a joke, more precisely, a media event that MSNBC could milk for ratings.

If that network (and the others) were serious about informing people about who was running for these nominations, they would do, let's say, one-hour interviews with each candidate -- one on one. But no, for a couple of reasons they won't do that. First, they know the ratings would be too small to justify the time. How many people will tune it for ten long interviews?

Second, that format would require that "minor" candidates -- such as Ron Paul, an antiwar Republican who thereby doesn't fit most people's worldview -- would have to be given equal time.

So that's why we were stuck with the joke we saw the other night. I despise what most people call "democracy." And so do the television news people. But at least I admit it. I don't play Chris Matthews's game and pretend to be gaga about the process.

Speaking of Chris Matthews, who says he was against the Iraq was from the start: why does he say the troops are serving "their country." If the war is against the interests of most Americans, which Matthews says he believes, they can't be serving the country. At most they are serving the president. (I e-mailed this to Matthews. So far no answer.)