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Why This Libertarian Republican Is Voting For Barack Obama

by @ 9:23 am on February 8, 2008. Filed under 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Politics

Virginia’s Presidential Primary is coming up on February 12th and, for some time now, I’ve been trying to figure out who I was going to vote for, or even if I was going to vote at all.

On the Republican side, before the election ended yesterday, my choices were bleak indeed.  I’ve already reiterated before the reasons I can’t support John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee and there’s no need to repeat them here. Up until December or January, I probably would have cast my vote for Ron Paul even though I didn’t agree with him on two important issues — immigration and foreign policy — but, with the newsletter story being the straw that broke the camel’s back, I quickly became disillusioned with both the campaign and the candidate and now I don’t think that his campaign will have any lasting impact on the Republican Party. If there were still a race, I probably still would have voted for Paul just to cast a protest vote, but that seems utterly pointless now.

But, you see, I live in Virginia and we have completely open primaries. When Virginians go to the polls on Tuesday, they simply need to ask for the Democratic or Republican ballot, and they can vote for whom they please. While I personally think that party primaries should be closed affairs, the open primary presents me with a very interesting opportunity this year.

The Republican race is over, but the Democratic primary isn’t and it’s possibly the most important race that this nation has seen.

Issues aside, I have come to the conclusion that the worst thing that has happened to this country has been the fact that we’ve been living in a Bush-Clinton-Bush dynasty for the past 20 years. The first Bush Administration wasn’t all that bad, and George H.W. Bush was, faults aside, a relatively decent person. But you wouldn’t have known that from the rhetoric thrown at him from both the left and the right. Then, when Bill & Hillary Clinton came to power in 1993 — and, make no mistake, these two have always been a team —  the political atmosphere in this country changed, and it changed for the worse.

It wasn’t all the Clintons either, almost from the day the Clinton Administration came into office there was this element of the right whose opposition to the President was nothing short of venomous. There were allegations that Bill Clinton was involved in drug-running (remember Mena anyone ?), that Vince Foster had been murdered, that Bill had an illegitimate black child, even that the Clinton Administration administered the Oklahoma City bombing. It was the era of the militas, and black helicopter conspiracy theories, and the Y2K nonsense.

And it was the era when the Contract for America died on the altar of the Lewinsky scandal and ill-considered impeachment hearings.

Then, George W. Bush came into office.  I just knew things weren’t going to calm down when he won in a closely-fought disputed election that was, ultimately, decided by the Supreme Court (correctly I would submit), and they didn’t. The Loony Left picked up right where the Loony Right had left off.

And then 9/11 happened. For awhile, it seemed like something had happened that would, much like World War II, unite the country. For a time, it did, but only for a time. The conspiracy theories started almost as soon as the smoke stopped floating into the sky and the 9/11 Truthers are still with us. The political venom in the air since 2001 is, if anything, worse than what we saw during the Clinton Administration and, once again, both sides are to blame. Michael Moore is an idiot, and so is Ann Coulter.

We’re yelling at each other and accomplishing nothing.

What’s needed, I am convinced, is a break with the past and a new direction. In some sense, although I hate to admit it, John McCain represents that for the GOP but Barack Obama represents it even more and, more importantly, is running against the one person who, if she wins, would guarantee a return to same crap we’ve been dealing with since 1993 on both sides of the political aisle.

A few weeks ago Mark at Publius endures explained why he could support Barack Obama, and I agree with him:

I could not disagree more with Obama on many of his policies. Yet I find myself drawn to supporting him – passionately, even – because his goals are liberal in the classical sense. I repeat – I do not think his means are libertarian in any way, and are arguably not even classically liberal means. But the goals, so far as I can see, ARE classically liberal. His are not goals centered entirely around maximizing his own political power, and thus he is a candidate worthy of my deep respect. These ultimate ends are the same ends as exist for us perjoratively-named cosmo-libertarians (as well as for other derivations of classical liberalism).

For all these reasons, on February 12th, I will be voting for a Democratic Presidential candidate for the first time in my life, and I will be voting for Barack Obama.

Does this mean I would vote for Obama in November if he’s the nominee ? No, and, frankly I probably wouldn’t. I also won’t vote for John McCain. But the Democrats deserve to have their best candidate as their nominee, and they deserve to have the Clinton machine destroyed, and if I can help in that process I am happy to.

21 Responses to “Why This Libertarian Republican Is Voting For Barack Obama”

  1. Seth says:

    Look at these images and then tell me the war isn’t creating more Jihadists


  2. Cargosquid says:

    If you want the Clinton machine destroyed, vote Clinton in the primaries. Clinton will be more polarizing and be easier to defeat.

  3. Mike says:

    But it will be much more pleasing and embarrassing to see her lose in the primary! She thought the nomination was her birthright. And McCain is hardly a libertarian, he just wants to spend all of our money on 100 more years of war and expanded military instead of tax breaks to help people get health insurance and improve education in this country. Sorry libertarians, you don’t have a good option, so just choose the guy who is going to leave us better off in 100 years instead of wasting all of our money in foreign wars until we end up like the Romans.

  4. mind says:

    > even though I didn’t agree with him on two important issues — [...] foreign policy

    > and the 9/11 Truthers are still with us

    you don’t sound very libertarian.

  5. Laurence Sheldon says:

    I think yoa are not thinking clearly, and I need to drop you out of my reading rotation.

  6. to:mind says:

    He isn’t.

  7. AlbertHall says:

    The newsletter story was a blatant smear set up by Bill White at Stormfront and the latte-swilling beltway coke heads at the Cato Institute.

    Barack Obama is twenty times the racist the Dr. Paul ever was. Are you familiar with the Black supremacy doctrines of his church? You’ve been fooled again.

  8. GT says:

    Obama has a strong muslim background, and hides his muslim middle name; that’s why the republicans will finish him if he faces them. No one who’s black with a muslim background and middle name will stand against any republican. Hello! – These are conservative, white, older men; fierce defenders of the western world and America who have access to deep information, and have complete disdain for those who are different. But they won’t play on those terms with Hillary, who has no such background and is very strong. That’s why they and the very establishment media want republicans to face Obama, and not her.

  9. You do realize the muslim thing is a lie, right ?

  10. GT says:

    I don’t want to say that those against the Clintons returning to power are “jealous,” but the Clinton years were wonderful. EVERYBODY doesn’t need to get a chance in the white house. We should go with who is available and good at the job. And the Clintons are good. Their time was marked by prosperity and a deficit shifting to a surplus for the country. Working and middle class people – foreign and native – I talk to, say that the time of the Clintons was good, now there are only “crumbs” compared to then. There’s no law in any reliable book that says we should, by force, have someone new leading us every time. For instance, Obama has no experience; glittering words, but no assurance he can face the utter delicacy of leading the nation, no plan, nothing. It’s even by a history of leading that one gains expertise in administration.

  11. Bill Clinton was lucky because he came into office right after the Cold War ended and just when the Tech Boom started.
    His policies had next to nothing to do with how the economy performed.

  12. MPH says:

    I was with you 100% until the Mark from Publius quote.

    Though he blames his political opponents of the same thing, Obama is a demagogue — prying on people’s fears of everyone else’s motivations (corporations, drug companies, Bush/Cheney) and he is back-handedly exploiting racism and anti-war emotions, offering “hope” and implying that today there is none except through him. He is exploiting and compounding the fears many face — and in turn, many people are supporting him in insane messianic ways.

    Compounding the problem, Obama rarely ever says anything about his actually policy goals — except the little he does say is frightening. Talk directly with terror sponsors — socialize health care — guarantee failure in Iraq.

  13. KDA says:

    Obama is a socialist. But, a charismatic one… and those are the most dangerous kinds. More taxes? The income tax is immoral and he aims to ensure that I never make it out of the middle class, and you too…

    Hopefully, I don’t butcher Amity Schlaes’ words, but this is 1930 all over-again:

    A “free market/Laissez Faire” Republican president- who wasn’t all that laissez faire at all, despite what our hish school history books tell us- trying to control the economy following the 1929 crash, telling businesses not to lay off people, and pushing the disastrous Smoot-Hawley Tariff.

    A Democratic Party wave rolls in with FDR at the helm, unquestionably the largest hoarder of executive power this country has ever seen (National Recovery Administration anyone?). Many of his advisers- if they weren’t committed socialists or communists who thought we should rewrite The Constitution- thought the USSR was “doing some interesting things.”

    Keynesian demand-side stimulus pkgs, and politicians’ desires to tinker with the economy just so they can show that they care.

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