Showing posts with label libertarian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label libertarian. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

36 States: 3rd Parties Polling Greater than Margin Between GOP and Dems

But...but.....a Third Party Vote is a wasted Vote! How many times have you heard that plaintive cry during the 2016 election season? Or the usual follow-ups: "A vote for Johnson (or Stein) is a vote for (Fill-in-the-Blank: Trump or Hillary!)"

It seems that every strong Clinton supporter, and every strong Trump supporter (or, perhaps more accurately, every Anti-Clinton Voter and every Anti-Trump Voter) has been working overtime in the mainstream media and on social media to convince people not to vote for a third party in 2016. "After all, they won't win...and that will only help Candidate X win," they say. They don't seem to understand that even if there were no third parties, I would not vote for either Clinton or Trump.

And to be honest, many of them try to give me constructive advice: "Please, this is a two-party nation, and only one of the two major party candidates can win. Why don't you work within one of the major parties to make effective change instead?," they plead.

Because history has shown that won't work.

There are only two factors that motivate party policy.

The first is money. And sorry, I don't have enough to influence either party in that respect.

The second is votes - and more important, winning elections.

When they win, they assume they touched on the right issues in the right way, and ran their ground games in an effective and successful way. If what you want is more of the exact same nonsense that both major parties have handed out, then by all means, vote for a major party. They will assume that their win means they did everything correctly, and you can expect more of the same in the years to come.

When they lose, they must admit that they did something wrong, and begin the process of looking at polls and votes and voter turnout rates to see where they lost ground.

Want to send a message to the major parties to make them seriously examine what they have done this election cycle? FORCE THEM TO RE-EVALUATE WHAT THEY'VE DONE.

It is a Media cliché at this point to speak of 'blue states' and 'red states' and 'battleground states.' But the number of states on the edge is far bigger than anyone could imagine this year.

This year, in 36 states, polls show that the combined support for Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Green exceeds the margin of difference between the Republicans and Democrats. These states represent 358 Electoral votes: far more than the 270 needed to win.

The table below indicates the margin of difference between Clinton and Trump, and the combined 3rd Party support, as published by the Washington Post 50-state poll on September 6:

*Maine and Nebraska assign their electoral votes by Congressional District, increasing the volatility of the election in these states.

And, to further drive home the point, here is a map (courtesy of Red states are runaway Trump, Blue states are runaway Clinton, and the Grey states represent those states where the 3rd Party support now exceeds the difference between them:

So there you have it.

Are the chances slim that a 3rd Party candidate will win the election outright? Yes.

Are the chances large that the 3rd Party vote might tip an election in some of these state one way or another? Yes.

Are the chances even larger that a party that loses a state - or even comes close to losing - will need to examine what they're doing wrong? ENORMOUS.

No, your vote for a Third Party is not a wasted vote; rather, it is the most significant way you have demanding change in the system.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

3 Political Lessons from Hurricane Sandy

 In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, several "gut feelings" I have been experiencing have crystallized. If I have bee known for plain-speaking in the past, this post should take the cake.

Yes, I have one foot in the wild-eyed Progressive Camp and one in the hard-core Libertarian Camp.  And this disaster has merely confirmed my eternal position stuck between these two camps.
1) It’s time to stop fighting about Global Climate Change, and time to start DOING something about it.  We can not go on trying to survive “100-Year Storms” every year by fighting about whether its caused by humankind or a natural phenomenon. It is REAL.  It is DESTRUCTIVE.  It has been confirmed by Science. And we must begin to take responsibility for our futures.

For conservatives, it means an end to worshipping at the altar of Big Oil, Corporate Gas, Coal, and cheap gasoline.  The answer is not to expand ‘domestic’ drilling to be energy ‘independent;’ the answer is to adopt European architectural standards that consider buildings that draw more energy than they create to be ‘a design flaw.’  
 For liberals, it means an honest end to “NIMBY” protectionism.  Sure, Martha’s Vineyard liberals are all about a green future – unless it's the Cape Wind Project.  Sure, western Massachusetts liberals are all in favor of green energy…unless it’s a windmill on their favorite mountain summit.  Organized efforts against “Solar Farms” and “Industrial Wind” are in full operation in one of the most liberal areas of the country, based on tortured semantic gymnastics that boil down to nothing more than , “Not In My Backyard.”  

Under the US Constitution, Congress and Congress alone is granted the power to regulate Interstate Commerce.  There is hardly a good or service that more readily crosses state borders than the nation’s electric grid.  It is time for Congress to prohibit local statutes frustrating green energy development. It is time for Congress to end Oil Company subsidies. It is time to Prohibit fracking and require energy-neutral building. NOW.

 2) It’s time to stop engaging in a subservient obedience because “Government Knows Better.”

Government does NOT know better. My neighbor did not become omniscient and omnipotent by virtue of being employed as a contractor on Monday, and hired as a Government bureaucrat on Tuesday.

Throughout this disaster, we have been mislead and mismanaged by political offices. From NYC Mayor Micheal Bloomberg, who insisted that this was not a big deal of a storm, to the National Hurricane Center, which refused to issue hurricane warnings for New York and New Jersey, we have been failed by Government. In spite of that, like sheep to the slaughter, we have simply ‘obeyed’ government in waiting for rescue after disaster struck.
Private citizens - willing, able and desirous of helping – have been turned away. Turned away from storm-ravaged neighborhoods in the Rockaways, on Fire Island, on Staten Island.  Incredulously, the Federal Emergency Management Agency – “FEMA” – is asking Fire Island homeowners to file for disaster relief online if their homes were damaged.  But at the same time, the Suffolk County NY County Executive has ordered the arrest of anyone seeking access to Fire Island…leaving homeowners who are familiar with every square inch of the island’s landscape unable to judge the damage,  make repairs, or file FEMA claims - all while off-island government ‘experts’ decide how to assess that very same damage in places where they have never stepped a foot.

When a tree falls across the road, we have been all-too-well trained to ‘call someone” to remove it.  In another day, we would have simply gotten out our chain saw and taken care of it.

But today, citizens can not bring goods and comfort to the Rockaways, or Long Beach, or Kismet, or parts of Staten Island, as residents freeze and starve in filth and debris for the sixth night in a row – because the Police won’t let them. After all, the ‘authorities’ supposedly know better, and what they know is that citizens can’t be ‘trusted’ to help fellow citizens.

We need to return to the day when it is acceptable for citizens to engage in self-help, to apply their expertise and knowledge and sweat and tears without being pre-licensed and approved by government bureaucracies seeking to limit their own liability and “control” the repairs.

If I have ever had a Libertarian streak - here it is.
 3) We need to completely rethink our strategies as to the very purpose of our military – and even more so, our National Guard.

Today, over 132,000 Americans are stationed abroad in military operations.  How much more could they be used here at home!

We do not need troops in Europe, or rebuilding Afghanistan, or engaged in exercises off the coast of Australia.  We do not need our National Guard shipped around the world in secret missions in Jordan and Pakistan.

We need a military, and a national guard, that can respond to threats at home.  That can rebuild the United States.  That can apply their prowess and provide their skills to the suffering HERE.

Rather than being the orphaned step-child of the US military, consigned to trapping boats carrying pot and immigrants - The United States Coast Guard should be the Vanguard of our forces; they and they alone are actually guarding our shores, while the Commander-in-Chief and the Pentagon spend 95% of our military budget in Germany and Afghanistan.

Yes, I am outraged…tired of bureaucracy, tired of government arrogance, tired of the assumption that ‘the people’ are expendable, incapable, and controllable.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Progressive-Libertarian Coalition: Ron Paul, Ralph Nader, Dennis Kucinich & Noam Chomsky

Will the American People throw off the false Left-Right Paradigm and the Republican-Democratic Duopoly?

(Let's hope so...)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Making sense of the NH Republicans...and the UNPUBLISHED poll....

In the wake of yesterday's election of Jack Kimball over Juliana Bergeron as New Hampshire State Republican Chair, many news articles have attempted to present this as a battle between "two sides." And in America, we tend to simply battles into just two sides: Republicans vs. Democrats, Packers vs. Bears, Yankees vs. Red Sox, Toby Keith vs. The Dixie Chicks. But the reality behind the scenes is that the state GOP can be divided into at least three different factions, and the direction the party - and the State - will take is a function of how those coalitions come together - or fall apart - on individual issues.

In brief, the three main factions are The Establishment Yankees, The Theocrats, and the Libertarians.

The Establishment Yankees are best represented by the House of Sununu and the House of Gregg, two Republican families that have dominated NH politics for 40 years. These two families provided State Party Chairs, Senators, Governors, and White House Advisors (Sununu The Elder was Bush the Elder's Chief of Staff). And while the Sununus tended towards very conservative politics, their base has been the old tyme Republicans who worked the polls in the past, provided the votes, and had moderate tendencies (The McCain - Romney faction)

The Theocrats are a vocal, blistering minority of social conservatives, most of whom have moved in from out of state. They belong to Bible, Pentecostal, and Independent Churches. The Home Educate in droves. They are Pro-Life. And they have found their voice in the Cornerstone Policy Institute and its mouthpiece, Ken Smith. They are both fiscal and social conservatives, but it is the social issues that inflame their passions and drive them to organize and campaign and vote. When choosing candidates, they are the ones most likely to ask in a knowing whisper, "Is he saved?"

The Libertarians draw from two sources: young, fresh blood, drawn to the Granite State by its traditional bent towards libertarianism and publicity from organizations such as the Free State Project and the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance (Not to be confused with the House Republican Alliance); and from old tyme Yankees who have rejected some of the 'entrenched' politics of the Establishment Houses (see above). This group is fiscally conservative...but quite socially tolerant, if not liberal. This is the faction within the GOP seeking to preserve Marriage Equality through a variety of approaches (including getting government out of marriage all together), and support medical marijuana (as well as outright decriminalization).

To muddy the waters, there are many news reports trumpeting the success of Tea Party favorite Jack Kimball. But the Tea Party movement, while united on fiscal issues, is extremely fractured on social issues, and does not speak with one voice (a mistake often made by those on the left when commenting on the Tea Party).

And so, the recent election fell along these lines:

Julia Bergeron, Chair of the Cheshire County GOP, who rose through the ranks working within and for the party. Unsurprisingly, she had the support of The Establishment, including most of the GOP Senators, 4 of 5 Executive Councillors, and the House of Sununu.

Jack Kimball, former candidate for Governor, businessman, and Tea Party activist.

But where did they stand on the issues?

Juliana Bergeron was seen by some as a 'moderate,' by others as a conservative...and Marriage Equality was the lightning rod issue. Bergeron was not very clear where she stood: she voted against including an anti-same-sex marriage plank in the state GOP platform, and afterwards stated, “I’m 100 percent for our platform, but we have to respect those who don’t agree with every portion of it..." But she also made statements such as, “I have never been a proponent of gay marriage; I support traditional marriage." Her attempt to negotiate a bitter feud between pro-Equality and Anti-Equality Republicans in the Town of Swanzey resulted in her being seen as 'liberal' on this issue: she lost the support of Cheshire Republican strongman (and former NH Christian Coalition Chair George Fellendorf), and could not secure the support of one of five Executive Councillors, David Wheeler of Milford, a hero of the Theocrat faction.

Kimball, on the other hand, who cut his teeth on fiscal, not social, issues, came out with this beaut: “I won’t tolerate our party deviating from its conservative platform,” he told “I plan to get involved in activities at the Statehouse if and when I think we are straying from our platform."

In getting elected, Kimball attempted to make his agreement with the socially conservative platform very clear.

However, his actions belie his words: He then said Thursday he would name abortion rights supporters and U.S. Senate candidates Bill Binnie, of New Castle, and Jim Bender, of Hollis, to co-chair the GOP Finance Committee. Binnie openly appealed to abortion rights supporters in his unsuccessful campaign for Senate, and while news reports claim that he supports the the state’s same-sex marriage law, he told your Blogger, to his face, that he opposed it.

In the end, Bergeron had the Establishment. Kimball had the Libertarians (who were suspicious of Bergeron's moderation on fiscal issues) and the Theocrats, who were unimpressed with the strength of her support for the social issues in the Platform...though it's not certain that Kimball's action will support his words.

It was a close vote: 222-199.

Now, the straw poll...the media are announcing Mitt Romney's win among the delegates (an Establishment win), even if they are ignoring Ron Paul's second place showing (a Libertarian win).

But the "other story" is the poll that is not being reported. Delegates were asked, in a second poll, to indicate ALL the candidates they could support. Here are the results:

Tim Pawlenty 46
Michele Bachmann 44
Mitt Romney 42
Rick Santorum 41
Sarah Palin 38
Ron Paul 38
Jim Demint 34
Mike Huckabee 29
Mike Pence 24
Paul Ryan 24
Gary Johnson 20
Rudy Guiliiani 20
Haley Barbour 19
Newt Gingrich 19
John Bolton 15
Judd Gregg 15
Joe Arpaio 12
Donald Trump 11
John Thune 10
Mitch Daniels 9
Herman Cain 8
Jon Huntsman, Jr. 6
George Pataki 5
Scott Brown 4
John Cornyn 2
Tom Tancredo 1
Steven King 1

Notice the cluster of hard-line social conservatives at the top of the list: Pawlenty, Bachmann [shudder], DeMint, Huckabee, Santorum, Palin.

Notice the Libertarians in the second tier: Paul, Johnson

Notice no one gets more than 1/3 of the delegates voting.

Any appearance of a united, monolithic NH Republican Party is a news media invention. Any announcement that the "Tea Party" has taken over is premature and unhelpful. The NH GOP remains divided between its three camps. In the short term there will be an unpredictable dance between these the long term, as The Establishment dies off and loses ground....we will see a war between social conservatives and social libertarians. Who knows how far off that was is...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Libertarians say Republicans owe apology, not 'pledge,' to America:

Instead of a "Pledge to America," the Republicans should have written an "Apology to America." It should have gone something like this:

"We're sorry, America. Sorry we grew the federal government budget from $1.7 trillion to over $3 trillion. Sorry we added $5 trillion to the federal debt. Sorry we doubled the size of the Department of Education. Sorry we started two incredibly costly foreign wars. Sorry we supported the absurd and costly TARP bailouts. Sorry we created a huge and costly new Medicare entitlement. Sorry we did nothing to end the costly and destructive War on Drugs. Sorry we did nothing to reform the federal government's near-prohibition on immigration. But hey, at least we helped you by shifting a lot of your tax burden onto your children and grandchildren."

There are so many lies, distortions, hypocrisies, and idiocy in this document that it's hard to know where to start.

It is deeply insulting to see the Republicans refer to "America's founding values" on their cover. The Republican Party has no understanding whatsoever of America's founding values. They have proven and re-proven that for decades.

The document talks a lot about "tax cuts." Unfortunately, the Republican "tax cut" proposals would really do nothing to cut taxes. All their proposals achieve is to defer taxes, pushing the burden onto our children and grandchildren. The only real way to cut taxes is to cut government spending, and the Republican document does almost nothing in that regard.

The Republicans say they want to "roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels." In other words, to re-create the situation near the end of the Bush administration, after Republicans had massively increased federal spending on almost everything.

Republicans must love it when Democrats expand government, because it gives them the opportunity to propose small "cuts," while still ending up with huge government.

One shocking aspect of the document is that it actually includes subtle Republican proposals to increase government spending.

The Republicans offer no plan whatsoever to reduce military spending, America's foreign wars and nation building, or our military defense of rich foriegn nations. On the contrary, the Republicans apparently want to increase military spending, promising to "provide the resources, authority, and support our deployed military requires, fully fund missile defense, and enforce sanctions against Iran."

The Republicans also appear to want to increase government spending on border control. They say "We will ensure that the Border Patrol has the tools and authorities to establish operational control at the border," a costly proposition.

Furthermore, as expected, the document complains about "massive Medicare cuts," implying that Republicans want to make sure Medicare is kept gigantic.

The bulk of federal spending is in three places: Social Security, Medicare, and the military. The Republicans propose absolutely nothing to reduce spending on these three things, or even to slow down their growth.

There must be a typo in the document where it says "Undeterred by dismal results, Washington Democrats continue to double-down on their job-killing policies." That probably should read "Washington Democrats continue to double-down on *Republican* job-killing policies."

The best way to restore American prosperity would be to implement the straightforward 28 planks of the Libertarian Party platform, or even just follow the Constitution. I mean the actual Constitution, not the Republican re-write that allows for every federal government program imaginable.

I suppose the one positive aspect of the document is that it finally dispels any illusion that Republicans want to shrink government in any meaningful way.

Apparently the Republicans are hoping they can "fool some of the people all of the time." The Libertarian Party is ready to point out Republican lies and hypocrisy to American voters, and we hope that Americans who actually want small and constitutional government, not just hypocrisy and worthless rhetoric, will vote Libertarian this November.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Republican? Democrat? Libertarian? Man Without a Party....

I believe in "Liberty, and Justice, for All." YOU decide to what Political Party I truly belong...

That Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia have no rightful place in American Society. That who I marry is my business, and no one elses; and the only state role should be that of a 'recorder,' not a definer, of legal relationships.

That the United States must never, ever, under any circumstances, torture suspected terrorists or engage in the same tactics that they do.

That immigration has been a source of constant strenth, genius, and rejuvenation of the American Ideal, and that English is no more sacrosanct than any other language.

That no one should be prosecuted or jailed for a "crime" where there is no victim. That marijuana should not just be decriminalised, but legalized.

That America is held captive to the taboos of a Puritanical past. Public breast Feeding, nude sunbathing, consensual sexual activity between adults, and polyamorous and homosexual relationships are just as valid as any other consentual human expression of love, life and caring, and should not be criminalized or stigmatized.

That if I choose to smoke cigarettes, gamble on a sports event, wear a helmet when I ride my bike or wear seatbelts when I drive, it is MY business, and no one elses.

That I have a right to bear firearms and defend myself, my property, and others without anyone's permission.

That my right to Free Speech, Freedom of the Press, Freedom of Assembly and Association, Right Against self-incrimination, and Freedom of Religion are INVIOLABLE. That there *is* an implied Right to Privacy in the US Constitution, and that ALL federal rights must be guaranteed by the States as well.

That we are a Federal Republic, not a Democracy. That the Federal Government must not usurp the rights reserved to the States, and that neither the federal nor state governments may usurp the rights reserved to individuals.

That I have a right to order my own property my own way, without neighbors deciding how high my house should be, whether my mom can live in an adjacent apartment, whether I can fix cars in my garage or whether my dumpster should be allowed to be in "public view."

That I have the right to choose the best educational format for my child, whether in public, private, or a home education setting, without second-guessing by bureaucrats and other vested interests.

That I have the right to join a union if I choose, or to negotiate my own compensation if I choose.

That no one has a right to tell me how to run my business, what to pay my employees, what to offer for sale, or how much to charge.

That it *is* appropriate for government to provide for a common defense, maintain roads and essential services, and to charge me for the benefits I receive.

That it *is* appropriate for society to help those in medical, housing, or other distress, with a view towards helping them achieve independence where possible and on-going assistance where necessary.

That individuals should be encouraged and assisted in the achievement of their own independence and security wherever possible.

That whether you are black, white, asian, Native American, Latino, or mixed race; Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Atheist or of another faith; hetero, homo, bi, or asexual; male, female, transgender or hermaphriditic; native-born or immigrant; employed, unemployed, retired, or disabled; English, Spanish, French, Lakhota, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Chinese, German, or Portuguese-speaking: if you are HERE and you are HUMAN, then you have a right to your life, liberty, property, and pursuit of happiness.

That *NO ONE* - no government official, no clergyman, no law, no insurance company, no FDA or federal agency - has a right to stand between a physician and their patient in matters of medical treatment.

That voluntary business transactions between willing individuals should not be obstructed by government. That freedom and liberty requires the free movement of capital, products, and labor across state and international borders.

That pollution of the environment that results in an act of toxic trespass against all is an appropriate subject of government regulation.

That Police Officers are the servants, not the Superiors, of the citizenry.

That the military must be subject to, and not independent of, the Civil Authorities in all matters.

That the primary goals of a criminal justice system should be restitution for the Victim and reform of the criminal, not vengeance or punishment.

That wherever possible, taxes and fees should be realistically tied to the costs that my actions are incurring, and earmarked for appropriate remedial uses.

That since businesses retain profits when successful, they must never transfer losses to the public, and that bailouts, subsidies, and corporate grants are immoral transfers of wealth.

That Government Deficit Spending likewise effectuates a transfer of wealth from citizens to wealthy bondholders who lend funds to the US Government, and is therefore opporessive, regressive, and confiscatory by design.

I love America so much that I cry when reading the The New Colossus, singing the Star Spangled Banner, or watching the US Olympian Team...but also know we have a lot of growing up to do, and yes, we can even learn from more mature nations like France, England, and Germany.

So....Am I a Republican? Democrat? Libertarian? Independent? Loonie? Plain ol' frustrated American?

Thursday, April 26, 2007

New Hampshire enacts Civil Unions

Today, New Hampshire became the first state in the country to adopt civil unions for gay couples without a court order or a pending lawsuit against a marriage statute. And the bill even uses the term, "spousal union" to describe gay relationships. Once again, the Granite State stands in the vanguard of liberty for all.

Two years ago, state lawmakers held a series of "information gathering" meetings around the state. I attended the meeting held in Keene, NH, at the Keene Public Library.

The 'agenda' was set from the beginning. The overflow crowd of residents who had come to make their opinions known were told they would have to wait until the 'special guests' got to speak. The 'guests' were anti-civil union activists from Massachusetts.

That's right, New Hampshire legislators came to gather public opinions...but the residents of New Hampshire who took the time and effort to stand up in public and offer their opinion were delayed until the out-of state, non-resident, non-voting 'experts,' chosen by the panel itself, could tell us all what a disaster civil unions would be.

As the panel then turned to the audience, we were warned over and over that any disruption or impoliteness would result in the panels getting up and leaving. (Now there's a great example for lawmakers to set, huh?) Mere objections to allowing out of state testimony were promptly classified as disruptions, and people who's voices were shaking with nervousness at their first 'public hearing' were nastily shot down by the panel chair.

Predictably, the panel recommended a ban on same-sex unions.

Appropriately, the residents of New Hampshire threw them out at the next election.

Throughout the national media, one hears tales that New Hampshire has gone from 'conservative' to 'liberal' in one election. In actuality, nothing is furter from the truth: New Hampshire never *was* conservative. New Hampshire was, is, and remains, a libertarian state. In the area of taxes, firearms rights, and government regulation of business, the Republicans were the guardian of libertarian values. But today, as big brother Federal government pokes it nose into our library reading lists and our bedrooms, the Democrats are our best bet for guarding our liberties.

The average Granite Stater doesnt care who their neighbor sleeps with. And they dont care to have the government telling them what to do. For years, we relied on Republicans to carry the torch of liberty. Now, the Democrats have their chance....and this was another step in the direction of liberty.