Saturday, October 25, 2008

Libertarians see Obama as a more "libertarian" choice compared to John McCain or Bob Barr

When intelligent Libertarians examine Barack Obama they see his high intelligence and intellect as an asset for rational thinking. Combine this with his background as a civil rights lawyer and constitutional law professor who's favorable to voluntary, free community organization, and who as a Senator, took a daring stand against the Iraq War -- it becomes easy to see that Barack Obama is more "libertarian" than not.

A general definition of a libertarian is:

"A person who upholds the principles of individual liberty, smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom."

Barack Obama's background favors many principles held by libertarians and Libertarian Party members.

Obama has the "libertarian" advantage over John McCain (and Bob Barr for that matter):

-OBAMA Upholds the principals of individual liberty:
For libertarians, Obama's heart seems to be in the right place overall.Here are some of the principals of individual liberty which Obama supports and John McCain does NOT support:

  • a ban on torture
  • gay rights
  • separation of church and state
  • privacy
  • free speech

-OBAMA Wants smaller government:
Obama's favorable to withdrawing and ending the Iraq [war] occupation saving taxpayers $100 billion+ in war spending. McCain talks a good game against earmarks and other wasteful spending. But, as Bleeding Heartland points out, the cost of earmarks in 2007 was about $17 billion. The cost of the Iraq war, which McCain wants to both continue and expand, is about $165 billion. And earmarks don't breed new government programs that destroy our civil liberties.

-OBAMA Supports lower taxes:
Advantage, Obama wants to lower taxes for MORE people (about 90-95% of taxpayers) that is everyone making less than $200,000 but raise taxes for those making over $250,000. McCain wants to lower tax rates for the rich even lower than Bush, but not as low for the middle class. Obama's plan offers the best overall tax cut plan. A hybrid plan would be nice, but unless you are in the "millionaire bracket" Obama's tax plan favors more people overall than McCain and one of McCain's top advisers recently said that, if elected, McCain plans to raise taxes too. (Historical Reminder: Republican George Bush Sr. said, "Read my Lips - No New Taxes" but eventually raised taxes after he was elected.)

-OBAMA Wants more personal freedom:
Obama is the only "major" candidate who is:

Why "Swing State" Libertarians should vote Obama

Why Libertarians (in swing states) should vote for Obama as the lesser evil.

Article by Vaughn (Libertarian)Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Why Lovers of Liberty* Should Support Barack Obama
* In Swing States
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Wisconsin
  • Colorado
  • New Mexico
  • Virginia

I want to begin my first column for with a little personal history. In eight presidential elections since 1976, I've voted for one party Libertarian. In cases where a Libertarian wasn't available, I would usually vote for the Republican, considering that the lesser of the two evils. No longer. In the 2006 Congressional elections, I voted Democratic.
Why? In short, because George W. Bush and the Karl-Rove-dominated GOP has betrayed every ideal that Republicans and Libertarians have in common. They lied us into two unnecessary wars. They've busted the budget and bankrupted our country. They've gutted the Bill of Rights and spied on Americans, with the excuse of a hugely-exaggerated terrorist threat. And- this is probably most unforgivable - they've been complicit in the confiscations of guns in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

So it's my opinion that the GOP needs to be rebuked, strongly and decisively, even if it means voting for "the enemy." Now in my case, I may still vote Libertarian (despite my utter dislike of Bob Barr ) because I live in Arizona and I think it's quite unlikely that McCain will lose in his home state. The same goes in other states that are decisively for McCain or Obama . By all means, show your displeasure by voting third party, any third party.
But what about those states where the race is still up for grabs? In those states, I believe we should support the clear lesser evil: Barack Obama.

By now, all my Republican friends and colleagues are shouting "heresy!" (At the moment, I'm registered Republican myself- which I did so I could vote for Ron Paul in the primary, naturally.) But I think I can list ten good reasons why libertarians and even conservatives should hold their noses and vote for Barack.

1. Much of the stuff going around about Obama on the internet is total nonsense.

"He's a Muslim, he supports terrorism, he hates the flag." As Colonel Potter would say, "Horse-hockey!" I'll admit there's plenty to dislike about Obama's politics without resorting to lies. The man isn't THAT bad.

2. Obama has a more sane, even-tempered personality than McCain.

McCain was a hot-head to begin with, then he spent five years in a POW camp, which will mess anyone up psychologically. I don't want John McCain's finger anywhere near the nuclear button.

3. Likewise, despite my strong dislike of Joe Biden, at least he's not Sarah Palin.

The woman is unqualified to be dogcatcher, much less Vice President. She has indicated a willingness to go to war with Russia in support for Saakashvili's Georgia, a despotic regime in a small country with absolutely no strategic importance to the US.

4. The right-wingers say that despite Obama's flip-flops on the "war on terror" and US support for Israel, that he still holds to his radical anti-military views, and will immediately pull out of Iraq and end our "special relationship" with Israel.

We can only hope! Look, we've got a presence in over a hundred countries, and we spend almost as much on our military as all other countries combined. Isn't that a little overkill?

5. Speaking of the Welfare Queen of the Mideast, if you've ever checked out the Israeli press online, the candidate who received the most vitriol was Ron Paul. The second most hated man was Barack Obama.

Anyone who's that despised by the Israeli right wing can't be all bad. Look, I've got nothing against Israel, I'm just tired of supporting its government, which is influenced out of all proportion by the fanatical loud-mouthed Arab-hating settler community.

6. I'll admit it- either Obama or McCain could conceivably try to become dictator, but Obama is less likely to succeed. That's because the Right already hates him, and they're the ones with the guns. Anything McCain does, they're likely to accept like bleating sheep, because he's a "war hero" who will invoke patriotic rhetoric to justify his actions. His biggest foes would likely be in the Peace Movement. As much as I respect them, most of them are liberals who are far too wimpy to stage a revolution, should one (God forbid) become necessary.

7. With the public uproar over the bailout of Wall Street, it's likely we'll have a backlash against the Democrats in the House, the majority of whom supported that fiasco. So Congress could easily go to the Republicans. And a divided government is good for freedom =checks and balances and all that.

8. The American free enterprise system may not survive another corrupt big-government conservative administration. George W Bush has done more damage to capitalism than any president since FDR. His Social Security privatization plan was so flawed that it may be a generation or more before we have another crack at it. And the mortgage meltdown ? Forget the propaganda about the Community Reinvestment Act. The major cause was the Fed's super-easy money policy, enacted with Bush's support, to try to fix the economic damage caused by the Tech Bubble and the 9/11 attacks (which were in turn enabled by the criminal negligence of You Know Who.)

9. Obama is just plain smarter than McCain. Obama graduated from Harvard Law School in the top ten percent of his class. McCain graduated from Annapolis near the bottom of his class. Voting for McCain is like telling your kids, "Don't study, do nothing but party in college, and you too can become President."

10. Our first Black President, how cool would that be? I'd rather it be Walter Williams or Thomas Sowell or even Colin Powell- but still, it would say to the world that we're finally putting this racism stuff behind us.


Even Conservative Republicans favor Obama

The rise of the Obamacons

Oct 23rd 2008 From The Economist print edition
A striking number of conservatives are planning to vote for Obama

In “W.”, his biopic about his Yale classmate, Oliver Stone details Colin Powell’s agonies during George Bush’s first term. Throughout the film Mr Powell repeatedly raises doubts about the invasion of Iraq—and is repeatedly overruled by the ghoulish trio of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Karl Rove. In one of the final scenes, with his direst warnings proving correct, Mr Powell turns to Mr Cheney and delivers a heartfelt “F*** You”.

The real Colin Powell used more diplomatic language in endorsing Barack Obama on October 19th, but the impact was much the same. Mr Obama is a “transformational figure”, he mildly said, and his old friend John McCain had erred in choosing a neophyte as a running-mate. But you would have to be naive not to see the endorsement as a verdict on the Bush years.
Mr Powell is now a four-star general in America’s most surprising new army: the Obamacons. The army includes other big names such as Susan Eisenhower, Dwight’s granddaughter, who introduced Mr Obama at the Democratic National Convention and Christopher Buckley, the son of the conservative icon William Buckley, who complains that he has not left the Republican Party: the Republican Party has left him. Chuck Hagel, a Republican senator from Nebraska and one-time bosom buddy of Mr McCain has also flirted heavily with the movement, though he has refrained from issuing an official endorsement.

The biggest brigade in the Obamacon army consists of libertarians, furious with Mr Bush’s big-government conservatism, worried about his commitment to an open-ended “war on terror”, and disgusted by his cavalier way with civil rights. There are two competing “libertarians for Obama” web sites. Caf├ęPress is even offering a “libertarian for Obama” lawn sign for $19.95. Larry Hunter, who helped to devise Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America in 1994, thinks that Mr Obama can free America from the grip of the “zombies” who now run the Republican Party.
But the army has many other brigades, too: repentant neocons such as Francis Fukuyama, legal scholars such as Douglas Kmiec, and conservative talk-show hosts such as Michael Smerconish. And it is picking up unexpected new recruits as the campaign approaches its denouement. Many disillusioned Republicans hoped that Mr McCain would provide a compass for a party that has lost its way, but now feel that the compass has gone haywire. Kenneth Adelman, who once described the invasion of Iraq as a “cakewalk”, decided this week to vote for Mr Obama mainly because he regards Sarah Palin as “not close to being acceptable in high office”.

The rise of the Obamacons is more than a reaction against Mr Bush’s remodelling of the Republican Party and Mr McCain’s desperation: there were plenty of disillusioned Republicans in 2004 who did not warm to John Kerry. It is also a positive verdict on Mr Obama. For many conservatives, Mr Obama embodies qualities that their party has abandoned: pragmatism, competence and respect for the head rather than the heart. Mr Obama’s calm and collected response to the turmoil on Wall Street contrasted sharply with Mr McCain’s grandstanding.
Much of Mr Obama’s rhetoric is strikingly conservative, even Reaganesque. He preaches the virtues of personal responsibility and family values, and practises them too. He talks in uplifting terms about the promise of American life. His story also appeals to conservatives: it holds the possibility of freeing America from its racial demons, proving that the country is a race-blind meritocracy and, in the process, bankrupting a race-grievance industry that has produced the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

How much do these Obamacons matter? More than Mr McCain would like to think. The Obamacons are manifestations of a deeper turmoil in the Republican rank-and-file, as the old coalition of small-government activists, social conservatives and business Republicans falls apart. They also influence opinion. This is obvious in the case of Mr Powell: Mr Obama is making liberal use of his endorsement to refute the latest Republican criticism that he is a “socialist”. But it is also true of lesser-known scribblers. At least 27 newspapers that backed Mr Bush in 2004 have endorsed Mr Obama.

Moreover, the revolt of the intellectuals is coinciding with a migration of culturally conservative voters—particularly white working-class voters—into Obamaland. Mr Obama is now level-pegging or leading among swing-groups such as Catholics and working-class whites. A recent Washington Post-ABC poll shows him winning 22% of self-described conservatives, a higher proportion than any Democratic nominee since 1980.

Don’t blame the rats

The more tantalising question is whether the rise of the Obamacons signals a lasting political realignment. In 1980 the rise of the neocons—liberal intellectuals who abandoned a spineless Democratic Party—was reinforced by the birth of working class “Reagan Democrats”. Is the Reagan revolution now going into reverse? There are reasons for scepticism. Will libertarians really stick with “Senator Government”, as Mr McCain labelled Mr Obama in the best slip of the tongue of the campaign? Will economic conservatives cleave to a president who believes in “spreading the wealth around”?

Much depends on how Mr Obama governs if he wins, and how the Republicans behave if they lose. Mr Obama talks about creating an administration of all the talents. He promises to take the cultural anxieties of Reagan Democrats seriously. For their part, hard-core Republicans are handling their party’s travails abysmally, retreating into elite-bashing populism and denouncing the Obamacons as “rats” who are deserting a sinking ship. If the Republican Party continues to think that the problem lies with the rats, rather than the seaworthiness of the ship, then the Obamacons are here to stay.