No Libertarian Protest?


Writing, “So, basically, we have three Democratic tickets running for President,” Glenn Reynolds points to an essay by Ilya Shapiro (no social conservative stalwart):

[Libertarian VP candidate Bill] Weld, who seems like a nice man and was apparently a decent governor, is the living expositor of the difference between a libertarian and someone who’s “socially liberal and fiscally conservative.” …

… [Libertarian presidential candidate Gary] Johnson doesn’t just come off as anti-religion, but completely misses the distinction between public (meaning government) and private action that is at the heart of (classical) liberal or libertarian legal theory. That’s a shame: it makes him no different than progressives in that regard – or social conservatives, who miss the distinction in the other direction, restricting individual rights in addition to government powers.

Then there are things like this:

… Asked to offer their opinions about President Barack Obama, Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, said he was a “good guy.” Weld called him a “statesman.” Both had equally kind words for Hillary Clinton—especially Weld, who first met her while working on the House impeachment committee in 1974 where they were young staffers. The Clintons and Welds have been friends ever since. Weld resigned his governorship in 1997 to become President Bill Clinton’s ambassador to Mexico, although his bid never made it out of committee because Senator Jesse Helms blocked it.

So it looks like the protest vote is not to vote at all.

  • EJ

    This is a moment of truth for GOP leaders who passively accepted and sometimes encouraged an extremism that trafficked in religious and racial prejudice and painted President Obama as an illegitimate, power-hungry leader. The party’s traditional chieftains assumed they could use these themes to rally an angry, aging base of white voters while keeping the forces of right-wing radicalism under control. They did not anticipate Trump. He spent years courting the far right with his charges that Obama was born abroad and set himself up in contrast to an establishment that cynically exploited its feelings.