Josh Heit's blog


Saturday, November 16, 2002

The GOP's Libertarian Problem: John J. Miller makes the case that Libertarians have cost the GOP Senate seats and gubernatorial races over the past few years. I'm not going to dispute that, in some cases, this may be true. But, consider that, in some elections, there are people who wouldn't vote without a Libertarian option on the ballot. I'd say South Dakota is the best example of this, since the Libertarian GAVE his support to John Thune! Anyone who leaned Republican/Libertarian would have probably voted Thune after this pronouncement, if they weren't already going to.

(To give a for instance, I'm on the same section of the political spectrum, and I voted for Forrester in a race that he lost by ten points, because a) I thought he had a shot, and b) to show my utter disgust for the Lautenberg-Torricelli ballot incident. But in 2001, Bret Schundler didn't appeal to me at all, so I voted for the Libertarian, Mark Edgerton).

I'm surprised that Miller doesn't offer any solutions to solve the "libertarian problem". I've got one: emphasize free-market solutions in your platforms. War issues (in most cases, although not me) and Christian right issues will NOT win over any Libertarians, in fact, it'll push them into the arms of the Democrats. But most Libertarians I've met are heavily influenced by their free-market principles. Emphasize this above all, and some, not all, but some, of those GOP-leaning Libertarians might come over in a close race, not wanting to give the election to a tax-and-spend liberal.


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