Let me first point out that there is no Woman Party which runs candidates in elections. There is no Black Party. There is no Latino Party. There is no Fundamentalist Party. There is no Labor Party. None of those constituencies have their own political operation running their own candidates who have the ability to siphon off votes from one or both of the two major parties.
But voters who want the government to get the hell out of their wallets, their bedrooms, their businesses and their hair; voters who just want to be left alone; voters who still embrace the Founders’ notion of limited-government and good, old-fashioned freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness…they DO have their own party.
This is a great article analyzing the issue of Republican candidates and leaders ignoring Libertarian voters. Here is a big potentially Republican constituency with another option that is routinely ignored, or worse criticized, in favor of pandering to groups that historically vote overwhelmingly Democrat. And Libertarians do vote regularly – when they don’t it’s not apathy, it’s outrage.
But beyond wooing the Libertarian Parties voters and sympathizers, those candidates and leaders need to think also about the conservative ‘base’ of the GOP. The Libertarian Party serves the useful purpose of giving those of us who believe that ‘extremism in the pursuit of liberty is no vice” a viable choice when the GOP chokes. Even GOP leaders bolt to the LP when it makes sense. For example, Ron Paul, then former and now current Republican Congressman from Texas, went so far as to be the LP nominee for President in 1988 when the GOP went the easy route and nominated the man who coined the term “voodoo economics”. And reportedly former Congressman Bob Barr at least onsidered voting for the Libertarian Presidential candidate this year. I can think of several other examples, from local to national of GOP leaders publically or privately expressing their decision to use the GOP voters own nuclear option – voting Libertarian. So, the articles point that the GOP needs to woo LP voters is well taken. Hopefully in the process the GOP might think hard about wooing its own voters, too.
Note: I ran across this article in the Furl archive of Rob Booth who blogs at Slightly Rough. Furl is, in Booth’s excellent words, a “link-making thingamadoochie” that was pointed out to both of us by our mutual friend Kevin aka PubliusTx. Furl is a great tool for keeping track of interesting things you’ve read online. I’d also recommend it to anyone who isn’t interested in running a full scale blog but would like to share clips and brief comments with their friends. My own rather limited Furl feed is posted to the right in the menu or by subscription here.