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Friday, September 26, 2008

Ron Paul Is Not Magical

If Jonathan thinks that working with leftists and rightists (e.g. on Paul’s 4 issues) is the best way to advance liberty, more power to him. I personally don’t see how it helps the cause of liberty much to promote the generic idea of third parties, who say that all the government really needs is a better kind of liberal or a better kind of conservative. However, I don’t disparage liberty-lovers for deciding to work within the GOP (like Ron Paul and the RLC) or the DP (like the DFC) or the C4L. Where I draw the line is when liberty-lovers dismiss the LP and its nominee as not sincerely working for liberty, just because we don’t follow the strategy of promoting generic protest voting instead of voting directly for liberty.

I don’t think the newspapers on Nov 5 are going to add up all the third-party votes and say “see how many people want more economic liberty and more personal liberty?” Instead, they’re going to say that the Nader and McKinney voters want more socialism, and that the Baldwin voters want to outlaw abortion and gay marriage and free trade. I would love for Ron Paul’s press conference to magically claim all third-party votes as votes for his 4-point agenda, but I don’t think the political world is going to read the electoral returns that way. We’ll find out on Nov. 5.