Seems I’m a lack-comer to this website.
Here’s the guys advice to Libertarians like me who voted for Obama.
Support the libertarian parts of Obama’s agenda.
Ending the war, closing Guantanamo Bay and rolling back George Bush’s curbs on civil liberties won’t be easy. The same Republicans who called Obama a coward or a terrorist during the campaign will redouble their efforts when he starts to wind down the warfare state. He’ll need all of the libertarian allies that he can get.
Stand up to him when he backslides.
Obama has made some bold pledges, including his promises to seek out and eliminate wasteful government spending and put caps on farm subsidies. Libertarians who supported him shouldn’t let him get away with shying away from these promises.
Push him in a libertarian direction.
On several issues, Obama takes a liberal position that I don’t think he passionately believes in. Consider gun control. Obama is in favor of some gun control, but it’s never been a central part of his political philosophy. Now that he’s done with a campaign in which he’s seen the passion of the pro-gun community, maybe he can be convinced to move in our direction. Call me a starry-eyed optimist, but I believe that he’s changeable on guns, military aid to Columbia, school vouchers and other issues. Let’s help the change candidate do a little position changing.
Fight him on the issues where we disagree.
Obama believes in card check. I don’t. I’m going to join with the Republicans on this one and fight him as hard as I can. Same for the Fairness Doctrine (though I doubt Obama will even try to bring that up).
Spread the word to other libertarians.
Obama is not our enemy. He’s a smart man who believes in classical liberal values like tolerance, separation of church and state and the rights of the accused. He understands and appreciates the Constitution. Don’t throw away a chance at a productive relationship by believing this crap about him being a communist or a dictator in waiting.
Bring libertarians in from the cold.
Bob Barr’s candidacy was a complete failure. Same thing for down-ticket libertarians. I still like third parties, and I’m sure I will continue to vote for some third party candidates from time to time. But if anyone wants to make serious political change instead of just registering their dislike for the system they will engage more with a major political party. And I’ve got news for you, libertarians: The Republican Party is not your natural home. Look at the hatred that Republicans showered on Ron Paul. Watch the post-election fight for the soul of the Republican Party. If the libertarian faction takes over I’ll eat my hat. No, the Republicans are descending into a Bible-thumping, war-mongering, xenophobic, populist party of the South. The Democratic Party, on the other hand, is now swollen with young, libertarian-minded suburban professionals who’ve been driven from the Republican Party by Bush, Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin. In other words, the Democratic Party is now ripe for change in a libertarian direction.
I have a lot of high hopes for Obama, and I think he’ll follow through with a lot of it. Unlike most Libertarians, I’m in favor of some sort of national health care. I’m hoping he’s gonna take a strong lead on that one.
We’ve got a great opportunity here. It’s also a great opportunity for Libertarians to actively support the Democratic party, the party we have a lot more in common with than the Republican party. And one of the best ways to support our own party is to critically engage it in dialogue about what is and is not the best course of action to achieve our common goals.