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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Why libertarians are failing at politics (Read 1,107 times)
Harry_Seldon
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Re: Why libertarians are failing at politics
Reply #10 - Nov 20th, 2015 at 11:40am
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Return of the Clyde wrote on Nov 20th, 2015 at 11:03am:
You are getting closer to the truth of the matter here.
The next question, then, that I have for you is this:

How do you get people to collectively vote for you
after you have rooted out the collectivist mindset?


Most people don't vote collectively. They vote their own self-interest.
  
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Return of the Clyde
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Re: Why libertarians are failing at politics
Reply #11 - Nov 20th, 2015 at 12:00pm
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Quote:
Most people don't vote collectively. They vote their own self-interest.


That is not true, and you don't believe it to be.
Otherwise, you wouldn't be in here every day
running down the libtards who elected Obama.
  

Long live rcclydeinside.
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Harry_Seldon
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Re: Why libertarians are failing at politics
Reply #12 - Nov 20th, 2015 at 12:02pm
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Return of the Clyde wrote on Nov 20th, 2015 at 12:00pm:
That is not true, and you don't believe it to be.
Otherwise, you wouldn't be in here every day
running down the libtards who elected Obama.


It is true. While someone may always vote for the same party, and while they may vote a party ticket, they vote for those that they see as representing their self-interests. They vote for themselves, and not as some mindless conglomerate.
  
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Demos
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Re: Why libertarians are failing at politics
Reply #13 - Nov 20th, 2015 at 12:38pm
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TowardLiberty wrote on Nov 20th, 2015 at 11:00am:
I don't entirely disagree but it seems to me such a campaign is limited in it's ability to reach a wider swath of people. Those who are on the fringes of politics will be drawn in, as Ron Paul showed.

Maybe, but if you start winning elections, you can start creating opportunities for having your issues heard and debated in a legislative body. I would point back to the Populists. They only had 22 seats in the TX House and 2 seats in the TX Senate, but because they were able to win elections, they were able to introduce legislation and push the dominant party at the time (the Democratic Party) to split on issues and address Populist concerns.
  
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Running Deer
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Re: Why libertarians are failing at politics
Reply #14 - Nov 20th, 2015 at 1:40pm
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1. Libertarian policies are extremely unpopular. Almost no one wants to abolish Social Security, cut military spending by 90+%, allow the poor to be badly malnourished or to starve, abolish food safety regulations, allow heroin vending machines outside elementary schools, let anyone call him/herself "doctor", allow companies to hire & fire people based on religion or race, open the borders, and on and on and on. Perhaps these policies are wise and/or moral, but few people think so.

2. Let's not kid ourselves; humans are irrational, and politics is no different. Careful consideration of the pros and cons of policies is far less decisive than team affiliation and unconscious metrics. This depressing study illustrates that humans make subconscious competence judgments from the shape of faces within a fraction of a second, and these judgments are astoundingly well-correlated with winning and losing elections. Libertarians are generally thought to be socially-awkward weirdos fascinated with minutiae; like all stereotypes, this is deeply unfair. It's also not really conscious. No one wants obsessive weirdos in charge.

3. The United States has geography-based representation decided by first-past-the-post voting. Even ignoring numerous unfair election laws, this structure encourages two dominant parties. Astoundingly, one of our two main political parties is as old as the republic itself. The other has existed for roughly 2/3rds of the republic's history. Only two other political parties have ever had significant power, and both are gone. The last third party with any serious support was the Dixiecrat party, which vanished 5 decades ago.

In 2000, Ralph Nader ran for President with the Green Party. He appeared on the ballot in 43 states and DC. He won just 2.7% of the popular vote, exceeded 10% of the vote in just one state (Alaska), and gained 0 Electoral College votes. To this day, Democrats rage about Nader costing Gore the election, as if Nader's votes belonged to the Democrats.

Structurally, it is damned hard for any third party to make any headway in the United States, whether Green, Socialist, Libertarian, Reform, or something else. As a radical of a different sort, I understand the difficulty and frustration Libertarians feel.
  

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TowardLiberty
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Re: Why libertarians are failing at politics
Reply #15 - Nov 20th, 2015 at 2:09pm
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Return of the Clyde wrote on Nov 20th, 2015 at 10:42am:
Respectfully,

You might be too far out on the limb to see the tree or the forest here.
Americans love batshit crazy ideas. Reaganomics, the War on Terror,
Donald Trump's candidacy, 24/7 media coverage of the Kardashians . . .



Yes, they do love batshit crazy ideas.

But keep in mind that I do not believe that libertarian ideas are bat shit crazy.

I merely believe that is how they are perceived. And I don't believe that mainstream Americans think that anything in your list is bat shit crazy, even if it all is.

Their perceptions and beliefs are completely upside down. What is crazy is normal and what is normal or logical appears crazy.

We live in an upside down world. War is peace. Debt is wealth. And so on.

Quote:
The problem, as I see it, is that libertarianism, which appears to
advocate against gov't, is having great difficulty winning in political
contests to determine who will govern. That is a two step argument
which is hard to make when you are dealing with American voters.
As many of them see it, you are asking them to go out and vote
against the causes for which many of them are the reason they vote.
You and I might not look at libertarianism that way, but trust me,
when I try and discuss or explain libertarian ideas with the uninitiated,
the biggest problem I have is getting them over that first hurdle.
They don't see the point in being politically active against big gov't.
They are conditioned to believe in political activism for the sake of gov't.
And they understand, if only vaguely, that were the libertarians to be
politically successful, the first thing that they would want to do
would be to change the political landscape in favor of their own
beliefs and benefactors, which is precisely what the Dems and Reps do.
They don't believe in the purity of anyone else's political motives, even yours.
Who knows? In this, if nothing else, they may be completely correct.



You are entirely correct on this. And that is why I do not believe libertarians are ever going to do well in electoral politics.

One point I would take issue with is in regards to the idea that if libertarians were in power they would change the landscape in a way that favored their own benefactors.

I do not believe that to be true- at least in principle. In practice, there may be some libertarians who do not have the courage of their convictions and are riding a wave to power. Those people would do as you say.

But if a principled libertarian were to get in office, I would expect them to pursue policies which neither harm nor benefit any group specifically. They would support neutral policies which simply protect rights and property, leaving the consumer to decide incomes, market share, etc.

A libertarian system is one without privileges for anyone- in theory. And it also leaves people open to experiment with their own idea of the ideal. Communes, worker owned coops, and voluntary collectivist forms would be welcome in a world where you can do what you want providing you do not violate the rights of others.

Quote:
Secondly, libertarianism will continue to fail if it is coopted and
corrupted by the very people whom gov't should exist to regulate.
That is what happened with the Tea Party circa 2009. The GOP was
so unpopular post-Cheney/Bush that they were looking to re-brand.
Along came our first half black POTUS, and the Tea Party was re-born
and the GOP was successfully re-branded. So, before you could get
Americans to listen to your arguments, your biggest perceived
political obstacles or enemies seemed to be on your political Left.
But once you started getting your arguments and ideas out into
the political mainstream, it turns out that the real threat to your
movement in fact comes from your political Right. It's a quandary.


I'd like to say one side is the greater threat to libertarian ideas but I see such a persuasive argument for them both. The right is completely at odds with libertarian ideas when it comes to war and nationalism, but the left is as well when it comes to economics and property rights. So it's a quandary on stilts, from my perspective.
  

Open Trade, Open Borders, Taco Trucks on Every Corner

"It was the union of the anticapitalist forces of the Right and of the Left, the fusion of radical and conservative socialism, which drove out from Germany everything that was liberal.” F A Hayek
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TowardLiberty
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Re: Why libertarians are failing at politics
Reply #16 - Nov 20th, 2015 at 2:15pm
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Return of the Clyde wrote on Nov 20th, 2015 at 11:03am:
You are getting closer to the truth of the matter here.
The next question, then, that I have for you is this:

How do you get people to collectively vote for you
after you have rooted out the collectivist mindset?


Ah you just tell them you refuse to vote for or support legislation rolling back their freedoms, or benefiting one group vs another.

That's what they would want to hear, after all, for they are not collectivists.
  

Open Trade, Open Borders, Taco Trucks on Every Corner

"It was the union of the anticapitalist forces of the Right and of the Left, the fusion of radical and conservative socialism, which drove out from Germany everything that was liberal.” F A Hayek
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TowardLiberty
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Re: Why libertarians are failing at politics
Reply #17 - Nov 20th, 2015 at 2:28pm
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Nice post, RD.
  

Open Trade, Open Borders, Taco Trucks on Every Corner

"It was the union of the anticapitalist forces of the Right and of the Left, the fusion of radical and conservative socialism, which drove out from Germany everything that was liberal.” F A Hayek
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