L. Neil Smith's
THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 293, October 17, 2004
The Triumph Of Mediocrity
Just This Once
Exclusive to TLE
We libertarians are a curious bunch. Thirty years of electoral futility and the relentless march of statism during that time have infected us with a virulent strain of pessimism. Most of us would say we're simply being realistic, but pessimists always call themselves realists. Defeatism is rampant, yet we fight on, because libertarians are also unbridled optimists, believing that statism must eventually falter, and liberty will someday prevail. Just this once, though, let's consider what might happen if everything went our way for a change, right now.
Just this once, what if everyone who complained that alternative candidates are excluded from the debates turned off the TV for 90 minutes instead, and visited the websites of all six national candidates, to see for themselves what the Commission on Presidential Debates doesn't want them to know?
Just this once, what if everyone who says the Libertarian candidate can't compete with candidates who have raised a hundred times as much money stopped complaining and instead donated twenty measly bucks to Michael Badnarik for a last-minute advertising blitz? Or simply decided that their vote is not for sale anyway, and the fact that Bush and Kerry owe their contributors over a hundred million dollars worth of favors is more of a political liability than an insurmountable obstacle?
Just this once, what if everyone who complains that the television networks never cover the Libertarian campaign decided that they are going to make up their own minds, and not let CBS or Fox News tell them which candidate to vote for?
Just this once, what if all the anarchists who don't vote because they don't want to participate in a system they consider immoral took the advice of noted anarchist Lysander Spooner, who saw using a ballot in self-defense against those who would take your property or your liberty as no worse than using a bullet in self-defense against those who would take your property or your life?
Just this once, what if all those who don't vote because their preferred candidate is barely registering in the polls (if they even include him) decided to take their Mom's advice instead, and didn't join all their friends in jumping off a cliff to vote for Bush or Kerry?
Just this once, what if everyone who's been brainwashed into believing there are important differences between Bush and Kerry realized that both of them plan to leave us with a quarter-trillion-dollar deficit, a ten-trillion-dollar national debt, an army occupying Iraq, the Patriot Act (or worse), and draft registration (or worse) in 2008?
Just this once, what if everyone who supports the right to keep and bear arms got together and voted for a candidate who agrees with them for a change? Someone like, say, Michael Badnarik?
Just this once, what if everyone who considers the Patriot Act a crime against the Bill of Rights and the liberty of Americans voted for a candidate who would actually repeal it?
Just this once, what if all the liberals realized that only a Libertarian candidate will actually care about peace and civil liberties, and that they would have far more money left over to help the truly needed if the government didn't take half of it off the top, and the help would be far more effective if it weren't just another government program?
Just this once, what if all the Republicans realized that their candidate has betrayed most of the principles that attracted them to their party in the first place, and that only a Libertarian would actually reduce government spending or care what the Constitution says?
Just this once, what if all the religious conservatives realized that attempting to impose morality through government not only doesn't work, it creates enemies instead of friends, and that only in a free country will they ever be truly free to practice their religion?
Just this once, what if everyone opposed to a war on drugs that steals the liberty and the civil rights of those whose drug of choice doesn't have corporate backing got together and voted for a candidate who thinks Prohibition is a bad idea this time, too?
Just this once, what if all the independent voters realized they will never have a better choice until some strong and principled third party emerges to challenge the ruling duopoly, and no third party will ever emerge if someone (namely them) doesn't start voting for it real soon?
Just this once, what if the polls are wrong?
Just this once, what if the hairspray-and-makeup-coated talking heads on television have some serious explaining to do on election night? Wouldn't it be fun to see them squirm?
Just this once, why not join me in voting for Libertarian Michael Badnarik for President, and see what happens?
Just this once.
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