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no party for spacefem

I meant to write about this earlier, but I've been sad about it. After voting libertarian in every presidential election I've ever voted in, this year I will be voting for something else.

Bob Barr is the LP nominee, and he's not a great guy. In fact I sort of hate him. I think the party has become less about principle and solid reason, and more about providing a home to angry old white guys who are slightly more intellectual than the average republican. There's the Constitution party, which is all about social conservatives, but they've never done well... I get the feeling they've infiltrated the Libertarian party to make up for it.

The stupidity and wastefulness of the war on drugs is no longer a key issue; it's not listed among the central issues on Barr's campaign website.

Bob Barr has always hated abortion. He can skirt the issue all he wants now, but he's gone as far as to support Operation Rescue in the past... yeah, that's them. The dead-fetus picture wielding, abortion-doctor shooting special interest group we've grown to know and love.

He takes the states-rights copout on gay marriage. It's a popular opinion among democrats trying to win conservative voters... they won't come out and say that the government's restriction of marriage to a man and woman is a violation of church/state separation, and something government has no business being in. They throw their hands up and say, "Well, I'm in a national office, we have no need to comment on such things!"

His website lists "Entitlement Programs" (welfare, medicaid) as the thing "pushing America towards financial ruin". The Libertarian emphasis on controlling corporate bailouts has been diminished in favor of the comfortable finger-waving at millions of lazy Americans who just don't feel like working... I'm sure that's it.

I don't know who I'll vote for. Probably Barak Obama, to tell the truth. I watched his speech and I think he's very much in touch with the idea that America should be an optimistic, peaceful society where we respect one another... especially women. How many more terms do I have to go through hoping that it's safe for me to buy birth control? I just might want to get pregnant in the next 4-8 years, I'd really like to do so without feeling like I'd need a court order from a judge to get an abortion if my health is in danger. It irks me off that the libertarian party is just so male now. They don't have to be like this, they could stick to principles and believe in freedom, but on social issues they're turning into "blame everyone else" cowards like all the rest.

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( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
tweekers
Sep. 1st, 2008 04:56 pm (UTC)
It always stuck me as rather ironic that people in the US capital get such limited representation on the national level when one of the reasons the country became independent was that people were fed up of "taxation without representation". I can't imagine it would be tolerated in any other capital of a democracy.
(Deleted comment)
schmelf
Sep. 1st, 2008 05:09 pm (UTC)
This is the first election when I might have been tempted to vote Libertarian (which would mean that in three elections, I'd have voted for three different parties), but I just can't do it, largely for the reasons you name.
dreamingkat
Sep. 2nd, 2008 02:28 am (UTC)
I am totally willing to pimp out Obama's awesomeness to you if you want to hear it. I posted a little for spacefem below. If your undecided between obama and mccain, I would love a chance to sway your opinion in favor of obama. if you don't want to hear it, that's cool too (and why I didn't post my pimping out as a response to you).


schmelf
Sep. 2nd, 2008 02:40 am (UTC)
Don't worry, I'm almost certainly going to vote for Obama, though I am not quite as convinced that Obama is the Messiah as many other people in my demographic seems to be. I disagree with a number of his conclusions, but I like the way he thinks.
dreamingkat
Sep. 2nd, 2008 01:53 am (UTC)
This will also be the first election I'm not voting 3rd party (although I did Green Party when there were candidates). I'm totally voting for Barak Obama, for the following reasons:

* He supports gay rights and said so in his acceptance speech and on TV
-- on his Issues -> Civil Rights page it says he supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
-- The HRC is promoting him: see video

* He understands the institutions of our democratic republic
-- he taught constitutional law for the Univ. of Chicago factcheck link on titles
-- he worked to register votes, and voter suppression is on his civil rights page as one of the problems he plans to tackle

* He's pro-choice, pro-woman, and pro-child. He doesn't see women's issues as limited to abortion, breast cancer, schools, and healthcare either - there's a lot here and a lot of these issues have their own category and/or are in other categories too, so he sees that womens issues are everyones issues.

* He supports ending the war in Iraq

* He not only supports vague ideas of energy independence, but actually has plans for alternative energy that span the lifespan of tech from funding R&D to assisting manufacturing plants in retooling to use the new tech.


there are more reasons, but I need to give my partner a back rub and make the kids lunches and get up at 5AM, so I just don't have time.

dreamingkat
Sep. 2nd, 2008 02:23 am (UTC)
oh yeah, and one other thing - he's got integrity, unlike mccain (who I previously - pre 2004 - thought wasn't so bad). but I've got lots of hate on mccain if you ever want to hear it...
belgand
Sep. 4th, 2008 06:23 pm (UTC)
Listening to politicians' speeches is almost always a terrible idea. In all likelihood they didn't even write the damn thing.

Instead I suggest reading up on their record. Who cares what they have to say, I care about what they've actually done.

In this light Obama is shown to be roughly the same as Hillary: a generic centrist who only supports things that are largely non-controversial and is unwilling to put any real support behind anything that is without couching it in a bunch of extra language to defeat the point.

Kucinich was an excellent candidate who was actually willing to bring about substantive change. He was willing to speak out and say that marriage is a simple matter of equal rights for everyone. He didn't vote in favor of the war or the PATRIOT Act. He's anti-death penalty. He voted against the border fence.

Of course, he was marginalized by the media in favor of the centrist candidates who like to talk about change and offer very little of it.

Imagine an election between Kucinich and Ron Paul? A real election between people who actually want to bring about real change and have legitimate ideas and are willing to discuss issues in a reasonable manner. Hell, it would actually be a tough choice for me in some ways.
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