Since the election ended on Tuesday night and into yesterday, I’ve been reading many comments from my friends and family on Twitter and Facebook. They’re dejected. They don’t see how things could get any worse at this point. Others are casting blame wherever they can to avoid the realities that we now face.
Contrary to my friends, I’ve been fairly optimistic since the results became clear. But I still have a few quick things to say about the election and the future of the Liberty Movement. Some of what I have to say may burn bridges, however, I feel these things need to be said by somebody. You don’t have to agree with my conclusions — some of which are setting the record straight, others are more personal — but I believe we’re at the point where throwing in the towel is not an option.
This a little sporadic, but let me start with Gary Johnson.
As I mentioned yesterday, the narrative among Republicans who apparently cannot do math is that Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s nominee for president, cost Mitt Romney the election. As I write this, President Obama is over 50% in Colorado, Ohio, and Virginia. In Florida, Johnson’s total vote is smaller than Obama’s margin of victory. And even if Johnson’s total does windup between the margin that Romney lost, Obama still would have won the Electoral College.
I’ll note again that 70% libertarians (small-L) planned to vote for Romney. Only 14% planned to vote for Johnson, pulled roughly 7 points from each Obama and Romney. In other words, voters who were casting their ballot for Johnson were not automatic for Romney. He would have lost anyway.
Once again, Gary Johnson did not throw the election to Obama. He was not Ralph Nader. End. Of. Story. Find another narrative.
Leftists all over the place are looking at the Koch Brothers and claiming that their efforts are creating a vast right wing conspiracy that is undermining the United States of America. They look at the many groups that the brothers have donated to and use the “follow the money” mantra to try and justify what they’re seeing as more than it really is. And it’s idiotic.
First, there’s a problem with following the money. In American politics, it’s not unusual for people to use money to try an enact change. Folks on both sides do it. They donate to causes and groups that they believe in, with the hope that the money will help that group do what the donor feels is a good thing. For example, George Soros has donated millions to various progressive groups for just this reason.
In the case of the Koch brothers, it’s the same thing. However, leftists are claiming that their backing of Tea Party groups is proof of astroturf (it’s not). They see the Koch brothers backing of any group and automatically consider that group as beholden to the Koch brothers. Apparently, they see bogeymen behind every blade of grass.
Occam’s Razor is that the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. The simplest explanation is that the Koch brothers simply donate to groups that already share their beliefs, rather than trying to buy groups and push their beliefs down their throats. If that was the case, wouldn’t MoveOn.org be a better choice than the Reason Foundation?
The problem with trying to follow the money is that you never really get to the motivation of why money is changing hands. Oil companies donate to politicians from Texas, and the people scream that these politicians are bought and paid for. It never dawns on them that the politician got the money because he was already pro-Big Oil.
Drew Carey, a native of the city, and Reason have proposed way that Cleveland can rebuild and prosper again in a fiscally responsible way.
The Reason Foundation’s Shikha Dalmia points out that the current health care system in the United States has far more in common with European socialized medicine than anything resembling a free market: